SOAS University of London

School of Law

Dr Samia Bano

Samia Bano BA (Oxford Brookes) MA (Greenwich) PhD (Warwick)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Samia Bano
School of Law

Student Welfare Tutor

Centre for Gender Studies


Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL)


Dr Samia Bano
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4668
Senate House
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Thursday 11:00 - 13:00
On Sabbatical:
T2 (2019/20)


Samia teaches Family Law, Research Methods in Law and Law, Multiculturalism and Rights on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study at SOAS, School of Law. Before joining SOAS Samia taught at the University of Reading, School of Law where she was appointed Deputy Director of Research. Samia has led the SOAS School of Law Admissions team and worked with Central Admissions on recruitment, access, inclusivity and widening participation. As the current Learning and Teaching co-ordinator, Chair of the Department and Learning Committee and member of the Curriculum Quality Assurance Committee, Samia contributes to wider school discussions on learning and teaching.  Samia’s research administration include committee memberships of the Department Research committee (DRC) and the School Research Ethics committee.

Samia’s research interests include the practice of Muslim family law in the UK and Europe, multiculturalism, citizenship, Islamic jurisprudence and human rights and issues concerning the rights of Muslim women and gender equality. Her research examines the nature of Muslim family law and women’s rights within pluralised legal systems, and the tensions that exist within this relationship, in terms of rights, identity, and legal citizenship. Samia’s work points to the complex realities of Muslim identity and engagement with Sharia law and establishes the necessity of ensuring that assertions about the practice and acceptance of Sharia law are rooted in the lived realities of those who participate in it.

Samia has published widely in this field and her work is a national point of reference with extensive media reporting. She is a recognised expert within her field of expertise and is regularly invited to speak at numerous events, conferences and has taught in other institutions.  She is author of Muslim women and Shariah Councils: Transcending the boundaries of Community and Law (Palgrave MacMillan 2013),  'Personal Narratives, Social Justice and the Law'. Feminist Legal Studies, Special Issue. (ed) (21), An exploratory study of Shariah Councils in England with respect to family law (a report commissioned by the Ministry of Justice 2013) and Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes: Women, Mediation and Religious Arbitration (ed.) (Brandeis Press 2017).  Samia has also worked as a researcher on a number of social and policy projects and acts as an advisor for a number of working groups. She is an editorial board member for the feminist journal Feminist Legal Studies and the journal Mediation, Theory and Practice. She is currently completing her new book monograph on Cultural Expertise and English Family Law and her new research project is investigating the rise of Muslim legal services and the practice of Muslim family practices in the UK.

Samia is happy to supervise doctoral candidates wishing to work on family law, muslim family law, comparative law, law and society and feminist and critical legal theories. 


Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Amber Lakhani, Law, politics and legal theory - A historical and socio-political exploration of the right to liberty in Pakistan
  • Inessa Hadjivayanis, Islamic Marriages solemnised in the UK among Swahili speakers: A case study of Zanzibari women
  • Anisha Thomas, Understanding socio-cultural contexts surrounding rape trials in India. (Lead Supervisor)
Research Courses Taught
  • Research Methods in Law


Muslim Family Law in UK and Europe, Family Law, Multiculturalism, Citizenship, Islamic jurisprudence and human rights, Feminist and Critical Social and Political theories; Issues concerning the rights of Muslim women and gender equality.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
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  • Briefings
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
  • Expert Immigration or Asylum Reports
Regional Expertise
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Bano, Samia (2012) Muslim Women and Shari'ah Councils, Transcending the Boundaries of Community and Law. London: Palgrave MacMillan.


Bano, Samia (2017) 'Legal Diversity, Knowledge and Power'. feminists@law, (7) 2, pp 1-17.

Bano, Samia and Pierce, Jennifer L. (2013) 'Personal Narrative, Social Justice and the Law: An Introduction'. Feminist Legal Studies, (21) 3, pp 225-239.

Bano, Samia (2010) 'Multicultural Interlegality? Negotiating Family law in the context of Muslim legal pluralism in Britain'. Current Legal Problems, (12) 3, pp 125-142.

Bano, Samia (2008) 'In pursuit of Religious and Legal Diversity: A Response to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Sharia Debate in Britain'. Ecclesiastical Law Journal, (10) 3, pp 268-309.

Bano, Samia (2007) 'Islamic Family Arbitration, Justice and Human Rights in Britain'. Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development, (10) 1, pp 2-26.

Bano, Samia (2007) 'Muslim Family Justice and Human Rights: The Experience of British Muslim Women'. Journal of Comparative Law, (1) 4, pp 1-29.

Bano, Samia (2000) 'Legal Pluralism and Muslim Family Law in Britain'. Journal of South Pacific law, (4) 6, pp 1-32.

Edited Books or Journals

Bano, Samia, (ed.), (2017) Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes: Women, Mediation, and Religious Arbitration. Hanover; London: Brandeis University Press.

Bano, Samia and Pierce, Jennifer L., (eds.), (2013) Personal Narratives, Social Justice and the Law. Dordrecht: Springer. (Feminist Legal Studies).

Book Chapters

Bano, Samia (2017) 'Agency, Autonomy and Rights: Muslim women and ADR in Britain'. In: Bano, Samia, (ed.), Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes: Women, Mediation, and Religious Arbitration. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, pp 46-76.

Bano, Samia (2017) 'Introduction: “Women, Mediation and Religious Arbitration: Thinking Through Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes”'. In: Bano, Samia, (ed.), Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes: Women, Mediation, and Religious Arbitration. Hanover; London: Brandeis University Press, pp 1-24.

Bano, Samia (2013) 'In the Name of God? Religion and Feminist Legal Theory'. In: Davies, Margaret and Munro, Vanessa E., (eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Feminist Legal Theory. England: Ashgate Publishing, pp 157-177.

Bano, Samia (2013) 'Muslim Dispute Resolution in Britain: towards a new framework of family law governance?'. In: Maclean, Mavis and Eekelaar, John, (eds.), Managing Justice in Diverse Societies. Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp 61-88.

Bano, Samia (2012) 'Muslim Women, Divorce and Shariah Councils in Britain'. In: Mehdi, Rubya and Neilsen, J. S. and Menski, Werner F, (eds.), Interpreting Divorce Laws in Islam. Denmark: Djoef Publishing.

Bano, Samia (2011) 'Asking the Law Questions: Islamophobia, Agency and Muslim Women'. In: Vakil, AbdoolKarim and Sayyid, S., (eds.), Thinking Through Islamophobia. London: Hurst Series.

(2011) 'The Practice of Law-Making and Forced Marriage: What is the role of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal?'. In: Gill, Aisha and Anitha, S., (eds.), Forced Marriage: Introducing a social justice and human rights perspective. London: Zed Books.

Bano, Samia (2011) 'Muslim Marriage and Mahr: The experience of British Muslim Women'. In: Mehdi, Rubya and Neilsen, J. S., (eds.), Embedding Mahr in the European Legal System. Copenhagen: DJOF Publishing.

Bano, Samia (2010) 'Tackling 'crimes of honour': Evaluating the social and legal responses to combating Forced Marriages in Britain'. In: Idriss, M. and Abbas, Tahir, (eds.), Honour, Violence and Islam. London: Routledge.

Bano, Samia (2010) 'Beyond the Sacred and Secular: Muslim Women, the Law and the delivery of Justice'. In: Banakar, R., (ed.), Rights in Context: Law and Justice in Late Modern Society. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.

Bano, Samia and Patel, Pragna (2010) 'Zoora Shah Judgement'. In: Rackley, E. and McGlynn, Clare, (eds.), Feminist Judgements: from Theory to Practice. Oxford: Hart Publishing.

Bano, Samia (2009) 'Shariah Councils and Resolving Matrimonial Disputes: Gender and Justice in the 'Shadow' of Law'?'. In: Gill, Aisha and Thiara, R., (eds.), Violence Against Women in South Asian Communities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp 182-210.

Bano, Samia (2005) 'Standpoint, Difference and Feminist Research'. In: Banakar, R. and Travers, M., (eds.), Theory and Method in Socio-Legal Research. Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp 91-112.

Bano, Samia (1999) 'Citizenship, Multiculturalism and Customary Law in Britain'. In: Yuval-Davis, Nira and Werbner, Pnina, (eds.), Women, Citizenship and Difference. London: Zed Books.

Monographs and Working Papers

Bano, Samia (2012) An exploratory study of Shariah councils in England with respect to Family Law. Ministry of Justice / University of Reading.


This list was last generated on Sunday, 25th September 2022, 00:07 Europe/London.