Racism in America: what’s the story with swimming pools?

Hello Social Theory students

We are about to being a new topic, Critical Legal Studies. As part of that we will look at some offshoots such as Critical Race Theory.

In the news everyday you will see stories about race from around the world. Keep your eye out for them. Here is one from the Washington Post. Its about the connection between swimming pools and racism in America. Its’a good read.

It was written because of the incident a few days ago involving the use of unreasonable force by white police officers on a group of black teenagers at a pool:

Natural Law, Legal Positivism and ‘gay marriage’

The US Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that gay marriage is a constitutional right in all states. Interesting topic for NL and LP analysis.

Here is a link to an article about those who oppose the decision.

Mike Huckabee on the SCOTUS ruling: Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee urges Americans to defy the decision saying it the Supreme Court is trying to unwrite the laws of nature and of nature’s God

Women and the equal pay issue

We’ve looked at Feminist Legal Theory. One of the battles fought by FLT scholars has been in the area of employment law. Issues like equal pay for equal work are examined by the FLT thinkers.

In the US, women currently earn on average 77 cents in the dollar compared to men

Should there be equal pay for equal work? Maybe not – it would be bad for romance!

Here is a not-so-educational video on equal pay for women…

The gender pay gap has been discussed in many countries. Here is a link to a global report about it.

Finally, here’s an article about feminists and Tunisia – this article talks about the difficulties in moving feminist ideas from the West to the Middle East.


Come and see a “viva” or oral defence of an LLM thesis -Sat 27 June 12.30

Hi Social Theory students

If you are thinking of undertaking an LLM one day, you might be interested in coming along this Saturday 27 June at 12.30pm. I will be participating in the examination committee as it examines  Rahima Musaliar’s thesis. Rahima is also a TA at KILAW so you may have had the opportunity to learn from her at some stage.

This event is sometimes called the “oral defence” and sometimes called the “viva”. It is the final step in gaining an LLM degree. It requires the student (candidate for an LLM) to present their thesis and answer questions about it. In other words, they have to defend their research. They must pass this in order to gain the degree.

If you are interested in coming along, it will begin inshaAllah at 12.30pm this Saturday in the audio/visual room at the back of the library (top floor). You are most welcome to come and observe the proceedings  – it is open to the public and is advertised on the KILAW noticeboards.

If you would like to do an LLM one day, it might be interesting to come and observe. Her thesis is entitled: “Developing Countries and the Principle of the ‘Common Heritage of Mankind’ Based on the UN Law of the Sea Convention”. Even if you don’t know anything about the law of the sea, watching the process unfold might be worth a look.



Final presentation schedules

Some minor changes were made to the 12.30 class’s presentation schedule – the last changes are highlighted in yellow. We have one extra space for Sunday 21 June if anyone wants to present earlier and get it out of the way? Here is the Social Theory and Law – 12.30 class Final Final schedule as updated.

The 3.00 class is unchanged and available here:Social Theory Presentation schedule – 3.00 class Final

Please make sure you read the schedule and turn up to present at your time. Please arrive before your class and put your Powerpoint on the desktop, if you are planning to use a Powerpoint.


See you in Sunday inshaAllah.

Women in Kuwait’s judiciary

We have had some discussions in class lately about whether women should or could be judges in Kuwait. Today there is a short article in the Kuwait Times about this topic. If you are interested, click on this link then go to page 7 – the article is on the left side of the page.

The author (Athraa alRafae) quotes Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed al-Tantawi as saying:

“There is no shari’a barrier to keep women from the judiciary, and there is no decisive text in the holy book or the sunna that prevent women from the judiciary”.

Critical Race Theory

If you are looking for something to write about Critical Race Theory, you might start with the wikipedia page which tells you what CRT is, and some of the scholars who write in this area (but don’t stop there, it is only a starting place, not an academic source for legal research).

You might like to click on this link and watch the video footage there. Do you know the person speaking on the Harvard campus in support of Derrick Bell (a CRT)?