The School of Law is a world-class centre for study and research in comparative (South, Central and East Asia, Africa, Islam and the Middle East), transnational, and international law.

Today its staff continue that tradition in a new, globalised environment, contributing to the development of the vital disciplines of 21st-century law, such as international economic law, law and governance, law and conflict, and international commercial law.

We explore a wide range of legal issues bearing on developing states and their place in the world. Specialist fields include trade law, law and development, legal history, legal anthropology, comparative law, commercial law (including copyright and patent law), human rights, feminist and queer legal studies, environmental law, Islamic law, dispute resolution and international law, among others.

The School has unrivalled expertise in the field of comparative law (China, Africa, South/ South-East Asia, the Middle East), complemented by a range of experts dealing with issues of international and transnational law. All teachers on courses offered at SOAS are experts in their designated field. Many have years of experience advising governments, international organisations or non-governmental organisations. Many also have professional experience as qualified practitioners.


Principal themes


The School of Law sponsors a number of publications, such as the Journal of African Law and the Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, and has established a number of thematic or regional research centres that reflect the specialist research themes within the School.

In addition, School of Law colleagues co-founded and co-edit  the Muslim World Journal of Human Rights, the London Review of International Law, and the Oxford Islamic Legal Studies Series; and co-edit the Journal of Comparative Law and the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, and sit on the International Advisory Boards of a number of other scholarly journals.