Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr. Sahar Maranlou is a lecturer in law at Royal Holloway, University of London. She joined Royal Holloway from the University of Essex, Law School, and Human Centre.

Sahar is a socio-legal academic specialising in access to justice, legal empowerment, and public perceptions of law. Sahar’s research interests also focus on gender, justice, Islamic Law, law, and society in the Middle East (Iran). She conducted the first study of women’s perceptions of law in Iran, published as her first monograph, ‘Access to Justice in Iran: Women, Perceptions, and Reality' (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Sahar has been particularly interested in qualitative legal research and especially ethnographic understanding of law in plural legal systems.  Her forthcoming monograph concerns public perceptions of gender equality and law reform on social media.

Sahar holds an MA in Human Rights from Central European University, where she was selected as one of ten young human rights activists to be awarded a two-year justice human rights fellowship. She conducted her PhD at Warwick Law School and was the Sassakawa Peace Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford.

She has worked on law reform of Iranian NGOs with civil society and as a national consultant with UN agencies such as UNDP and UNICEF on national empowerment projects. She has facilitated many participatory workshops on gender, human rights, law, and development, especially in Iran, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. Her academic teaching started at the Mofid Law School, Iran, where she developed a curriculum for a new module about justice focusing on clinical legal education and consequently co-founded the first national university-based clinic.

Research interests

  • Socio-legal studies
  • Gender and law
  • Islamic law ( especially Shia jurisprudence) 
  • Access to justice, online justice and legal empowerment 
  • Legal culture, public perceptions and social media

Sahar is available to supervise PhD candidates in gender, law, and society, especially in Muslim-dominated communities, and access to justice and Islamic law on projects related to her areas of research interest.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Law, PhD, Warwick University

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