St Petersburg University has successfully held a thesis defense to award a degree of Candidate of Law. It is the first ever defense of thesis in law according to the University’s own rules and regulations.

The thesis is “Islamic criminal procedure: Religious and legal aspects and specific features. A case study of Iran and Saudi Arabia” and was prepared by Patimat Gusenova. The research makes a substantial contribution into our understanding of Islamic criminal procedure and criminal law, which are little studied in our country — the distance between Islamic and our legal systems is dramatic, and it is a hard nut to crack. Another substantial benefit is that Patimat has translated Iran’s Criminal Code and Law of Criminal Procedure of Saudi Arabia, an unprecedented attempt in legal studies and jurisprudence.

The scientific advisor was Doctor of Law, Professor of the Department of Criminal Procedure and Criminal Studies at SPbU Nikolai Stoiko. “Patimat Gusenova’s work is the first monographic research in the way it offers an insight into the Islamic criminal procedure from typological, comparative and legal perspectives. The work focuses on comparative legal issues and forms a solid base for further research in the field”, — said Nikolai Stoiko.

“In my work I delved into the spiritual aspect of the Islamic law, revealed the essence of the Islamic criminal procedure and showed that the Islamic criminal procedure is a distinct type of law, — said Patimat Gusenova. — Moreover, I gave an overview of the criminal procedure in Iran and Saudi Arabia today. One of the key findings is that religion plays a vital role in law in these countries. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, law and justice are granted by the God. Justice in the world is the will of the God. Koran and Sunnah are the fundamental law and prevail over other laws, legislation particularly”.

The Dissertation Council, according to the University’s rules and regulations, must be formed for each thesis defense and comprise experts who have gained a wide recognition in the corresponding field. The Dissertation Council was headed by A.I. Aleksandorv and comprised Doctor of Law, Prof N.P. Kirillov (SPbU); Honoured Scientists, Doctor of Law, Prof I.Iu. Kozlikhin (SPbU); Doctor of Law, Prof A.G. Volevodz (MGIMO).

Academician, Doctor of Law, Prof G.S. Kazinian (National Academy of Sciences of Armenia) took part via teleconferencing.

According to the new rules and regulations, it is the Rector who takes a final decision to award a degree upon completion of the open public evaluation of the thesis on the SPbU web-site. The Dissertation Council unanimously voted for awarding a degree of Candidate of Law in Criminal Procedure to Patimat Gusenova.

“I was glad to receive many positive reviews on my work even before the day of the defense, — said Patimat. — I am the first SPbU student in law who has defended the thesis according to the new rules and regulations. It was a great responsibility, but we did it”.