Rakesh K. Bhala

School of Law - Law School
Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law
Raymond F. Rice Distinguished Professor
Primary office:
785-864-9224
Green Hall
Room 410
University of Kansas
1535 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045


Expertise and Current Research Activity

My 50-chapter, 1,450 page book entitled Understanding Islamic Law (Shari'a) enjoyed world-wide acclaim. Understanding Islamic Law (Shari'a), published by LexisNexis, is the first English-language textbook written by an American law professor for courses in Islamic Law. The book also is a handy reference for practitioners. The book is used in my Islamic Law course not only at KU Law, but also at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth. The CGSC students are Special Operations Forces commanders and senior Intelligence Officers, all of whom had served in Afghanistan, Iraq, or other theaters, and will be posted overseas in the coming years. Thanks to this book, I became the first University of Kansas faculty member ever to lead a National Conference Call for the Council on Foreign Relations, which I did on Islamic Law. I continue to write and teach in the field of International Trade Law. Three eminent law journals published a trilogy of law review articles on the Doha Round, the first of which focuses on agricultural trade. All such work has played a role not only in my receiving the Woodyard Award for excellence in international education, but also in my giving major presentations in India, the United Arab Emirates, and Chile, and in Qatar at the Qatar Law Forum.

Why Study at the University of Kansas?

At least three reasons make the University of Kansas School of Law an outstanding choice. First, the Law School is at or near the top of the rankings on the one variable that matters most: the ratio of price to quality. Tuition at the Law School, for both in- and out-of-state students, is a bargain, and so too are the costs of living. The quality of teaching and research are outstanding. All faculty at KU care deeply about their students, and have an open door policy. Many faculty are nationally and internationally recognized scholars in their field. Yet, they regard research as synergistically related to teaching. The ethos on the faculty is friendly and informal.

Second, the University and the Law School are at once cosmopolitan and contemplative. Students come from all over the United States and around the world - China, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Rumania, and many other countries. They engage in a collective enterprise and find Law School both intellectually and personally rewarding. The atmosphere is open, not pretentious, and supportive, not cut-throat. In brief, the Law School is an authentic community.

Third, the University and Law School are situated in one of the most beautiful, stress-free, and safe environments in the world. With roughly 2 out of every 3 days sunny in Kansas, and with a mild climate conducive to outdoor activities, Lawrence is an uplifting, even inspiring, place to live. There is little traffic, and the logistics of life are uncomplicated. This environment is a healthy one in which to study, work, and play.

Education

Law Degree (J.D.), Harvard Law School

Masters Degree (M.Sc.), Management (Industrial Relations), Oxford University

Masters Degree (M.Sc.), Economics, London School of Economics (LSE)

Bachelors Degree (A.B.), Economics, Duke University

Selected Publications

Nine Dashes, lliberal Trade Interests, TPP, and Vietnam, XXIII(2) Brown Journal of World Affairs (forthcoming Spring/Summer 2017) Available here.

Exposing the Forgotten TPP Chapter: Chapter 17 as a Model for Future International Trade Disciplines on SOEs, 14(1) Manchester Journal of International Economic Law (forthcoming Apr. 2017) Available here.

Given the Breadth and Depth of Law, Job Opportunities are Splendid (Chapter 10), in Law for the Curious: Why Study Law? 96-100 (Kishor Vaidya ed., Curious Academic Publishing, Jan. 2017) Available here.

TPP, American National Security, and Chinese SOEs, Jan. 2017 (No. RSCAS 2017/03 ) Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper Series 22 (27 Jan. 2017) Available here.

(Bloomberg, 20 Jan. 2017) Available here.

Reserve Bank of India, in Research Handbook on Central Banking (Rosa Lastra ed., Dec. 2016) Available here.

WTO Case Review 2015, 33 Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 505-629 (14 Nov. 2016)

Will India Be “Great Again” Too With President Trump?, Bloomberg Quint (Bloomberg India), Bloomberg, 9 Nov. 2016, Available here.

2016, Does India Matter to the U.S. Presidential Candidates? (Bloomberg, Nov. 7, 7 Nov. 2016) Available here.

TPP Objectively: Law, Economics, and National Security of History’s Largest, Longest Free Trade Agreement (1 Oct. 2016) Available here.

Legal Instruments of Political and Economic Competition: TPP T&A and Automotive ROOs, 8(1 (2016)) Indian Journal of International Economic Law (Aug. 2016) Available here.

Understanding Islamic Law (Shari'a), 2nd Edition (15 Aug. 2016) Available here.

Trans Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property Controversies, in A "Liber Amicorum:" Mitsuo Matsushita, A Critical Assessment of the International Economic Law and Governance (Julien Chaisse, Tsai-Yu Lin ed., Oxford University Press, 1 Apr. 2016)

International Investment Management: Theory, Practice, and Ethics (Routledge, Mar. 2016)

Design and Challenges of Banking and Foreign Exchange Regulation in India, 16(Fall) Asian Business Lawyer 27-72 (19 Dec. 2015) Available here.

WTO Case Review 2014, 31(2) Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 497-646 (Oct. 2015) Available here.

Dictionary of International Trade Law (Lexis Nexis, 3rd, 19 Oct. 2015)

International Trade Law: An Interdisciplinary, Non-Western Textbook (Lexis Nexis, 4th, 20 Aug. 2015)

Decentralized Trade Liberalization, 2014 World Trade Review (Apr. 2015) (Liberalizing International Trade after Doha – Multilateral, Plurilateral, Regional and Unilateral Initiatives)

Is India Special Enough for the 301 List?, 7 India Law News, 1 (Spring 2015), American Bar Association (ABA), Section of International Law, India Committee, 13 Apr. 2015, at 1, 6-11 Available here.

Fighting Iran with Trade Sanctions, 31(2) Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 251-356 (18 Feb. 2015) Available here.

WTO Case Review 2013, 31(2) Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 475-510 (28 Jan. 2015) Available here.

Liberalizing International Trade after Doha: Multilateral, Plurilateral, Regional and Unilateral Initiatives, 13 World Trade Review 721-724 (22 Sep. 2014) (Liberalizing International Trade after Doha – Multilateral, Plurilateral, Regional and Unilateral Initiatives) Available here.

Trans-Pacific Partnership or Trampling Poor Partners? A Tentative Critical Review, 11(1) Manchester Journal of International Economic Law 2-59 (20 Apr. 2014) Available here.

Diversity within Unity: Import Laws of Islamic Countries on Haram (Forbidden) Products, 47(3) The International Lawyer 343-406 (Winter 2014) Available here Available here.

First Generation Indian External Sector Reforms in Context, 5(1/Summer 2013) Trade, Law and Development 7-42 (6 Feb. 2014) Available here Available here.

WTO Case Review 2012, 30(2013) Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 207-419 (2013)

Modern GATT Law: A Treatise on the Law and Political Economy of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and Other World Trade Organisation Agreements (Thomson Sweet & Maxwell, 31 May 2013) Available here.

Four Points about Trade and Human Rights, in International Trade Law and the WTO 354-390 (Professor Azizur Rahman Chowdhury, University of Dhaka, Faculty of Law, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Professor Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan, Professor Indira Carr, Professor Shawkat Alam ed., Federation Press, Apr./May 2013) Available here.

WTO Case Review 2011, 29(2) Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 287-476 (21 Mar. 2013)

When are Rare Earths Raw Materials? Emerging GATT-WTO Jurisprudence on Export Restraints, 19(1) International Trade Law and Regulation 1-8 (Jan. 2013)

Understanding Islamic Law (Sharī‘a) (LexisNexis, 1st ed., May 2011)

International Trade Law: Interdisciplinary Theory and Practice (Michie 1st ed. 1996, LexisNexis 2d ed. 2001, LexisNexis, 3d ed., 2008)

Selected Presentations

Bhala, R. (02/09/2017). The Legal, Economic, and National Security Dimensions of the Trans Pacific Partnership. University of Pittsburgh, School of Law. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Available Here

Bhala, R. (01/26/2017). Evaluating TPP. Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science Colloquium. University of Kansas, Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science, Lawrence, Kansas

Bhala, R. (01/04/2017). A Conversation with Michael Froman (United States Trade Representative). Council on Foreign Relations (Not for Attribution). Washington, D.C. (via teleconference). Available Here

Bhala, R. (11/06/2016). Penetrating the Rhetoric on Key Election Issues. Unitarian Universalist Forum. All Souls Unitarian Church, Kansas City, Missouri

Bhala, R. (11/05/2016). Significant Islamic Legal Issues. Kansas National Guard, Annual Conference. Topeka, Kansas

Bhala, R. (11/03/2016). Fact Checking: Anti-Trade Rhetoric -- U.S. Political Perception and Brexit Reality. Dentons, World Trade Center of Kansas City, and Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Board Room, Union Station, Kansas City, Missouri

Bhala, R. (10/25/2016). Analyzing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Objectively. Faculty Workshop. University of Kansas, School of Law

Bhala, R. (10/05/2016). Chinese SOEs, National Security, and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in China: Trade and Competition Issues. Columbia Law School, New York, N.Y.

Bhala, R. (09/15/2016). Legal and Political Legitimacy of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Pre-Presidential Debate Conference on International Trade Agreements and the 2016 Presidential Election. Hofstra Law School, Hempstead, N.Y.

Bhala, R. (08/04/2016). International Trade Law, National Security, and the New Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Mount Oread Leadership Series, Strategic Broadening Seminar; Leading in a Global Environment. University of Kansas, Adams Alumni Center

Bhala, R. (08/04/2016). Islamic Law. Mount Oread Leadership Series, Strategic Broadening Seminar; Leading in a Global Environment. University of Kansas, Adams Alumni Center

Bhala, R. (05/05/2016). TPP Objectively: Law, Economics, and National Security of History's Largest, Longest Free Trade Agreement. Great Plains International and Comparative Law Colloquium. Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Kansas. Available Here

Bhala, R. (04/27/2016). A Critical Evaluation of WTO Plus Standards in TPP. Harvard Law School, WTO 20th Anniversary Conference and Academics Symposium on Old Rules, New Problems: The WTO at 20. Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Available Here

Bhala, R. (04/15/2016). International and Cross-Border Perspectives on Contemporary Islamic Financial Transactions . Inter Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) Annual Meeting, Panel on A Discussion of Current Issues in Islamic Finance. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Available Here

Bhala, R. (04/15/2016). TPP Membership and Enlargement Controversies. Inter Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) Annual Meeting, Panel on TPP and the ASEAN Economic Community at the Crossroads of APEC?. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Available Here

Bhala, R. (04/14/2016). Overview of TPP. Inter Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) Annual Meeting, Panel on Resolution of Trade Disputes in TPP and Other FTAs. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Available Here

Bhala, R. (04/13/2016). Risks and Opportunities with the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Malaysia. ASEAN Lawyers Group of Malaysia Annual General Meeting. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Available Here

Bhala, R. (04/12/2016). History of Trade Negotiations. Global Development Law & Consulting Group (Washington, D.C.), Bar Council of Malaysia (BCI), and Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) Legal Development & Training Committee, Program on How to Participate in Trade Negotiations: Focus on the Trans Pacific Pa. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Bhala, R. (03/31/2016). Understanding the Trans Pacific Partnership. Understanding the Trans Pacific Partnership. International Relations Council, Kansas City, Missouri. Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/17/2016). The Trans Pacific Partnership – Objectively. Herbert Smith Freehills Law Firm and University of Sydney Law School, Lecture Series. Sydney, Australia. Available Here

Bhala, R. (01/08/2016). Pentagon Briefing: The Education Battle, Sunni-Shi'a Split, and Authentic versus Inauthentic Precepts in Islamic Law. Joint Staff (J-5) Strategy and Plans, Political-Military Affairs, Middle East Directorate Strategic Integration Session. United States Department of Defense (The Pentagon), Washington, D.C. Available Here

Bhala, R. (10/08/2015). Enduring Themes and Radical Transformations in International Trade Law. 3rd Annual Mercer Conference on Current Trends in International Trade. Atlanta, Georgia, Mercer University. Available Here

Bhala, R. (10/07/2015). TPP: Trans Pacific Partnership or Trade Policy for the Plutocracy? BB&T Lecture. Macon, Georgia, Mercer University, School of Business. Available Here

Bhala, R. (09/24/2015). Iran Nuclear Deal. International Relations Council, Panel on "War With ISIS, Alliances with Iran: Examining U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East". Kansas City, Missouri. Available Here

Bhala, R. (09/21/2015). Design and Challenges of Banking and Foreign Exchange Regulation in India. 2nd Asian Business Lawyer Symposium, “Business and Finance Regulation from Comparative and International Perspectives.”. Korea University College of Law, Seoul, Korea. Available Here

Bhala, R. (09/01/2015). Evolution and Revolution of International Trade Law Scholarship and Pedagogy through the 20 Year Journey of a Textbook. Faculty Workshop. University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas. Available Here

Bhala, R. (05/14/2015). Evolution and Revolution of International Trade Law Scholarship and Pedagogy through the 20 Year Journey of a Textbook. Great Plains International and Comparative Law Colloquium. Washburn University, School of Law, Topeka, Kansas. Available Here

Bhala, R. (05/07/2015). Promoting and/or Undermining Labor Rights through International Trade? Linkages between Free Trade and Labor Rights. Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) Annual Conference. Hong Kong. Available Here

Bhala, R. (05/06/2015). Critical Analysis of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law, East Asian International Economic Law & Policy Program, Asian Institute of International Financial Law, and RGC Theme-based Research Project: Enhancing Hong Kong's Future as a Leading International Financial Center. Hong Kong. Available Here

Bhala, R. (05/05/2015). Views from Riyadh and Delhi on GATT-WTO and FTA Developments. Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Faculty of Law, Center for Financial Regulation and Economic Development (CFRED), Thirteenth Trade and Investment Law Seminar. Hong Kong. Available Here

Bhala, R. (04/29/2015). The Kingdom and Recent Developments in World Trade. Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Harvard Association of Saudi Arabia (HASA). Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/24/2015). Recent Developments in International and Indian Trade Law and Policy. Gang of Youngsters (GOY) Conference. V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, Miramar, Panaji, Goa, India

Bhala, R. (03/19/2015). Recent Developments in International and Indian Trade Law and Policy. Special Meeting. World Trade Center, Mumbai (Bombay), India

Bhala, R. (03/17/2015). International Trade, Investment, and Intellectual Property Law and Policy in India and Beyond. Harvard College in Asia Program (HCAP) Conference. Saint Xavier's College, Mumbai (Bombay), India

Bhala, R. (03/17/2015). Lecture on "Recent Developments in International and Indian Trade Law and Policy," followed by Panel on "India’s Trade Policies: Prospects and Challenges” with Mr. Richard Bale, Consul General of Canada to Mumbai. Government Law College (GLC) Mumbai (Bombay), India

Bhala, R. (01/20/2015). International Business Law and Catholic Social Justice Teaching. Saint Thomas More Society Meeting. University of Kansas, School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.

Bhala, R. (10/22/2014). Risks to International Business in Asia. Risks to International Business. International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City, Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri. Available Here

Bhala, R. (09/08/2014). Congratulations on United States Citizenship. Citizenship Naturalization Proceedings. United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Available Here

Bhala, R. (04/23/2014). India and North America: Revitalising Ties. Indian Foreign Policy: Views from Abroad. Gateway House (Indian Council on Global Relations, Mumbai, India). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/12/2014). Overview of Islamic Law. INDIA (New Delhi) - Indian Law Institute (IL). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/12/2014). WTO and TRIPs. INDIA (New Delhi) - Indian Law Institute (ILI). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/11/2014). Overview of GATT and WTO. INDIA (New Delhi) - Indian Law Institute (ILI). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/11/2014). United States and India’s Trade Law and Policy. INDIA (New Delhi) - Indian Law Institute (ILI). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/11/2014). Women’s Issues in Islamic Law. INDIA (New Delhi) - Indian Law Institute (ILI). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/10/2014). Overview of Islamic Law, Primary, Secondary, and Additional Sources of Islamic Law, and Women's Issues and Islamic Law. INDIA (Sonipat, Haryana) - Jindal Global Law School (JGLS). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/10/2014). Trade Preferences for Poor Countries, The Doha Round Debacle, and United States and Indian Trade Law and Policy. INDIA (Sonipat, Haryana) - Jindal Global Law School (JGLS). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/07/2014). Women’s Issues and Islamic Law. INDIA (New Delhi) - University of Delhi, Faculty of Law, Law Centre II. Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/05/2014). The Rights of Women Under the Sharīʻa as Practiced in Islamic Countries. Muslims and Sharīʻa: Learning from Experiences of Other Countries. INDIA (Mumbai) - Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/04/2014). An Overview of International Trade Law. INDIA (Mumbai) - SNDT Women's University Faculty of Law. Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/04/2014). Recent Developments and Current Controversies in International Trade Law. INDIA (Mumbai) - University of Mumbai Department of Law. Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/04/2014). The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Implications for India. INDIA (Mumbai) - Gateway House (India Council on Global Affairs). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/03/2014). An Overview of International Trade Law. INDIA (Mumbai) - Government Law College (GLC). Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/03/2014). The Future of the GATT-WTO System, American Trade Policy, and Implications for the Indian Subcontinent. INDIA (Mumbai) - Government Law College (GLC). Available Here

Bhala, R. (02/28/2014). Anti Dumping Provisions in the United States and Pitfalls to be Avoided, and Export Diversification Opportunities in Emerging Markets. INDIA (Mumbai) - Office of Additional Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Available Here

Bhala, R. (02/25/2014). Indian Trade Reforms and Its Doha Round Negotiating Positions. INDIA (Hyderabad) - National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University of Law. Available Here

Bhala, R. (02/25/2014). Where is India in Free Trade Agreements and the Trans Pacific Partnership? INDIA (Hyderabad) - National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University of Law. Available Here

Bhala, R. (02/24/2014). An Overview of International Trade Law. INDIA (Hyderabad) - National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University of Law. Available Here

Bhala, R. (02/14/2014). Islamic Law. J. Reuben Clark Law Society Annual Conference, "Obedience to Law is Liberty". University of Missouri - Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri. Available Here

Bhala, R. & . (11/26/2013). Understanding the Iran Nuclear Deal, Council on Foreign Relations A Conversation with Ray Takeyh, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow, Middle Eastern Studies, and Michael A. Levi, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow, Energy and the Environmen. National Teleconference. New York, N.Y. Available Here

Bhala, R. (11/17/2013). Understanding Islamic Law (Shari'a). Witherspoon Class Series. Second Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Available Here

Bhala, R. (11/08/2013). Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) in Academics. National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (NAPALSA) Annual Convention. Kansas City, Missouri. Available Here

Bhala, R. (09/20/2013). “Great Satan” Squeezes “Evil Āyatollāhs” as the Centrifuges Keep Spinning: American Trade Sanctions Against Iran . Justice Beyond the State: Transnationalism and Law. University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Available Here

Bhala, R. (08/30/2013). Writing Big Books: Six Secrets for Santosh. University of Kansas School of Law Workshop Series. University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas

Bhala, R. & Boyer, R. (05/21/2013). The Rise of Anti-Sharia Legislation. National Public Radio (NPR), Radio Broadcast on Kansas City Affiliate KCUR, 89.3 FM, "Central Standard" Show. Available Here

Amos, G., Odierno, G., Welsh, G., Papp, A., Ferguson, A. & Bhala, R. (05/03/2013). Robert B. McKeon Endowed Series on Military Strategy with the Service Chiefs. Council on Foreign Relations National Teleconference. New York

Summers, L. & Bhala, R. (04/02/2013). A Conversation with Lawrence H. Summers on U.S. Economic Strategy, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and President Emeritus, Harvard University. Council on Foreign Relations National Teleconference. New York. Available Here

Bhala, R. (03/07/2013). Themes and Controversies in Understanding Islamic Law. Washburn University School of Law

Bhala, R., Filpi, J. & Buntin, J. (02/13/2013). Key Developments in U.S. Trade Relations in the Middle East and North Africa. American Bar Association (ABA), Section of International Law, Middle East Committee and International Trade Committee. Washington, D.C. (via teleconference). Available Here

Bhala, R. (05/28/2012). Islamic Finance. Carey y Cia (Largest law firm in Chile). Santiago, Chile

Selected Awards & Honors

Alumni Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching
College of William & Mary

Indian Society of International Law (ISIL) Life Membership
Indian Society of International Law (ISIL)
2013 - Present

Moreau Award
University of Kansas, School of Law, Student Bar Association (SBA)
2012 - Present

George and Eleanor Woodyard International Educator Award
University of Kansas
2011 - Present

Chaired Professorship
University of Kansas
2003 - Present

Law School Research Chaired Professorship
The George Washington University Law School
2000 - Present

University-wide Distinguished Teaching Award
William & Mary Society of the Alumni
1996 - Present

President's Award for Excellence
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
1992 - Present

Letter of Commendation for Service at United Nations
U.S. Department of State
1991 - Present

President's Award for Excellence
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
1990 - Present

Moreau Award
University of Kansas, School of Law, Student Bar Association (SBA)
2015

Kemper Teaching Award
University of Kansas
2008

Marshall Scholarship
Oxford University and London School of Economics
1984 - 1986

Angier B. Duke Scholarship
Duke University
1980 - 1984


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