The University of East London’s Law School has always had a proud and radical history rooted in human rights, equality and an international outlook.
Established in 1975, our Law School was founded by Edwin Lichtenstein, an anti-racist, anti-colonial South African activist and lawyer. He and his successor as head of the Law School, Michael Slade, made it their mission to seek those who had largely been excluded from the legal practice of law. As a result, they recruited a youthful staff who wanted to open the legal education and the profession to women and ethnic minorities.
From the beginning the Law School sought to create an open, internationalist atmosphere for students and staff. Their law degree was described as “liberal education through law,” which challenged students to engage with the ways in which law often reinforced inequalities and exclusions related to class, race and sex. It sought to empower graduates to engage in legal practice, public service, business and the academic community. In the early 1980’s Michael Slade carried out the first major academic study of the application of IT to legal education which has had lasting results to this day.
The school’s ethos of human rights education and research has led to many international and influential partnerships, including with UN Habitat. Our staff have published widely on human rights, international law, conflict resolution, police powers, Islamic law, African law, international trade law and development, environmental law, consumer law and development and legal theory. For 45 years our law courses have combined an international outlook with fostering deep links to the legal community and East London area, the most dynamic and exciting urban setting in Europe.