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School of Law

Dr Roxana Banu, LLM (Fordham Law School); SJD (University of Toronto)


Lecturer in Law

Room Number: Mile End


Roxana Banu is currently teaching the module Historical Perspectives on Law and Legal Thought at Queen Mary Law School and will be taking up the position of Lecturer in Private International Law starting September 2020. Prior to joining Queen Mary Law School, Roxana was an Assistant Professor at Western University Law School and co-directed the Center for Corporate Law and Governance at Fordham Law School.

Her research focuses on private international law, legal history and feminist jurisprudence. Her first book, Nineteenth Century Perspectives on Private International Law (OUP, 2018), recovers an alternative theoretical perspective in the field of Private International Law which occupied an intermediate position between the prevalent individualistic and state-centric perspectives and provided a different account of transnational legitimate authority, rights claims across borders, and the universalistic dimensions of the field. Further publications focus on connecting private international law with feminist jurisprudence, on reinterpreting mid-twentieth century transatlantic debates on the jusice of private international law, and on  a gendered history of private international law.  Her paper titled A Relational Feminist Approach to Conflict of Laws was awarded the American Society of International Law prize for best text in private international law in 2016.

Roxana obtained her SJD from the University of Toronto, where she was awarded the Alan Marks Medal for the best graduate thesis in 2016. She obtained her LL.M. in International Business and Trade Law from Fordham Law School, where she was awarded the Edward J. and Elizabeth V. Hawk Award . Her law degree is from the Freie Universitaet Berlin, where she was awarded the DAAD Prize for outstanding results of a foreign student in a German university.


Roxana is currently co-editing a volume on Philosophical Foundations of Private International Law with Professor Ralf Michaels (Queen Mary & The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and Private International Law) and Professor Michael Green (William & Mary Law School). Her own chapter in the volume focuses on a moral contractualist theory of justice for private international law by bringing the insights of the philosopher TM Scanlon to bear on private international law. 

Roxana is also working on a gendered history of private international law, recovering unknown female figures in the development of private international law and examining the way in which private international law techniques were historically used and revised  when the field had to grapple with gender questions.

Following archival work at the University of Minnessota, Roxana is also currently unearting the way in which feminist and social work organizations, in particular the International Social Service, attempted to reform the field of private international law by connecting it to migration and refugee law and to socio-legal analytical methods after the First World War.

Building on one of the chapters in her 2018 book, Roxana is also researching on the way in which British Private International Law scholars attempted to conceptualize private international law as a an area of human rights law by revising vested rights theories in private international law by reference to emerging norms of human rights law in the mid twentieth century.

Works in progress 

  • Forgotten Female Reformers of Private International Law: The International Social Service, 1920-1970 (forthcoming in Immi Tallgren ed., Unknown Names and Faces? Broadening the Portrait Gallery of International Law, OUP, 2020).
  • Moral Contractualism in Conflict of Laws (forthcoming in Roxana Banu, Michael Green and Ralf Michaels eds., Philosophical Foundations of Conflict of Laws, 2020)

Conference papers

  • Gender and Methodological Reshuffling in Private International Law (presented in the plenary session of the 2019 Annual Conference of the Journal of Private International Law).


  • Nineteenth Century Perspectives on Private International Law (OUP, 2018).
    • Reviewed in (2018)  Rev. crit. DIP 1046 (by Horatia Muir Watt)
  • The Pragmatic Idealism of Josephus Jitta (1854-1925) (2020) REV. CRIT. DIP 529 (available in English and French).
  • Conflicting Justice in Conflict of Laws, 50 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 245 (2020).
  • From the Law of Nations to the Private Law of Mankind (2018) 51 Cornell Int’l L. J. Online 101 (Invited contribution to the symposium on Hanoch Dagan & Avihay Dorfman, “Interpersonal Human Rights”).
  • A Relational Feminist Approach to Conflict of Laws, 24 Mich. J. Gender & L. 1 (2017).
  • Awarded the American Society of International Law Award for Best Text in Private International Law in 2016.
  • Assuming Regulatory Authority for Transnational Torts: An Interstate Affair? A Historical Perspective on the Canadian Private International Law Tort Rules, 31 Windsor YB Access Just 197 (2013).


I welcome doctoral applications from students interested in writing and researching in private international law, including at the intersection of private and public international law, on legal history and private international law or on philosophy and private international law.

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