Dr Sahar Maranlou

Essex Law School
Dr Sahar Maranlou
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 873578

  • Location

    4SB.4.11, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Wednesdays 2t o 4pm by appointment only



Sahar Maranlou joined Essex Law School in September 2017. She is a socio- legal academic, specialising in access to justice, legal empowerment and public legal culture. Sahar research interests also focus on gender, Islamic Law and law and society in the Middle East (Iran in particular). She conducted the first study of women perceptions of law in Iran (her doctoral study). This was published as her first monograph Access to Justice in Iran: Women, Perceptions, and Reality (Cambridge University Press, 2015).She has taken a particular interest in qualitative legal research and especially ethnographic understanding of law in plural legal systems. Before coming to Essex, she did her post doctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford. Prior to that, she was a visiting lecture at University of Brunel, Warwick University. Her academic teaching started at the Mofid Law School, Iran, where she developed a new module about access to justice with focus on clinical legal education and consequently co-founded the first national university based clinic in Iran . She has worked with UN agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF on national empowerment projects in Iran . Sahar is a regional (Middle East and North Africa) coordinator at the Global Access to Justice Project which is bringing together researchers from all over the world to seek out promising solutions to ensure equal access to justice for all.


  • PhD in Law University of Warwick,

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Socio -Legal Studies

Access to Justice

Public Legal Culture

Gender and Law

Islamic Law

Legal Empowerment

Iranian Law and Legal System

Conferences and presentations

Gender Perceptions in Iranian Social Media

Invited presentation, 29th World Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR, University of Lucerne, 7/2019

Muslim Marriages in Contemporary Iran; Gender and Public Culture’ to the socio-legal Cluster

Conference, Amesterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 4/2019

Access to Justice and Gender from Socio- Legal Perspective

Invited presentation, University of Valencia, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, 7/2018

Islamic Family Law in Contemporary Iran

Tokyo, Japan, 2017

Empowerment in Practice: What People Know About the Law?

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 2017

Improving Access to Justice Through Social Media

Valencia, Spain, 2016

Beyond Theories; Doing Research in the Middle East

International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Commission on the Middle East,, Krakow, Poland, 2016

Religion; A Path to Legal Empowerment or A Barrier?

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Denver, United States, 2015

Perceptions and Legal Justice

Tokyo, Japan, 2015

How to Measure Legal Empowerment?

Krakow, Poland, 2015

Justice Education and Legal Empowerment

GAJE (Global Alliance for Justice Education) 9th International Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 2015

Iran and the West, Legal Perspective

Coventry, United Kingdom, 2015

Legal Empowerment, Gender and Right to Property in Plural Iran

BRISMES / EURAMES Joint Annual Conference, London, United Kingdom, 2015

Women Access to Justice in Iran

School of Sociology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2015

Public Perceptions and Access to Justice,

Invited presentation, Hamburg, Germany, 2015

Women Perceptions of Access to Justice

The Middle East Center, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2015

Gender Justice

Women Association of History Researchers, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of, 2014

Justice Education in the Middle East

7th worldwide conference of the Global Alliance for Justice Education, Delhi, India, 2013

What Women Think About Legal System in Iran?

Invited presentation, Middle East Centre, London, United Kingdom, 2013

Non- Western Perspectives on Access to Justice

Warwick Law School, Coventry, United Kingdom, 2012

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Career Development Learning Part 1 (LW111)

  • Legal Research Skills (LW254)

  • Introduction to Islamic Law (LW359)

  • Legal Research (LW360)

  • Legal Research and the English Legal System (LW513)

  • Postgraduate research methods and professional development (LW987)

  • French Private Law II (LW208)


Journal articles (1)

Maranlou, Z., Perceptions of Marriage Law: Evidence from Social Media in Iran

Books (2)

Qafisheh, M., (2016). Experimental Legal Education in a Globalized World The Middle East and Beyond. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 144389544X. 9781443895446

Maranlou, S., (2014). Access to justice in Iran: Women, perceptions, and reality. Cambridge University Press. 1107072603. 9781139680493

Book chapters (3)

Maranlou, S., (2023). Gendered Personal Status Law: ‘‘Women’s Path to Justice in Marriage and Divorce’. In: The Oxford Handbook of Shiʿi Islam. Editors: Rizvi, S. and Bdaiwi, A., . Oxford University Press

Maranlou, S. and Keyhanlou, F., (2023). An Iranian Socio-Legal Analysis of Grandparents' Rights. In: Grandparents and the Law Rights and Relationships. Editors: Davey, SM. and Lindsey, J., . Hart Publishing. 9781509953417

Maranlou, S., (2016). Modernisation Prospects for Legal Education in Iran. In: Experimental Legal Education in a Globalized World The Middle East and Beyond. Editors: Qafisheh, MM. and Rosenbaum, SA., . Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 144- 150. 9781443895446

+44 (0) 1206 873578


4SB.4.11, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Wednesdays 2t o 4pm by appointment only

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