DLDG - Week 8: Strategies for decolonising legal education

Event date
12 June 2024
Event time
12:00 - 13:30
Oxford week
TT 8
Faculty of Law - Seminar Room D

Dr Rishika Sahgal (Assistant Professor in Law, Birmingham Law School)


Through this interactive session, we will reflect on how to decolonise legal education. The law and the academy have been active participants in the enterprise of Empire. How we teach law shapes how we think about law and how it comes to be shaped and how it shapes the world. A decolonial legal education provides us the tools to recognise these entanglements and imagine worlds otherwise. If decolonisation is a critical praxis, a decolonial education is an important part of that praxis. Yet how do we decolonise? During this discussion, I will share strategies that I have employed in my teaching practice and invite a reflection on the different ways in which we can decolonise the law school together.


Dr Rishika Sahgal is an Assistant Professor in Law at Birmingham Law School where she teaches a course on ‘decolonising legal concepts’. She completed her DPhil in Law at the University of Oxford in 2022 as a Rhodes Scholar, exploring issues of displacement and resistance in India and South Africa. Her research and teaching interests span human rights, equality law, and criminal justice issues, from comparative Global South and anticolonial perspectives.

Suggested Readings

  • Folúkẹ́ Adébísí, ‘Decolonisation & the Law School: Initial thoughts’ (African Skies, 22 July 2019) <https://folukeafrica.com/decolonisation-the-law-school-initial-thoughts/>
  • Folúkẹ́ Adébísí, Decolonisation and Legal Knowledge: Reflections on Power and Possibility (Bristol University Press 2023)
  • Dave SP Thomas and Suhraiya Jivraj (eds), Towards Decolonising the University: A Kaleidoscope For Empowered Action (Counterpress 2020) <https://counterpress.org.uk/publications/towards-decolonising-the-university/>
  • Mohsen al Attar and Shaimaa Abdelkarim, ‘Decolonising the curriculum in international law: entrapments in praxis and critical thought’ (2023) 34 Law and Critique 41 <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10978-021-09313-y>
  • Rishika Sahgal, ‘Decolonizing Criminal Law in India’ in Juan Tauri et al (eds), Routledge Handbook on Decolonizing Justice (Routledge 2023) <https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/oa-edit/10.4324/9781003176619-40/decolonizing-criminal-law-india-rishika-sahgal>

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