SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Introduction to Legal Anthropology

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3
Taught in:
Term 2

The Introduction to Legal Anthropology introduces undergraduate students to the history of anthropological engagements with law from early studies of ‘customary law’, to the study of disputes, the work of courts (including asylum and criminal courts), the role of language and current approaches to plural-legal systems and legal process.


  • Students enrol via the on-line Module Sign-Up system.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

LO1. At the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate a good understanding of the literature on the anthropology of law from its early concerns with custom and norms through to an appreciation of the various actors and institutions involved in the administration of justice today.
LO2. Students should be able to critically evaluate and synthesize relevant primary sources and secondary material;
LO3. Students should be able to contribute effectively to debate and discussion;
LO4. Students should be able to effectively convey ideas by way of written work.

Method of assessment

The written exam will count for 40%. Assessed coursework includes a book review (25%), essay (25%) and a seminar participation (10%).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules