Overview

SOAS LAW IS number one in the UK for research publications. We have unrivalled expertise and produce world-leading research in comparative law (China, Africa, South/South-East Asia, the Middle East), complemented by specialists in international and transnational law, human rights, transnational commercial law, environmental law and socio-legal method.

Meet the academics.

Our Head of School says...

There is no place else like the SOAS School of Law - here as an LLB, BA, LLM/MA, or PhD student you will find a singular environment in which to pursue an education in law, a singular collection of teachers and researchers and a singular approach to and understanding of the field of law itself—one that is anchored in and focussed on the Global South, on post-colonial legal geographies, and on diversity and inequality. For us, that means the whole world, not just the so-called Third World: the globalised economic order, the multipolar inter-sovereign order and beyond them the teeming hyperspace of normative orders, from constitutional to customary. Diversity is not a box we tick, it’s our core identity: we embrace it in our students, we embody it in our staff, we study it in our research, and we reflect it in our teaching.

Facts and figures

1st in UK

REF 2021 (Research Outputs)

6th in UK

REF 2021

Why choose SOAS for Law?

Our research

The School of Law is the only one of its kind in the UK that is dedicated to legal systems and legal challenges of the developing world, with complementary strengths in human rights, international law and institutions, environmental law and international trade and commerce.

The School has long enjoyed renown as 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, comparative law, commercial law (including copyright and patent law), human rights, environmental law, Islamic law, dispute resolution and international law, to name but a few.

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. They co-edit the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family and sit on the International Advisory Boards of a number of other scholarly journals.

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.

Among the principal themes of our research and teaching programme are:

  • Development and Pluralism
  • Globalisation, Governance and Transition
  • Human Rights and Environment
  • Law and Colonialism