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Law, Multiculturalism and Intercultural Human Rights

Duration: Three weeks


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Sham Qayyum


Start of programme: Monday 30 June 2014

Mode of Attendance: Full Time

This course focuses on an interdisciplinary socio-legal study of the interactions of English law and various ethnic minorities who tend to import their own cultures on their own terms. Initial conceptual and theoretical sessions on migration history, assimilation/integration, legal pluralism, ethnicity and race relations theory provide detailed foundations for deeper analysis of all topics studied in the course.

In the family law part of the course we briefly analyse, through case studies, how core elements of domestic family law struggle with the diverse presence of ethnic minority communities following various unofficial concepts of managing family relations. Intercultural conflicts concerning marriage, divorce, nullity and financial arrangements are covered. In the public law part of the course we examine a range of public law issues, focusing on race relations/equality law and employment, but also race and crime, racial harassment, education law, blasphemy, and some aspects of immigration law.


Monday 30 June - Friday 18 July 2014

Social Programme

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and a river cruise on the Thames. A guided tour of historical Bloomsbury where SOAS is situated will help you find your way around the campus area. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends once you have registered for one of our courses.

Further details: International Friends. Summer School students are also welcome to attend the wealth of activities hosted by the SOAS Students Union in the summer months.



An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 15 April 2014.
10% discount for SOAS Alumni.
20% discount for current SOAS students.
Other discounts are available for partner institutions and groups, please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk for further information.


A tuition fee of £1250 will be charged per 3-week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.


A limited number of rooms will be available at International Hall which is located in the heart of Bloomsbury. You will be able to request a place once your application has been approved. The cost for 20 nights from 30 June - 19 July (inclusive) is £800, which includes breakfast every day. Please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk to reserve place.

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £55 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment, once you have submitted your summer school application.


Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and generally our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. However the summer courses remain non-accredited by SOAS. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol.

We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available on request.


For more information, please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk


The interdisciplinary course constitutes a socio-legal study of how, and with what outcomes, ethnic minority presence and the formal national law interact, and considers the possibilities of managing inter-ethnic and inter-legal clashes. The course comprises of 7 topics, organised in three parts, taught over ten seminars. Part 1 introduces the core themes in ethnic minority legal studies, parts 2 and 3 connect general themes and particular cases and situations, involving either civil, criminal and/or public law.  


Part 1

  • An introduction to core themes in ethnic minority legal studies
  • unpacking the cultural luggage;
  • assimilation, integration, or multiculturalism?
  • unpacking legal pluralism

Part 2

  • The need to marry and divorce twice: The emergence of Islamic Sharia Councils
  • Forced marriages and nullity petitions in English Law
  • Polygamous marriages: Irreducible points of conflict

Part 3

  • Managing race relations and equality
  • Blasphemy: Finding the balance between freedom of expression and protecting religious beliefs
  • Managing multicultural education

The seminars and reading are supplemented with other activities, including a trip to the Royal Courts of Justice, a film screening and sessions by leading social justice activists.

Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

At the end of a course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  • An understanding of the core themes in contemporary ethnic minority legal studies.
  • An understanding of the connection between general analytical themes and particular cases and situations.
  • An understanding of what possibilities there are for managing inter-ethnic and inter-legal clashes.

How to Apply

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS (www.ielts.org), 7 overall or higher, with at least 6.5 in all subscores.
    • iBT 105+ with 22 in all subscores or 100 overall with no less than 25 in writing and no less than 22 in any other subscores.
    • Or equivalent.

Summer School Application Form (pdf; 779kb)

Application deadline for the summer school courses is 31 May 2014.