Qatar University’s Press Founding Director and Oil & Gas Law Professor, Dr. Talal Abdulla Al-Emadi, was recently interviewed by the University of Oxford.
Dr. Al-Emadi’s academic specialty is in the arena of International Economic Law. He focuses on how the law interacts with the important things in petroleum investment; not just profit, but trust and long-term relationships between Qatar and international oil and gas companies. He has served various national and international committees. He has several peer reviewed publications and his book “Joint Venture Agreements in the Gas Industry” published by Springer Nature got indexed in Scopus within ASTI series, and was reviewed in Oxford’s World Energy Law & Business. He holds a doctorate degree in law from Oxford, a master’s degree from Harvard and his undergraduate degree in law is from Qatar University.
During the interview, Dr. Talal talked about his journey to Oxford and the choice of subject of his thesis. He said: “A few factors actually made me think of Oxford’s law doctorate. First, I think I have this thing for being or doing something for the first time. After completing my bachelor degree in law at Qatar University, I was on an Amiri scholarship which supports national academic capacities. I wanted to make the most of such scholarship by becoming the first Qatari to enter Harvard Law. It was also during my Harvard time when I met professors who held Oxford DPhil in Law. I was influenced by their charismatic and interpersonal skills. I knew then that Oxford Law hadn’t been explored by a Qatari. After graduating from Harvard, the Amiri Diwan requested me on secondment as an advisor to a minister. I loved the opportunity of government exposure.”
Talking about his current role he said: “I wear a few hats: I am a law professor teaching in the area of investment and oil and gas law as well as a founding director for our university press – first of its kind in the region and inspired by OUP brand of course. In my first role, I love the exchange of ideas with the new generation of students which keeps me ‘relevant’ in the way I think and do my research. The second role exposes me to interact – mostly if not always virtually – with scholars of all fields and from around the globe. Third and most importantly, as a father of three (one who is in heaven), I get most of my energy from my kids.”
Discussing about different useful aspects of his degree in Law that enhances his career. He said that while law has made him ‘opinionated’, he thinks it equally made him more open-minded to embrace and introduce new ideas. He studied law in three different jurisdictions: Qatar, USA and the UK. This exposure simply changed the way he thinks.
“A good judge or lawyer is not the one who simply serve our laws, but the one who makes good laws to serve us – humans, animals or the climate,” said Dr. Talal during his interview with Oxford.
“I always tell my students that if we don’t label law to a certain career (lawyer or judge), we would be more creative and would enjoy more what we do with law studies and qualifications. We are blessed in an era where all fields beautifully intersect. You can become an environmentalist while using the law aspect to protect it, likewise with health, energy, business, government, and even fashion and so the list can go on and on. Also, law is more beautiful when it is employed to deliver a message: equality is an example,” he said while advising the current law students.
The interviewed was concluded with a thoughtful advice when Dr. Talal was asked: What advice would you to give your past self? He responded: “With the benefit of hindsight, as they say, I could have been more relaxed on some of my own rules on getting things done. Time is indeed important but if something is not finished as planned, it is probably because it has a benefit one doesn’t realize. Some delays, I can argue, could be ‘unintended’ investments.”
Expressing his feelings on getting interviewed by the University of Oxford, he said: “I am really touched and thankful to the University of Oxford, the Faculty of Law, and the Alumni Office for thinking of me. I immediately agreed to conduct this interview as I wanted it to be a window to a larger younger audience.”



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