Centre for Human Rights Law


The Centre for Human Rights Law aims to provide a space for scholarship and cooperative approaches on human rights law in practice.

Building on SOAS’s unique focus and experience, it seeks to advance research and the teaching of human rights law and related areas with particular reference to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The centre aspires to act as a forum for debate on human rights law and developments of interest in the field for staff and students within SOAS, for scholars and practitioners from other institutions and for organisations and for the general public.

Reflecting the multitude of actors and dynamic nature of the field of human rights law, the centre is committed to promoting cooperation between academics and practitioners worldwide. This includes working closely with the SOAS International Human Rights Clinic and encouraging and facilitating students’ engagement and research projects with NGOs and practitioners in the field.

The Centre for Human Rights Law provides students and researchers with the opportunity to consider today’s most pressing human rights issues from the perspective of scholars and activists in the Global South, and participate in legal processes that support social change.


Joining us at the Centre means joining a group of critically engaged scholars and students committed to decolonizing human rights as well as understanding the international human rights system and its ability empower people and communities from across the globe.

— Dr Michelle Staggs Kelsall

Meet the members

Explore members of the Centre for Human Rights Law.

Policy making

The centre has been engaging in standard setting and policy making processes concerning the protection of human rights, with a particular focus on issues and areas forming the subject of its members' expertise and research interests.

Dr Michelle Staggs Kelsall shares her expertise and insights on human rights between and within states.