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Centre for Law and Conflict

Centre for Law and Conflict

The Centre for Law and Conflict was launched in 2002. It aims to promote legal and inter-disciplinary research and discussion on a broad range of theoretical and empirical issues associated with conflict, transition and post-conflict settings and with dispute resolution. The Centre reflects and supports some key areas of the work of the SOAS School of Law, such as human rights, transitional justice, the law of armed conflict/humanitarian law, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, law and development, feminist critiques of international law, alternative dispute resolution and arbitration. In keeping with the SOAS mandate, the Centre highlights issues of particular importance to Africa, Asia and the Middle East, in which members of the Centre have scholarly and practical expertise.

The Centre regularly hosts seminars and conferences involving Centre members and invited speakers. Past events have included the challenges of reconstructing the legal system in Afghanistan; justice for Cambodia and the work of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; the use of amnesty in conflict resolution; issues of economic and social rights, land restitution and reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa; human rights and accountability in Sudan; the responsibility of multinational corporations for aiding and abetting repressive regimes; and developments in rule of law assistance. Details of the Centre’s forthcoming lecture series will be posted in the Events section.

The wide-ranging research interests of members of the Centre are listed in the Members section. The Centre is currently chaired by Catherine Jenkins, whose research focuses primarily on the ways in which societies emerging from conflict and repression attempt to address and recover from difficult legacies of past human rights abuses and on the role of legal and quasi-legal institutions, national and international, in this endeavour. Whilst her particular geographical focus is post-apartheid South Africa, she – like all SOAS colleagues - brings comparative perspectives to her work.

The Centre for Law and Conflict, in association with the Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL), secured major funding for the Sir Joseph Hotung Project on Law, Human Rights and Peacebuilding in the Middle East, based in the SOAS School of Law. This important ongoing project works to highlight and promote the use of international law and human rights in Israeli-Palestinian relations. It produces policy-oriented scholarship towards a just and lasting peace in the region. The project organises the School of Law’s annual Hotung international human rights lecture. Past speakers have included Edward Said, Justice Albie Sachs and Chris Patten.

Members of the Centre are currently engaged in collaborative projects with colleagues around the world. Proposals for future cooperation are welcome and may be directed to the chair of the centre, Catherine Jenkins (cj3@soas.ac.uk).

The Centre is ably assisted by PhD student volunteers. Applications for PhDs relating to the work of the Centre are warmly invited and should be directed to Catherine Jenkins.

Details of relevant Masters programmes may be found on the website of the SOAS School of Law. Applications should be directed to the LLM and MA admissions tutors listed.