Explore the library
1. The Law School
The School of Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies conducts a vigorous programme of teaching and research in comparative and international law.
Lecturers in the School of Law are acknowledged experts in their fields and remain at the forefront of fostering both professional and interdisciplinary study. They maintain close links with professional practice and frequently have first-hand knowledge of the latest developments in business, government and international organisations.
The School offers undergraduate, MA, LLM, MPhil and PhD programmes. It has 28.4 FTE academic staff, 469 FTE students, including 248.5 undergraduates, 181 taught postgraduates and 39.5 research students.
For more information see:
2.Centres and Projects
2.1 Centre of East Asian Law (CEAL)
- The East Asian Law Centre promotes the study and understanding of laws and legal traditions in East Asia, by fostering research, offering guest lectures and promoting academic and professional exchanges.
- For more information see Centre of East Asian Law
2.2 Centre for Ethnic Minority Studies (CEMS)
- The Centre for Ethnic Minority Studies focuses on the current issues in the study of ethnic minorities in Britain and elsewhere in the world. It has published a major series of books which has tackled a variety of issues such as the primary purpose rule in British immigration, immigration and adoption, refugees and carriers rights, and the effects of the return of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.
- For more information see Centre for Ethnic Minority Studies
2.3 Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL)
- CIMEL promotes the study and understanding of Islamic law and modern Middle East legal systems by encouraging research, guest lecturers, publications and academic exchanges. There is a strong relationship with lawyers, diplomats and international organisations interested in Islam and the Middle East.
- For more information see Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL)
2.4 Centre for Law and Conflict (CLC)
- The Centre for Law and Conflict aims to promote legal and inter-disciplinary research and discussion on a broad range of theoretical and empirical issues associated with conflict, transition and post-conflict settings and with dispute resolution.
- For more information see Centre for Law and Conflict
2.5 Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law (CCEIL)
- The Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law (CCEIL) aims to provide a forum for inter-disciplinary research on public international law and its historical and contemporary relationship to Colonialism and Empire.
- For more information see Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law
2.6 Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC)
- The Law, Environment and Development Centre of the School of Law seeks to provide a focal point to expand the increasing interest in the dynamic relationships between the fields of law, environment and development.
- For more information see Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC)
2.7 Sir Joseph Hotung Project on Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East
- The Sir Joseph Hotung programme for Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East works to highlight and promote the use of international law and human rights in respect to the engagement of all parties, including third States, to Israeli-Palestinian relations
- For more information see Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East
- The Library has actively built up collections on law relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East within its regional collections
- The Library has supported course reading lists and selectively purchased material on law for teaching purposes
The Library collects material in:
- Some European languages, especially English, for general, cross-regional or global aspects and for the discipline
- Also the languages of Asia, Africa and the Middle East for regional publications
- For more details see the General Collection Development Policy
The collection is classified using Dewey Decimal Classification option B (where the regions are classified first, followed by the subjects).
All books are prefixed using the following:
- All main books are prefixed “A”
- Large books are prefixed "LA"
- Reference books are prefixed "Ref Law A"
- Large reference books are prefixed "L Ref Law A"
Within the School, the Library supports the teaching and research needs of:
The collection aims to collect primary and secondary source materials to a teaching level for all courses taught within the Law School and Regional & Departmental Centres.
The Postgraduate law students have access to, and borrowing rights, at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library. All law students have access to, and borrowing rights, at Senate House Library.
The collection aims to collect material to a research level for all the subject areas detailed in section 8 below :
8. Detailed Structure
The main subject areas of collecting for the Law School in Africa, China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East are detailed below (based on the Conspectus Level). For details on the Conspectus Level see Collection Development Policy .
- Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
- Civil Procedure [covering Chinese law only]
- Civil and Human Rights law
- Commercial and Company law
- Conflict of Laws
- Constitutional and Administrative Law
- Contract Law
- Criminal law and Procedure
- Discrimination and Equality
- Employment and Labour law
- European Union Law
- Family law
- Financial law
- Immigration and Nationality
- Information Technology Law
- Inheritance, Succession, Trusts
- Intellectual Property Law
- International Economic Law
- International Government Organizations
- International law (generally)
- Law and Development
- Law Reform
- Legal History (generally)
- Legal Systems
- Nationality and Citizenship
- Philosophy and Theory of Law (generally)
The Library has national responsibility to collect legal materials (law reports, legislation, official gazettes) for specific regions/countries. They include:
- Africa (except Common Law & Roman Dutch jurisdictions)
- Botswana (customary law)
- Central Asia (vernacular language materials)
- Gulf States
- Israel (Hebrew materials)
- Malaysia (vernacular language materials)
- Middle East (except Common & Civil jurisdictions)
- Middle East (except Common & Civil jurisdictions)
- Mongolia (vernacular language materials)
- Pacific Ocean Islands
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka (except Roman Dutch law)
- Swaziland (customary law)
- Tibet (vernacular language materials)
9. Major Databases
- Westlaw UK
- Westlaw International
- Justis: International Law Reports
- Oxford Reports on International Law
- Max Planc Encyclopaedia of International Law
10. Online Subject Guide
For more information and online resources see the Subject Guide for Law
For regional specific databases see Subject Statements
For other databases SOAS subscribes to see A-Z databases list
11. Trends for the Future
Move towards more online full-text resources where possible and appropriate:
- As the national collection for Asian, African and Middle Eastern studies the Library seeks to retain one print copy of selected scholarly titles and also provide electronic access to these materials (e-journals, databases, e-books etc.), where available
- For subjects of a theoretical, general or non-regional nature the electronic version (e-journals, databases, e-books etc.) is favoured