Samia Bano

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 recognized 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.

Recently, new methods of dispute resolution in matters of family law—such as arbitration, mediation, and conciliation—have created new forms of legal...