Dr Zainab Naqvi

Job: Senior Lecturer in Law

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester De Montfort Law School

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: 0116 250 4558

E: zainab.naqvi@dmu.ac.uk


Personal profile

Zainab completed her LL.B (Law and French) at Coventry University in 2012, her LL.M (General) with Distinction at the University of Birmingham Law School in 2013 and remained at Birmingham as an ESRC DTC Doctoral Researcher. Her research interests are focussed on judicial and legal responses to ethnic minorities in the UK, particularly the influence of ‘British Values’ as the standard for minority community “integration”.

Her doctoral research sought to examine the desirability of incorporating polygamy into the United Kingdom’s legal definition of marriage from a feminist perspective. The research was undertaken through a critical examination of the existing English legal framework. The project also involved a qualitative study of women’s experiences of and attitudes towards polygamous and monogamous marriages in the UK.

Zainab was appointed as a full-time Lecturer in Law at Coventry University in 2017 following the completion of her doctorate and has now joined Leicester De Montfort Law School as a Senior Lecturer in Law. Zainab has also been appointed to the Decolonising DMU project as a Fair Outcomes Champion. 

She has been selected as a DMU Future Research Leader for 2020-2021 and was a highly commended nominee in the DMU Faculty BAL of the BALL Awards' Rising Star category 2020. 

She is a coordinating editor for the international peer-review journal Feminist Legal Studies and sits on the Board of Trustees for the Daphne Jackson Trust which supports researchers returning to their careers after a break of more than 2 years. 

Research group affiliations

The Institute for Law, Justice and Society

Publications and outputs

 Zainab Batul Naqvi, Polygamy, Policy and Postcolonialism in English Marriage Law – A Critical Feminist Analysis (forthcoming - Bristol UP 2022)

Zainab Batul Naqvi, ‘Coloniality, Belonging and Citizenship Deprivation in the UK: Exploring Judicial Responses’ Social and Legal Studies (2021) https://doi.org/10.1177/09646639211044294

Zainab Batul Naqvi, 'Our Favourite CRT: Attia Hosain' (Critical Legal Thinking, 28 October 2020): https://criticallegalthinking.com/2020/10/28/our-favourite-crt-attia-hossain/

Zainab Batul Naqvi and Yvette Russell, ‘A Wench’s Guide to Surviving a ‘Global’ Pandemic Crisis: Feminist Publishing in a Time of COVID-19’ (2020) 28(2) Feminist Legal Studies 113-131

Zainab Naqvi, ‘Nikah Ceremonies in the UK – A Tool for Empowerment?’ in Rajnaara Akhtar, Patrick Nash and Rebecca Probert (eds.), Relationship Breakdown: Informal and Legal Solutions (Bristol UP 2020)

Zainab Batul Naqvi, ‘Book Review Essay: Critical Perspectives on Trafficked Persons in Canada and the US: Survivors or Perpetrators?’ (2020) 28(1) Feminist Legal Studies 107-112

Zainab Batul Naqvi, Ruth Fletcher, Diamond Ashiagbor and Katie Cruz, ‘Editorial - Back at the Kitchen Table: Reflections on Decolonizing and Internationalizing with the Global South Writing Workshops (2019) 27(3) Feminist Legal Studies 123-137

Zainab Batul Naqvi, ‘A Contextualised Historical Account of Changing Judicial Attitudes to Polygamous Marriage in the English Courts’ (2017) 13(3) International Journal of Law in Context 408 

Zainab Naqvi, ‘It’s Women Who Suffer from a Lack of Recognition of Polygamous Marriage’ (The Conversation, 11 May 2016): https://theconversation.com/its-women-who-suffer-from-a-lack-of-recognition-of-polygamous-marriage-56406

Gail Mobley, Zainab Batul Naqvi, Daria Sinziana Neagu, Enrico Vanino, Ivor Bolton and Marine Poirier (eds.), Travelling Europe: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Place and Space (CSP 2015)

Zainab Batul Naqvi‘A Critical Discussion of the European Parliament’ (2013) 3 Birmingham Journal for Europe: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-artslaw/gcfe/bjfe/issue-3/3-2-zainab-naqvi.pdf


Research interests/expertise

Legal and judicial responses to ethnic minorities
Family Law - Polygamous Marriages in English Law
Gender and Law
Critical Feminist Theories and Perspectives
Socio-Legal Studies

Areas of teaching

Family Law
Gender and Law


LL.B - Coventry University
LL.M (General) with Distinction - University of Birmingham
Ph.D (Law) - University of Birmingham
PGCert Advanced Research Methods and Skills - University of Birmingham
PGCert Academic Practice in HE - Coventry University

Courses taught

Family Law; Gender and Law

Honours and awards

DMU Future Research Leader 2020 - 2021

DMU Faculty BAL of the Ball Awards 2020 - Highly Commended Nominee in the Rising Star Category

Coventry University Law School Prize for Best Full-Time LLB Student 2011-2012 (Highest Average Mark), Coventry University

Oxford University Press Law Prize, Coventry University 2010-2011

Alan Newsome Work Experience Prize, Coventry University 2010-2011

Coventry University Law School Prize, Coventry University 2009-2010 

Membership of external committees

Trustee - Daphne Jackson Trust (2021 - Present) 

Co-ordinating Editor - Feminist Legal Studies (2019 - Present)

Decolonisation @ CU Network Co-convenor - Coventry University (2019)

Inclusivity in Research Project Committee Member - Coventry University (2019)

Decolonising the Library Initiative Member and Reading Group Co-Convenor - Coventry University (2019)

Internal Grant Peer Review College Panel Member - Coventry University (2018 - 2019)

Editorial Board Member and Meetings and Communications Coordinator - Feminist Legal Studies (2018 - 2019)

Editorial Board Member and Internal Reviewer - Coventry Law Journal (2018 - 2019)

Co-Chair (Publications) - Graduate Centre for Europe, University of Birmingham (2014 - 2015)

Chief Editor - Birmingham Journal for Europe, University of Birmingham (2014 - 2015)

Steering Committee Member - ROLES Gender and Sexuality Forum, University of Birmingham (2014)

Editor - Birmingham Journal for Europe, University of Birmingham (2012-2014)

Publications Officer - Graduate Centre for Europe, University of Birmingham (2012-2014) 

Membership of professional associations and societies

Commission on Legal Pluralism (Member)

Higher Education Academy (Associate Fellow)

International Network of Scholars Researching Unregistered Marriages (Member)

PECANS Gender, Law and Sexuality Network (Member)

Society of Legal Scholars (Member)

Socio-Legal Studies Association (Member) 

UKRI ECR Forum (Member)

Professional licences and certificates

Fellow - Higher Education Academy

Conference attendance

Invited Talks

‘Academic Libraries: A Critical Postcolonial Feminist Perspective’, Critical Approaches to Libraries Conference, Coventry University (Keynote Address: 13th May 2020)

‘Diversity in the Legal Profession – An Academic Perspective’, Young Legal Aid Lawyers Midlands Roundtable, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Birmingham (3rd October 2019)

‘Uncovering the Hidden and Identifying the Null: Curriculum Challenges for International Students’, Postgraduate Strategy Unit World-Ready Internationalisation Seminar, Coventry University (31st May 2019)

‘The Challenges of Teaching about Islam in the West: Issues with Regards to the Curriculum’, Islamic Law and the Islamic Humanities Network Launch Colloquium, University of Birmingham (28th March 2019)

‘Living on the Margins: Women’s Experiences and Views of Unregistered Muslim Monogamous and Polygamous Marriages in the UK’, Rethinking Marriage: Gender Research Network and Family Regulation and Society Network Roundtable, Exeter University (21st March 2018)

Conference Papers

‘At the Margins: Nikah Ceremonies in the UK – A Tool for Empowerment?’, INSRUM Relationship Breakdown: Informal and Legal Solutions Symposium, Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (14th December 2018)

‘Muslim Women’s Engagement with Normative Religious and Cultural Responses to Marriage and Polygamy in the UK’, Europe’s New Migrants: Marriage Practices and Policies, University of Birmingham (16th – 18th April 2018)

 ‘Muslim Women and Muslim Marriages – Religion and Recognition in a ‘Christian, what is it, country’, Islamic Law and its Implementation in Asia and The Middle-East Conference, British Institute of International and Comparative Law London (6th October 2017)

‘‘I suffered with this thing: ‘English marriage, you’re not married.’ I was married!’ – Womens’ Experiences and Views of Unregistered Muslim Polygamous and Monogamous Marriages in the UK’, Unregistered Marriages: Regulations and Contestations Symposium, De Montfort University (24th – 25th April 2017)

‘Womens’ Experiences and Views of Unregistered Muslim Polygamous and Monogamous Marriages in the UK’, BRAIS Annual Conference 2017, University of Chester (11th – 13th April 2017)

‘“I suffered with this thing – English marriage…” – Experiences and Views of Polygamous Marriage and the UK Legal System’, SLSA Annual Conference 2016, Lancaster University (5th – 7th April 2016)

‘Theorising English Judicial Responses to Women in Polygamous Marriages’, ROLES: A Gender and Sexuality Forum 5th Annual Conference, University of Birmingham (21st May 2015)

‘Marriage, Relationships and the Law: Feminist Perspectives on Polygamous Marriage in the English Courts’, Midlands PGR Conference, University of Leicester (8th – 9th May 2015)

‘White West Knows Best? Critical Feminist Perspectives on Polygamous Marriage in the English Courts’, SLSA Annual Conference 2015, Warwick University (31st March – 2nd April 2015)

‘Gender and Media Representations of Female Soldiers during the Abu Ghraib Scandal’, Narrating and Translating Rape/ Violence in Wartime in the MENA region: The Role of Language(s) Conference, University of Birmingham (9th – 10th October 2014)

‘Double Standards: Gender and Media Representations of Female Soldiers during the Abu Ghraib Prisoner Abuse Scandal’, Women In War and At War: Recent Developments Conference, Warwick University (18th – 19th September 2014)

Event Organisation and Participation

Co-Convenor, ‘Citizenship, Identities and Empire: Bodies Within and Beyond Hostile Environments Symposium’, Warwick University (28th February 2020)

Presenter and Participant, ‘British Academy – Council for British Research in the Levant Knowledge Frontiers ECR Belonging Workshop’, CBRL - Amman (26th - 28th January 2020)

Co-Convenor, ‘Law and Global Justice Initiative: British Academy Funded Global South Writing Workshop’, British Institute of East Africa – Nairobi (10th – 11th December 2019)

Co-Convenor, ‘Decolonisation Read, Reflect and Discuss Group’, Coventry University (2019)

Convenor, ‘Trailblazing Women in the Law Student Conference’, Coventry University (29th March 2019)

Panellist and Editing Mentor, ‘Law and Global Justice Initiative: British Academy Funded Global South Writing Workshop’, British Institute of East Africa – Nairobi (5th – 6th December 2018)

Judge, ESU Mooting Competition: First Round, Coventry University (9th December 2016)

Conference Panel Chair, Midlands PGR Conference, ‘Law’s Impact in the Real World’, University of Birmingham (5th June 2016)

Conference Panel Chair, PGR Stream, ‘Appointing Judges in an Age of Diversity’, University of Birmingham (5th November 2015)

Steering Committee Member and Roundtable Participant, Graduate Centre for Europe - 9th Annual Conference, ‘Dissident Voices? Europe Past, Present and Future’, University of Birmingham (25th – 26th March 2015)

Steering Committee Member and Panel Chair, 3rd Annual ESRC Midlands DTC Student-led Conference, ‘Research Matters’, University of Birmingham (19th June 2014)

Steering Committee Member, Birmingham Law School PGR Conference, ‘Transcending Boundaries in the Law’, University of Birmingham (13th June 2014)

Steering Committee Member and Panel Chair, ROLES: A Sexuality and Gender Forum – 4th Annual Conference, University of Birmingham (16th May 2014)

Steering Committee Member and Skills Session Convenor, Graduate Centre for Europe – 8th Annual Conference, ‘Travelling Europe: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Time and Space’, University of Birmingham (26th – 27th March 2014)

Steering Committee Member, Graduate Centre for Europe – 7th Annual Conference, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now – Europe: A Progressive Continent?’, University of Birmingham (26th – 27th March 2013)


Current research students

Charley-Anne Gordon-Gardner (2nd PhD Supervisor)

Externally funded research grants information

Feminist Review Trust Award (2020)

Lead Applicant - £3010

To fund: Global South Feminist ECR Writing Workshop 



British Academy – Council for British Research in the Levant ECR Seed Funding (2020)

Lead Applicant - £3590

To fund: Investigating the Racialised Selectivity of Humanitarian Financial Aid in Jordan



British Academy – Council for British Research in the Levant ECR Seed Funding (2020)

Co-Applicant - £3250

To fund: ‘Trajectories of Belonging Among Migrant Domestic Workers’ Workshop - University of Balamand, Lebanon



Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral Researcher Studentship, University of Birmingham (2013 - 2016)

CAL Development Fund Grant, University of Birmingham (2014-2015) 

Lead applicant - £1390 

To fund: Graduate Centre for Europe, 9th Annual Conference – ‘Dissident Voices? Europe Past, Present and Future’

Internally funded research project information

Faculty of Business and Law Research Support Funding 2019/20 (Special Rapid Call to Respond to COVID-19), De Montfort University

Lead Applicant - £69.99

To fund: Remote Research Activities Equipment 

Professional esteem indicators

Co-ordinating Editor, Feminist Legal Studies 

External Reviewer, Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development 

Invited Media Appearances

Appearance on national BBC Radio 4 Show ‘Chiles on Friday’ to discuss the documentary ‘Storyville: Philip and his 7 Wives’ (10th August 2018)

ORCID number