Decolonisation and the Law School: The Law School, University of Bristol

Fri, 13 September 2019 09:00 – 17:30

‘The law is also memory; the law also records a long-running conversation, a nation arguing with its conscience.’ Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Sponsored by the Society of Legal Scholars and the Law School, University of Bristol

Though ‘decolonisation’ as some sort of conceptual term, seems to be experiencing a surge in interest, this surge has been accompanied by confusions, distortions and extreme inexactitude about the meaning of decolonisation and what exactly its ends are. The conversations about decolonisation have questioned how race, gender, and class, inter alia,affect the content of our curricular, the structure and processes of HE, as well as the experiences of those who work and teach in these institutions. Decolonisation thus forces us to confront the history and effects of imperialism upon our academic practices in law.

As legal academics, it is imperative that we explore what ‘decolonisation’ means for us and what the possibility of decolonised law means for the relationship between law and society. How do we become more aware of, and directly mention, how our laws came to be, in tandem with a history of legalised dispossession and othering from humanity? How do we acknowledge how that history has influenced how law is taught, what law is taught, and what law is now, and who the law works for? How do we teach law as the study of social order, and elucidate how racial stratifications in the social are formed and maintained?

As an output from the conference we aim to curate, for a special issue of The Law Teacher, a collection of essays focused on issues centred on decolonising and the law school.

Keynote Speaker: Dr Joel Modiri, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and Africa Oxford (AfOx) Visiting Fellow.

9:00 Registration, Networking

9:30 Keynote Address: Cacophony, Autocritique and Abolition: Impression Points on Decolonisation and the Law Joel Modiri

10:00 – 11:30: Panel 1

‘Law’ ‘Order’ ‘Justice’ ‘Crime’: Disrupting key concepts through the study of colonial history J M Moore

The Ignored Heritage of Western Law: The Historical and Contemporary Role of Islam in Shaping Legal Discourse Imranali Panjwani

Dismantling the Master’s House: How Black Feminist epistemologies can be and are used in decolonial strategy Oluwaseun Matiluko

11:40 – 13:10: Panel 2

Decolonizing the International Law Curriculum Ralph Wilde

Creating the Law School as a Meeting Place For Epistemologies: Decolonising the teaching of jurisprudence and human rights Sophie Rigney

The Rights of Children: The League of Nations, The United Nations and the process of Decolonizing International Child Law Elizabeth Faulkner and Conrad Nyamutata

13:10 – 14:10 – Lunch

14:10 – 15:40

‘Decolonising the University’ – Triumphs and Pitfalls of a UK Law School student-staff collaboration Suhraiya Jivraj and Ahmed Memon

Between PREVENT and Praxis: Researching counter-terrorism in a law school post-9/11 Anamika Misra

“Why is it My Problem if They Don’t Take Part?” The (non)role of white academics in decolonising the law school Nick Cartwright and ‘Teleola Ola-James

15:50 – 17:20

Re-whiting Subordination: The stories law students tell themselves to excuse oppressive practice.

Nick Cartwright

Learning Beyond the Classroom: Decolonisation and the legal student Njahira Gitahi

The Harmful Decolonial Researcher? Travels in Sri Lanka and Uganda Jassi Sandhar

17:20 – Closing Remarks

If you have any questions please contact Dr Foluke Adebisi

Please note the following very carefully:

We are an inclusive conference and all are welcome.

We are a green conference and we pay particular attention to the global environmental impact resulting from food waste. In a bid to avoid the food waste associated with conferences due to no shows, we regret that we can only guarantee lunch for the 1st 200 delegates registered.

Photographs and/or video will be taken at the event. By taking part in this event you grant the event organisers full rights to use the images resulting from the photography/video filming, and any reproductions or adaptations of the images for fundraising, publicity or other purposes to help achieve the group’s aims. This might include (but is not limited to), the right to use them in their printed and online publicity, social media, press releases and funding applications. If you do not wish to be photographed, please inform an event organiser.

The venue’s access statement can be found here. Please contact the organisers if you have any accessibility requirements.


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