Nafise Shooshinasab
Nafise Shooshinasab
Doctoral student

Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa


When Nafise Shooshinasab first decided to apply for a doctoral program in law, she was welcomed in correspondence with her prospective supervisor and the University of Ottawa’s staff. They were very considerate and cooperative. She is now more than a year into her program and loving every minute of it.

“When I first decided to apply for the PhD program, I was looking for someone with the right expertise with whom I feel comfortable to work”, she says. Professor St-Pierre was the person. She is always very encouraging and supportive with Nafise. Nafise’s thesis studies the legal and social distinctions between gambling and finance as these are made in the United States and Iran. She argues that the determination of these lines contributes to the legitimacy of some currently illegitimate contracts in Islamic countries like Iran. Her interest in this topic stems from its practical application: her thesis offers a new perspective that could have immediate positive impacts on the development of Iran’s capital market transactions.

Nafise was awarded her LLB at the University of Allameh Tabatabaei in Iran. She completed her LLM and her first Ph.D at the University of Tehran in Iran. Her LLM thesis studied pain and suffering damages with a focus on how these damages are assessed by Iranian courts. Her Iranian Ph.D thesis studied the legal nature of securities. She has several Persian publications alongside her thesis, which was later published as a book entitled as “Legal Nature of Securities”. Her thesis publication won a prestigious prize in Iran. She is also a member of Iran’s Elite Organization.

Nafise comes to her doctorate program at the University of Ottawa with teaching experience and experience working as an Iranian lawyer. She has taught Islamic law texts, commercial law, international private law, and banking law, amongst other subjects, in Iran.  She has also worked as a legal expert to Tehran Stock Exchange and Iran’s Mercantile Exchanges for more than seven years. Over these years, she gained experience drafting capital market regulations and resolving disputes arising from capital market transactions. She served as a legal advisor to companies in Iran and has commented on international sales contracts. After moving to Canada in 2019, she worked as a research assistant to Professor St-Pierre for a study of green bonds. Her ambition is to work as a researcher in the capital market field in Canada after obtaining her degree.

The University of Ottawa’s bilingual character allowed Nafise to build on her interest in languages. She adores learning new languages. She can read Persian, English, Arabic, and French texts; the University’s French courses and its free online conversation workshops encouraged her to use her French.

She has completed two doctoral courses at the University of Ottawa, which are proving very helpful in her research. The University’s scholarly writing publication course helped her publish her first paper in English—a feat in the first year of her PhD program at uOttawa. The article appears in the UNB Law Journal, volume 71.

When the pandemic started a couple of months into her Ph.D adventure, Nafise was concerned that she could not make the most out of her Ph.D experience. The Faculty of Law managed the transition to online meetings, which were as organized and useful as on-campus encounters. She had the good fortune to feel comfortable during her online comprehensive exam. Her comfort was due in no small part to the support and sense of security provided by uOttawa staff and her committee members.

Nafise loves reading novels, books about psychology, and poetry. She is a curious person who loves to solve puzzles and dig into new areas. Law will, however, always remain her first priority.