Decolonising the Law School: Presences, Absences, Silences… and Hope

The Law Teacher

Posted: 6 Apr 2021

Date Written: December 1, 2020


Decolonial thought in law acknowledges that the legal history which created our present realities has not always been benign or kind. In producing and maintaining global inequalities, extreme poverty, exploitation of labour, environmental degradation, torture, oppression and oppressions, physical destruction of lives and livelihoods, immediate or gradual death … the law has not always been innocent. The epistemic boundaries created by law in the past and present have marked themselves on the bodies of those othered by race, gender, sexuality, class and in so many other ways. We cannot talk about decolonisation without acknowledging the work of Empire and the afterlife of that work, because Empire proceeded by othering, to extract, to exploit … to dehumanise. Decolonial thought requires difficult conversations about the ways in which history has influenced what the law is, how law is taught, what law is taught, who the law works for, and who the law does not work for.

Keywords: decolonisation, legal education, law

Suggested Citation

Adebisi, Foluke Ifejola, Decolonising the Law School: Presences, Absences, Silences… and Hope (December 1, 2020). The Law Teacher, Available at SSRN:

Foluke Ifejola Adebisi (Contact Author)

University of Bristol - School of Law ( email )

Wills Memorial Building
Queen's Road Clifton
Bristol BS8 1RJ, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom

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