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Faculty of Law

Faculty & Staff

Dr Mohsen al Attar

Dr Mohsen al Attar


Department: Law


As an anti-colonial legal scholar, Dean al Attar researches the role of law in both redressing and exacerbating global poverty. He is best known for his writing on Third World Approaches to International Law, a theory that guides his investigations into political economy.

In his forthcoming book, A Guerrilla at the Hague (OUP), he argues that many principles of international economic law preserve a Eurocentric view of human development and flourishing. This argument is inspired by his earlier writings on the Eurocentrism of international law and on the strangulation of Third World alternatives.

Dean al Attar is equally reputed for his teaching and is a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Authority. He eschews a black-letter analysis of law, preferring to engage with its context and history. His narrative approach aligns with an iconoclastic tradition that treats information as a tool of resistance. Injustice in the modern era is preserved not through gunboats alone but, as the great Kenyan bard Ngugi Wa Thiong’o said, with the chalk and the blackboard. Dean al Attar forever tells his students that education is a struggle on the path to emancipation.


PhD, Osgoode Hall Law School, 2012

Research Areas

1. “From the Ivory Tower to the Shantytown: How Does Critical Legal Theory Respond to Political Uprisings?” Agency: ISRF, Amount: £5,000 (2020)

2. “Is Poverty a By-Product or a Building Block of Prosperity? Trends in Economic Development” Agency: British Council, Amount: £55,000 (2017)

3. “Trade Law and the Reconfiguration of Democratic Values” Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Amount: $75,000 (2014)

4. “Intellectual Property Law and the Global Balance of Power” Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Amount: $40,000 (2010)

Teaching Areas

International Economic Law
Trade Law
Intellectual Property Law
Legal Theory

Select Publications

1. A Guerrilla at the Hague: TWAIL and the Futture of International Law (Oxford University Press, 2021) forthcoming.

2. “Must International Legal Pedagogy Remain Eurocentric?” (2021) Asian Journal of International Law, forthcoming.

3. “Subverting Eurocentric Epistemology: The Value of Nonsense when Designing Counterfactuals” in Kevin Heller & Ingo Venzke (eds) Contingency in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2020).

4. “TWAIL: A Paradox within a Paradox” (2020) 22:2 International Community Law Review 163.

5. “Pathology or Predation: The Misery of International Economic Law” (2019) 32:4 Leiden Journal of International Law 875.


TWAIL; International Economic Law; Legal Pedagogy; Intellectual Property Law; International Trade Law; Legal Theory