Skip to main content
School of Law

Dr Prakash A Shah, LLB (LSE) LLM (LSE) PhD (SOAS)

Prakash A

Reader in Culture and Law

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 3971
Room Number: Mile End


Dr Prakash Shah specialises in cultural diversity and law, religion and law, caste and law, immigration, refugee and nationality law, and comparative law. He has published widely and lectured internationally in these fields (download Dr Shah's CV). Dr Shah joined Queen Mary, University of London in 2002, where he is now a Reader in Culture and Law.

Among Dr Shah’s academic activities are:

  • Member of the Arts and Humanities Board (AHRB) Peer Review College.
  • Referee for various British and European grant making bodies including the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Board (AHRB), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and the Austrian Science Fund, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and the European Research Council (ERC), Research Foundation - Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO), Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF); European Commission Horizon 2020 programme.
  • Refereeing for leading academic journals and for leading publishers including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, (formerly) Ashgate, Routledge, and Sweet and Maxwell.
  • Editorial Board or Advisory Board member of the Asian Journal of Law and Society, International Journal of Discrimination and Law, Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL), Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Journal of Legal Pluralism, Journal of Law and Religion, Kurdish Studies; Brill book series on Minority Protection and Brill Annotated Legal Documents on Islam in Europe; Book reviews editor of Bloomsbury’s Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law (January 2011-) Managing editor of Bloomsbury’s Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law (January 2003-December 2010).
  • Editor of book series on ‘Cultural Diversity and Law’ with Routledge Publishing (formerly Ashgate).

Moderator of the e-mail groups:

  • ‘Pluri-legal’ concerned with accommodation by European legal systems of ethnic, religious and diasporic minorities.
  • ‘Migrationlaw’ part of the Migration and Law Network which supports teaching and academic work on migration law.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • LAW6461 Law in Asia
  • LAW4658 Cultural Diversity and Law
  • LAW6460 Law and Religion.

Postgraduate Teaching



Download Dr Shah's CV [PDF 846KB] for a full list of his publications.

Dr. Shah’s publications include:

Authored Books

  • Against caste in British law: A critical perspective on the caste discrimination provision in the Equality Act 2010. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015.
  • Legal pluralism in conflict: Coping with cultural diversity in law. London: Glass House, 2005.
  • Refugees, race and the legal concept of asylum in Britain. London: Cavendish, 2000.

Edited Books

  • Western foundations of the caste system. Basingstoke: Palgrave/Springer, 2017 (co-editor with Martin Farek, Dunkin Jalki and Sufiya Pathan).
  • Family, religion and law: Cultural encounters in Europe. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014 [Cultural Diversity and Law series in Association with RELIGARE] (with Marie-Claire Foblets and Mathias Rohe).
  • The challenge of asylum to legal systems. London: Cavendish, 2005.United Kingdom asylum law in its European context. London: Platinium Publishing and Group for Ethnic Minority Studies, SOAS (1999) (with Curtis Francis Doebbler).
  • Legal practice and cultural diversity. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009 (joint editor).
  • Law and ethnic plurality: Socio-legal perspectives. Leiden and Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2007.

Recent Journal Articles

  • “Orientalism, Multiculturalism, and Identity Politics: Hindus and the British caste law”. In: (2017) Quaderni di Diritto e Politica Ecclesiastica (special issue: Daimon. Diritto comparato delle religioni), pp. 343-357
  • ‘“An ancient system of caste”: How the British law against caste depends on Orientalism’. In: (2015) Vol. 17 Theatrum Historiae, pp. 119-141.
  • ‘Sacerdotal violence and the caste system: The long shadow of Christian-orientalism’. In: No. 41, Summer 2015, The Journal of Contemporary Thought (Special Issue on Critical Humanities), pp. 137-164,
  • ‘The difference that religion makes: Transplanting legal ideas from the West to Japan and India’. In: (2015) Vol. 10, Issue 1, Asian Journal of Comparative Law, pp. 81-97.
  • ‘Asking about reasonable accommodation in England’. In: (June-September 2013) 13, Nos. 2-3 International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, pp. 83-112.
  • ‘In pursuit of the pagans: Muslim law in the English context’. In: (2013) Vol. 45, No. 1 Journal of Legal Pluralism, pp. 58-75. Reproduced in Livia Holden (ed.) (2015): Legal Pluralism and Governance in South Asia and Diasporas. London: Routledge, pp. 58-75. 

Recent Book Chapters

  • ‘Sacerdotal violence and the caste system: The long shadow of Christian-orientalism’. In: D. Venkat Rao (ed.): Critical Humanities from India. Abingdon, Oxon.: Routledge, 2018, pp. 117-148.  
  • 'Dissimulating on Caste in British Law'. In: Martin Farek, Dunkin Jalki and Sufiya Pathan and Prakash Shah (eds.) Western foundations of the caste system. Basingstoke: Palgrave/Springer, 2017, pp. 85-126.
  • ‘South Asian Legal Systems and Families in Foreign Courts: The British Case’. In: Garimella, Sai Ramani and Stellina Jolly (eds.): Private International Law and South Asian States’ Practice. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2017, pp. 3-18.
  • ‘Private international law, Muslim transnational legal pluralism, and the undermining of official law in the British Isle'. In: Roberto Toniatti and Davide Strazzari (eds.): Legal pluralism in Europe and the ordre public exception: Normative and judicial perspectives. Trento: Universita degli Studi di Trento, 2016, pp. 17-38.
  • ‘Legal responses to religious diversity (or to cultural diversity)?’ In: Silvio Ferrari (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Law and Religion. London: Routledge, 2015, pp. 119-132.
  • ‘Distorting minority laws? Religious diversity and European legal systems’. In: Prakash Shah with Marie-Claire Foblets and Mathias Rohe (eds.): Family, religion and law: Cultural encounters in Europe. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014 [Cultural Diversity and Law series in Association with RELIGARE], pp. 1-27.
  • ‘Shari‘a in the West: Colonial consciousness in a context of normative competition’. In: Elisa Giunchi (ed.): Islamic family law in the courts: experiences from Europe, Australia and North America. London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 14-31.


Dr Shah welcomes proposals for postgraduate supervision religion and law, cultural diversity and law, caste and law and comparative law particularly in Asia.

Current and past doctoral students

  • Esin Calsikan: Recognition of Alevis in London and Ankara
  • Sarah Singer: Terrorism and Exclusion from Refugee Status in the UK, passed 2014
  • Latif Tas: Legal Pluralism and Dispute Resolution among Kurds in London, passed February 2013
  • Erica Howard: The EU Race Directive, passed April 2007
  • Ivan Leonidov: Comparative and International Legal Study on the Position of Irregular Migrants in the United Kingdom, Russia and South Africa, passed June 2005.

Public Engagement

Dr Shah's Wordpress blog site.

  • Regularly consulted as an expert on legal issues pertaining to South Asian laws, Muslim laws, and ethnic minorities in Britain
  • Op ed columnist for the Indian newspaper, The Pioneer.
  • Contributions to media include La Vie (France), Focus (Germany), Weekend Avisen; Indian Express; BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme; Radio 4’s Law in Action, Today, and 'Beyond Belief' programmes; BBC World TV; Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Asian Voice, BBC Asian Network; Channel 4’s Dispatches; SBS World News (Australia), Congressional Quarterly Global Researcher; BBC Radio 4.

Related news

Back to top