SJD Candidate
Thesis title:
Inside the Courtroom: Litigating Islam and Muslimness in Canadian Entrapment Trials
Office in Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park
Toronto, M5S 2C5

Basema Al-Alami is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Her dissertation critically examines the landmark entrapment trial of R v Nuttall, a singular instance in Canadian law where the defence of entrapment resulted in a stay of proceedings in a terrorism trial. This case serves as a crucial focal point for exploring the nuanced ways in which Islam and Muslimness are litigated within Canadian courtrooms. Through a comprehensive analysis of court archives, including transcripts, tapes, and motions, this study unravels how the Canadian judicial system navigates and constructs Muslimness in the context of terrorism-related trials. The research highlights the courtroom as a critical arena where Muslimness is dissected and interrogated, often leading to the problematic conflation of Islam with criminality. This investigation reveals how such legal proceedings transcend the mere evaluation of the accused’s actions to question broader societal and cultural narratives surrounding Islam and Muslimness, mirroring and perpetuating existing stereotypes.



Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) Candidate, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (Present)
Master of Laws (LL.M.), University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2022)
Juris Doctor (J.D.), Osgoode Hall Law School (2020)
Honours Bachelor of Arts (HBA), University of Toronto (2017)
Awards and Distinctions
Nathan Strauss Q.C. Graduate Fellowship in International Law (2022-2023)
University Of Toronto Fellowship - Law (2022-2023)
Nathan Strauss Q.C. Graduate Fellowship in International Law (2021-2022)
Benjamin Laufer Prize in International Law (2019-2020)
The Honourable N.W. Rowell Prize (2019-2020)
The Honourable N.W. Rowell Prize (2018-2019)
Dean's Graduation Award, University of Toronto (2017)
Joseph Alfred Whealy In-Course Scholarship (2016-2017)
University Of Toronto Scholar - Beatty (2015-2016)
The Erindale Admission Scholarships (2013-2014)
University Of Toronto Scholar (2013-2014)
Professional Affiliations
Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto
Canadian Association for Forced Migration and Refugee Studies
Other information

Conferences, Workshops, and Presentations (Selected)

Legal Contradictions: Identifying Iterations of Us versus Them, hosted by the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto (September 2023).

Interrogating Islamophobia in the ‘war on terror’ after two decades, hosted by the 12th National Conference of Critical Perspectives / Criminology & Social Justice in Ottawa (May 2023). 

United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee delegation visit to Canada, hosted by the Committee (February 2023). 

9/11 and the Canadian Settler Colony Conference, hosted by Windsor Law (October 2022). 

University of Toronto - Humboldt University Workshop, hosted by the Institute of Islamic Studies (September 2022).

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Taskforce, hosted by Humber College (July 2022).



Selected Publications

Basema Al-Alami, "Israel isn’t complying with the International Court of Justice ruling — what happens next?" (6 February 2024), online: The Conversation <

Basema Al-Alami, "The global call for accountability in Germany, Namibia, and Canada" (25 January 2024), online: The Hill Times <

Basema Al-Alami, "The humanitarian crisis in Gaza: a cry for humanity" (18 October 2023), online: Toronto Star <

Basema Al-Alami. “Canadian law enforcement agencies continue to target Muslims” (12 July 2023), online: The Conversation <

Lisa Forman, Basema Al-Alami & Kaitlin Fajber, “An Inquiry into State Agreement and Practice on the International Law Status of the Human Right to Medicines” (2022) 24:2 Health Hum. Rights 125.

Obiora Chinedu Okafor, Titilayo Adebola & Basema Al-Alami, “Viewing the International Labour Organization’s Social Justice Praxis  through a  Third World Approaches to International Law Lens: Some Preliminary Insights”, in George Politakis, et al. eds, ILO 100: Law for Social Justice (Geneva: International Labour Organization, 2019), online: <

Nathan Innocente, Basema Al-Alami, Amanda Borthwick, Alfred Pepushaj, & Harmehr Sekhon. 2018. “The Teaching Opportunity Program: Integrating Undergraduate Students in Course Design, Assessment, and Teaching.” Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education annual conference, Sherbrooke, QC, June 19-22.

Research Interests
Criminal Law 
International Law
National Security Law and Anti-Terrorism Law
Committee Members