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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement


Postcolonial Theory and Law Study Group, Cambridge



The Postcolonial Theory and Law Discussion Group brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars who would like to explore the potential offered by postcolonial theory in understanding the relationship between law and colonialism. We are interested in the operation and impact of laws in colonial and postcolonial contexts, including on marginalised groups who might be disproportionately affected by the coloniality embedded within metropolitan legal systems. We are keen to analyse how themes of power, domination, alterity, imperialism and globalisation manifest in domestic, regional and international legal systems. 


To pursue our interests, we meet 6-8 times a year to discuss texts that are relevant to our research interests. These can be books, book chapters, journal articles, works in progress, cases and/or any other piece of writing. Typically, one person volunteers to ‘host’ the event, assigns the reading, and facilitates the discussion. While we understand that members may be unable to attend every meeting, we do encourage regular rather than one-off attendance. We find that such ongoing engagement with the PTL community allows us to draw connections across meetings, fosters closer professional relationships and enables more productive discussions to be carried out in an environment of mutual trust.


Unless otherwise indicated, our meetings are held over lunchtime on Wednesdays, from 1pm to 2pm, in the Combination Room at Wolfson College, Cambridge CB3 9BB. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch along to the meetings. Lunch options are also available for purchase from the Wolfson Dining Hall, which is open to all regardless of institutional affiliation. Tea, coffee and soft drinks are also available for purchase from the Wolfson Dining Hall, or from the cafe (Club Room) on the ground floor.


If you are interested in joining our mailing list and meetings, please email:


If you are interested in attending our meetings but are struggling to access any of the assigned readings, please also contact the convenors. We might be able to help.




Meeting 1

This meeting will be hosted by Jamie Trinidad on 29 March 2023.

Assigned readings

  • Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 (25 February 2019), available at
  • Philippe Sands (author) and Martin Rowson (illustrator), The Last Colony: A Tale of Exile, Justice and Britain's Colonial Legacy (Orion Publishing 2022)


Meeting 2

This meeting will be hosted by Meg Foster on 24 May 2023.

Assigned readings:



Meeting 3

This meeting will be hosted by Caroline Lanskey on 1 November 2023.

Assigned readings

  • Cunneen, C. (2011). Postcolonial perspectives for criminology (available via UNSW Faculty of Law Research Series)
  •  Cunneen, C., Framing the Crimes of Colonialism: Critical Images of Aboriginal Art and Law (January 9, 2011). FRAMING CRIME: CULTURAL CRIMINOLOGY AND THE IMAGE, pp. 115-137, K. Hayward, M. Presdee, eds., Routledge, 2010, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2011-5 (available via SSRN)

Please note that we will conduct this discussion in the Gatsby Room, which is different from our usual venue (the Combination Room). Unfortunately, we cannot allow lunch trays into the Gatsby Room. However, the Wolfson Dining Hall will be open to those who want to get lunch before, from 12:30pm. Coffee will be available in the Gatsby Room from 12:45pm.


Meeting 4 

This meeting will be hosted by Alex Jeffrey on 29 November 2023.

Assigned readings

  • al Attar, M., & Abdelkarim, S. (2023). Decolonising the curriculum in international law: entrapments in praxis and critical thought. Law and Critique34(1), 41-62;
  • Burgis-Kasthala, M., & Schwobel-Patel, C. (2022). Against coloniality in the international law curriculum: examining decoloniality. The Law Teacher56(4), 485-506.


Meeting 5

This meeting will be hosted by Ian Cross on 13 March 2024.

Assigned readings

  • Cross, I. (2024, in press). Music as formative social action. To appear in N. Thieberger, S. Treloyn, A.Harris & M. Turpin (Eds.), Keeping time. Sydney: University of Sydney Press.
  • Dolin, K. (2013). From Orpheus to Yothu Yindi: Music and Legal Cultures. Law, Culture and the Humanities, 12(1), 29-38.



Meeting 6

This meeting will be hosted by Alpa Pamar on 1 May 2024.

Assigned readings

  • Brown, M., Jadhav, V. K., Raghavan, V., & Sinha, M. (2021). Imperial legacies and southern penal spaces: A study of hunting nomads in postcolonial India. Punishment & Society, 23(5), 675-696.

  • Bandyopadhyay, Mahuya, (2023) 'Carceral Cultures in Contemporary India', in Ana Aliverti et al (eds), Decolonizing the Criminal Question: Colonial Legacies, Contemporary Problems, Oxford: Oxford University


Meeting 7

The meeting will be hosted by Jonathan Liljeblad on 29 May 2024.

Assigned readings:

  • Complexities of Scale:Considering Indigenous Women’s Rights Activism in Inle Lake, Myanmar

  • Indigenous Rights & Ecocide: Addressing Environmental Protections for Indigenous Peoples in International Criminal Law


If you are interested in volunteering to host a meeting around particular reading materials, please feel free to contact the convenors.