Dr. Shirin Ebadi

Dr. Shirin Ebadi was born in Iran in 1947. She is married and has two daughters. She received a law degree from the University of Tehran and at the age of 29 she was appointed as one of the first female judges in Iran. After the Islamic Revolution she was forced to early retirement and began working for a private law office.

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Law Degree from the University of Tehran


Chief of Municipal Court of Tehran


Forced Resign as Judge after the Islamic Revolution


Foundation of the Society for Protecting the Rights of Children


Arrest and Solitary Confinement


Iranian Parliament ratified the Act for the Protection of Children and Youth drafted by Shirin Ebadi


Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. Shirin Ebadi is an activist for refugee rights, as well as those of women and children. She is the founder and legal advisor of the Society for Protecting the Rights of Children in Iran. She represents Reformed Islam, and argues for a new interpretation of Islamic law which is in harmony with vital human rights such as democracy, equality before the law, religious freedom and freedom of speech.

She was the attorney for the families of writers and intellectuals murdered in 1999-2000. She has worked actively, and successfully, to reveal the principals behind the attack on the students at Tehran University in 1999 where several students were injured and died. Her legal work on behalf of the rights of the oppressed has led to her imprisonment in 2000. She also defended two women’s rights activists who were jailed for attending a conference on the democracy movement in Iran that was held in Berlin in 2000.


Dr. Shirin Ebadi’s work for the promotion of human rights has won her international recognition. In 1996 the organisation “Human Rights Watch” designated her as a human rights monitor. She received the 2001 Rafto Award (Human Rights Prize) in Norway “in recognition of her sustained fight, over many years, for human rights and democracy in Iran.” For her exemplary role in promoting civil and human rights in Iran, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. She is the first Iranian and Muslim woman to receive a Nobel Prize.


Dr. Shirin Ebadi has written a number of academic books and articles focusing on human rights. Among her books translated into English are “The Rights of the Child. A Study of Legal Aspects of Children's Rights in Iran” (Tehran, 1994), and “History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran” (New York, 2000).

[June 2011]

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