formal portrait photo of Lorenz Dante in dark gray suit and link pink tie

June 06, 2024Writing Prize 2024

Lorenz Dantes awarded Harvard Law School's 2024 Writing Prize of the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World

The 2024 Writing Prize of Harvard Law School’s Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World was awarded to Lorenz Dantes, LLM ’24, for his paper entitled “Islamic Law Principles as Basis for Migrants’ Right to Diplomatic Asylum.” The prize is awarded annually by Harvard Law School to the student who has written the best paper in the field of law and society or law and social change in a Muslim majority or minority context during the current academic year.

The paper explores the legal principles and bases of “diplomatic asylum” (asylum granted extraterritorially in embassies or consulates) within an Islamic legal framework. The paper argues that, in contrast to the absence of a specific basis under general rules of international law, the moral depth of Islamic law principles may provide a potential basis for the grant of diplomatic asylum to distressed migrants, specifically those from abuse, mistreatment, and exploitation in countries that apply the Kafala (sponsorship) system. Towards this end, this paper also examines whether the practice of diplomatic asylum is compatible with the Islamic concept of state sovereignty and whether it can be considered a permissible form of intervention in the domestic affairs of a state.

As Lorenz explains, this research aims to introduce “fresh perspectives and meaningful solutions on how modern public international law should view the concept of diplomatic asylum and its difficult interaction with national sovereignty. Rather than a confined and monolithic perspective, Islamic law’s dramatically different approach provides unique and revitalized humanitarian solutions to the problems faced by migrants in Kafala countries.”

Congratulations to Lorenz for this outstanding achievement and we wish him continued success going forward!