Professor Martin Lau joined Essex Court Chambers in 1997. He regularly advises on South Asian, Middle Eastern law and Islamic law in the form of expert opinions and advice on commercial law, criminal/ human rights law and family law with regard to proceedings before the High Court of England and Wales, the County Court, Magistrates’ Courts, the Immigration Appeals Tribunal and the International Chamber of Commerce and US Courts as well as governments, for instance the UK’s Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, the EC, the EU, international organizations such as UNODC and UNHCR, and NGOs, including IUCN, IBA and ICJ.
His work experience includes visiting appointments at Harvard Law School and Nagoya University, frequent consultancies and international fact finding missions, for example to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran, as well as being an academic at the School of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where he works as a Professor of Law. Martin was the Dean of the School of Law of the Lahore University of Management Sciences [LUMS] in Pakistan from 2016 to 2018. As the co-editor of the Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law he is familiar and up-to-date with legal developments in the Middle East and he has acted as Director of Studies for training programmes for judges and other legal professionals from the UAE, Qatar and China.
Martin is registered with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Dispute Resolution Authority of Law and actively accepts arbitral appointments.
Selected books, articles and edited volumes:
The Role of Islam in the Legal System of Pakistan, Leiden: Martinus Nijhof, 2006, pp. v-viii, 1-247.
Introduction to Islamic Law, London: University of London International Programmes, 2010, pp. 1-114. (co-author: D. Hinchcliffe) [University of London external LLB subject guide]
8 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2001-2002) Leiden: Brill, 2003, pp. i-ix, 1-391. (co-ed.: Eugene Cotran)
9 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2002-2003) Leiden: Brill, 2004, pp. i-ix, 1-532. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
10 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2003-2004) Leiden: Brill, 2006, pp. i-ix, 1-483. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
11 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2004-2005) Leiden: Brill, 2007, pp. i-xi, 1-484. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
12 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2005-2006) Leiden: Brill, 2008, pp. i-ix, 1-605. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
13 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2006-2007) Leiden: Brill, 2009, pp. i-ix, 1-483. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
14 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2007-2008) Leiden: Brill, 2010, pp. i-ix, 1-459. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
15 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2008-2009) Leiden: Brill, 2011, pp. i-ix, 1-377. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
16 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2010-2011) Leiden Brill, 2012, pp. i-iv, 1-537. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
17 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2011-2012) Leiden Brill, 2015, pp. i-xi, 1-811. (co-ed.: E. Cotran)
“Human Rights, Natural Justice and Pakistan’s Shariat Courts”, in Breau, Susan and Javaid Rehman (eds.), Religion, Human Rights and International Law, Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2007, pp. 359-378.
“Access to Environmental Justice: Karachi’s Urban Poor and the Law”, in Harding, Andrew (ed.), Access to Environmental Justice: A Comparative Study, Leiden, Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007, pp. 177-203.
(With Richard Freeland), “ The Shari’a and English Law: Identity and Justice for British Muslims”, in: Quraishi, Asifa, and Frank E. Vogel (eds.), The Islamic Marriage Contract. Cases Studies in Islamic Family Law, Cambridge: Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School, 2008, pp. 331-348.
“Legal Reconstruction and Islamic Law in Afghanistan”, in: Berman, Peri and Wolfhart Heinrichs and Bernhard G. Weiss (eds.), The Law Applied. Contextualizing the Islamic Shari’a, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2008, pp. 216-234.
“Sharia and National Law in Pakistan”, in: Otto, Jan Michiel (ed.), Sharia Incorporated. A Comparative Overview of the legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in Past and Present, Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2010, pp. 373-433.
“Offences against Religion in Pakistan: A Review”, in: Deva, Swati (ed.), Law and (In) Equalities, Delhi: Eastern Book Company, 2010, pp. 159-187.
“Islam and the Constitutional Foundations of Pakistan”, in: Rainer Grote, Tilmann Roeder (eds.), Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 171-199.
“Pakistan”, in: 8 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2001-2002), pp. 312-329. [analysis of legal developments]
“Pakistan”, in: 9 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2002-2003), pp. 350-372. [analysis of legal developments]
“Pakistan”, 12 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2005-2006), pp. 443-474. [analysis of legal developments]
“Pakistan”, 13 Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (2006-2007), pp. 275-292. [analysis of legal developments]
‘The Independence of the Judiciary in Islamic, International and Afghanistan’s Legal System”, in: Zeitschrift fuer auslaendisches oeffentliches Recht und Voelkerrecht, 2004, 64: 3, pp. 917-927.
‘Islam and Human Rights in Comparative Perspective: The New Constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan’, in: Comparative Law Journal (Hikakuho Kenkyu), May 2005, 66, pp. 208-222.
“Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances -A Review”, Washington and Lee Law Review, 2007, 64: 4, pp. 1291-1314.
“The Quiet Evolution: Islam and Women’s Right in Pakistan”, International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter, Autumn 2008, 49, pp. 6-7.
The Human Rights Situation of the Ahmadiyya Community: A Report of the Parliamentary Human Rights’ Group’s Fact-finding Mission to Pakistan, London: PHRG, 2010, (pp. 54) (principal author)
A Long March to Justice: A Report on Judicial Independence and Integrity in Pakistan, London: International Bar Association, Human Rights Institute, September 2009. (rapporteur and principal author) (124 pp.)
How does the donor community approach legal pluralism? Discussion Note for the World Bank Headline Seminar III: Rule of Law in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations/Informal and Formal Systems of Rule of Law, July 2009. (6 pp.)
Review of Rule of Law Support by the British Embassy, Kabul and DFID Afghanistan, Classified Report, Commissioned by the British Embassy Programme Office Kabul and the Afghan Inter Departmental Drugs Unit, June 2009. (27 pp.)
National Justice Sector Strategy, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan/Afghanistan National Development Strategy, Kabul, 2008. (co-author on behalf of the European Commission) (62 pp.)
National Justice Programme, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan/Afghanistan National Development Strategy, Kabul, 2008. (co-author on behalf of the European Commission) (258 pp.)
Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, volumes 8 (2001-2002) to volume 15 (2008-2009) (Brill) (with E. Cotran) [7 volumes]
- Book Series Editor:
Brill’s Arab and Islamic Law Series (with Eugene Cotran and Mark Hoyle) [5 monographs]
The London-Leiden Series on Law, Administration and Development (book series published by Brill) (with Jan-Michiel Otto)
iii. Editorial Boards:
Harvard Series in Islamic Law (book series published by the Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School, distributed by Harvard University Press)
INTERIGHTS Commonwealth Human Rights Law Digest
Law, Environment and Development Journal
- 2012-present Professor of South Asian Law, School of Law, SOAS
- 2016-2018 Dean and Professor of Law, School of Law, LUMS, Pakistan
- 2012-present Deputy Head, School of Law, SOAS
- 2004-2012 Reader in Law, School of Law, SOAS
- 2007-2008 Special Advisor and Team Leader of the European Commission Justice Sector Reform Programme, Kabul, Afghanistan (01 September 2007 until 1 June 2008)
- 2006-2007 Visiting Scholar, Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School (1 September 2006 until 1 July 2007)
- 2005-2006 Visiting Scholar, Centre for Asian Legal Exchange, University of Nagoya (1 October 2005 until 1 February 2006)
- 2002-2005 Chair, Department of Law, SOAS
- 1998 Legal Secretary to the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland, Zurich (1 March – 1 August 1998)
- 1997-present Tenant, Essex Court Chambers, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London
- 1992-2004 Lecturer in Law, Department of Law, SOAS
- 1990-1992 Training Fellow in South Asian Law, Department of Law, SOAS
- 1989-1990 Senior Research Assistant, Dept. of Law, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg
- 1986-1988 Research Assistant, Department of History, University of Heidelberg
- 1983-1985 Chief Petty Officer, Destroyer D-185 Luetjens, German Navy
- 2002 PhD, University of London
- 1996-1997 Pupillage, the Chambers of Mr Gordon Pollock, Q.C., Essex Court Chambers,
- 24, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London
- 1995-1996 Inns of Court School of Law, London:
- Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent)
- 1997 Barrister at Law, Middle Temple
- 1994-1995 University of North London, London:
- Common Professional Examination (Commendation).
- 1988-1989 School of Oriental and African Studies, London:
- A. Area Studies (South Asia)
- 1985-1988 University of Heidelberg, F.R. Germany:
- BA (equivalent), South Asian History, Law, Political Science of South East Asia.
- 1974-1983 Abitur, Grammar School (Max Planck Gymnasium, Ludwigshafen, F.R. Germany)