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Bakir Amin



Bakir Amin

J.S.D. in International Water Resources Law, Class of 2020

Hometown: Darbandikhan, Iraqi Kurdistan
Major: Law and Politics

Bio

Abubakir Hama-Amin "Bakir Amin" is pursuing a Doctor of Science of Law (J.S.D), which is equivalent to the Ph.D. in law at the McGeorge School of Law, and aims to use his degree to practice International Water Law and conflict transformation. His mission is to promote cooperation among Middle Eastern countries within the framework of international water law in the sharing of dwindling supplies of freshwater.

Bakir grew up in Darbandikhan, a town in the province of Sulaimaniya, within the area of autonomy for the Kurdistan region of Iraq. There, he served as legal counselor and a head of the legal department for the Darbandikhan municipality from 2004 to 2014.  

In 2014, when he was awarded a scholarship by the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG), Bakir moved to Indiana with his family to pursue an LLM Degree at Valparaiso University. His thesis was about international water law and based heavily on McGeorge Professor Stephen McCaffrey's work on water rights under international law. Bakir was impressed by McCaffrey's research. He discovered that McCaffrey taught at McGeorge and was taken by the law school's course offerings in the field of water and environmental law and specialization it offered in International Water Resources Law.  

Since Bakir completed his Master's Degree "with high distinction," he was awarded a scholarship to pursue his J.S.D. at McGeorge. "The scholarship that I've gotten at McGeorge has been such a great support for me while I pursue my studies. I love the McGeorge community and I've been working with brilliant professors who are a tremendous resource and always accessible." He added, "I am sure that the knowledgeable, diverse and internationally experienced faculty members will guide me to new ideas and a fuller understanding of international water law."  

Bakir believes that water should be a resource producing prosperity for human society rather than one that gives rise to conflict or tension and intends to promote the collaborative sharing of water in his J.S.D. dissertation.  In that work he will investigate potential resolution of international water conflicts among Iraq, Turkey, and Iran over the freshwater resources they share, explain the need for equitable distribution among them as riparian countries, and analyze Iraqi water rights according to international water laws and treaties.  

"In Middle Eastern countries like Iraq, water is as valuable as oil. If riparian countries cannot settle their water issues peacefully, the next war in Iraq will likely be over water and I am pursuing McGeorge's J.S.D program so that in the future I can help resolve this issue."  

Bakir's dream job would be return to his home region and work with the United Nations agencies to help mediate the conflict at the international level. "I am so happy that McGeorge has such a wonderful International Water Law program and am eager to use the skills that I gain at McGeorge to work in international law."  

In addition to studying the law, Bakir loves to listen to music, watch movies or surf the Internet. On the weekends he likes reading fiction books, spending time with family, or going to cultural events. 

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