School of Law

Professor Fareda Banda

Key information

School of Law Professor of Law School of Law REF Readers Group Centre of African Studies Management Committee Member Centre for Human Rights Law Member
School of Law
BL, LLB (Zimbabwe), DPhil (Oxon)
Senate House
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0)207 898 4664
Support hours
Tuesdays 13:30-14:30 (in person)
Fridays 11:00-12:00 (by appointment - may be online)


Fareda Banda holds two law degrees from the University of Zimbabwe where she won the University book prize for graduating in the top three. She was awarded a Beit Fellowship to Oxford University and a Livingstone Scholarship to Cambridge. She took the Beit and went to Oxford where she was elected President of the graduates of her College and completed her doctorate on access to justice for women within three years.  Thereafter, she worked for the Law Commission of England and Wales before being awarded a Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship which enabled her to return to Oxford as a post-doctoral research fellow.

Fareda joined SOAS in 1996. She has convened and taught English Family law, Human rights of women and Law and Society since then. She has also contributed to various courses including Alternative Dispute Resolution, Law and Development, Law and Development in Africa and Legal Systems of Asia and Africa.  She has supervised PhD theses on topics including children’s rights, sexual violence against women, post-conflict reconstruction and gender. She writes on women’s rights, family law, and, more recently, religion. Fareda has been an active member of the School’s Equality Committee, first in her capacity as the union equality officer and more recently as the representative of the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. In 2004 she was a member of the AUT (now UCU) National Equality Committee.   She has also sat on Academic Board, the School Scholarship Committee and the Faculty Promotions Committee. In addition to being the Deputy Exam officer for undergraduates, she has assisted with both undergraduate and post graduate admissions at the departmental level.

She has been invited to teach in a number of jurisdictions including: Onati, Oslo, Harare, Kampala, Strasbourg, Bayreuth, Pretoria, Oxford, Cambridge , LSE and Zaragoza. She was awarded a visiting scholarship by St Johns College Oxford and has held visiting appointments in Onati.  Fareda was appointed a Hauser Global Visiting Professor by NYU in 2009 and 2014.

Fareda sits on nine academic journal boards. She has been commissioned to produce reports on various topics for agencies including the United Nations, GTZ, the Ministry of Justice (formerly Lord Chancellor’s Department) and Minority Rights Group. Fareda has aadvised the government of Namibia on law reform and drafted a Law Reform Plan. She has been an election observer for the Carter Centre. She believes strongly in the importance of working with civil society organizations and has been a trustee of Womankind Worldwide and FORWARD. She is currently on Human Rights Watch policy committee as well as the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch Africa. She is also on the advisory council of Women’s Link Worldwide. Fareda has participated in many expert group meetings on topics including children’s rights, women’s rights, development, water and family law. She has peer reviewed and contributed to the output of several organisations including Centre for Reproductive Rights, Equality Now, the World Bank, The African Commission, FORWARD, NORAD, Danish Institute for Human Rights, WLSA and Women's Link Worldwide. Fareda has also assisted Amnesty International, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Interights, Forum for Marriage, local authorities. She has  provided expert opinions for use in courts.

Her greatest joy comes courtesy of her family including two daughters, Azera and Shamiso (and Craig!). They remind me daily of all that is important and joyful in life, and it must be said, do a great job of putting a brake on the research and travel.  As Anne Enright has said: “There is no book more interesting than a child.” (Well, maybe Matilda, Mallory Towers and Maya Angelou).

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Mrs Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode The Suicide Bombing Girls of Boko Haram; Between State and Structural Violence
Ms Noemí Pérez Vásquez Breaking the silence: women’s access to transitional justice


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