UCL Laws Staff

UCL Laws People

LL.B.; PhD.; Qualified French Senior Lecturer in Private Law

contact details:
Tel: 020 7679 1490 | internal x21490
Email: m.hunter-henin@ucl.ac.uk

Myriam Hunter-Henin joined the Faculty in September 2003. She was formerly a researcher and lecturer at Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne). Her main interests are Comparative Law, Family Law, Law and Religion, Private International Law and Bioethics. Her work addresses the implications of human rights in the private sphere, especially the challenges posed to the legal theory of Conflict of Laws and to traditional concepts of family law such as marriage and motherhood. It also addresses the interaction and tensions between law and religion in the sphere of education and family law in a comparative perspective. On 15th April 2013, Myriam Hunter-Henin delivered the 2013 annual ICLQ lecture on religion, human rights and comparative law in the context of burqa bans.

She is currently co-Director of the Institute of Global law, Director of the Faculty’s European Double Degree Programmes and External Examiner for Exeter University.

She is also a Fellow of the Comité français de droit international privé in Paris, France, of the British Association of Comparative Law, of the Société de législation compare, Paris, France and of the Franco-British Lawyers’ Association.


Articles and Book Chapters:

Abstract: This article examines the controversies over and implications of the 2010 French ban on the covering of the face. It carries out an internal critique of the new law and, in a broader European context, questions its compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights. It argues that the ban has strayed away from the confines of laïcité (the separation of State and religion in the public sphere) by encompassing activities and people who in no way emanate from the State. Far from being a flagship of a secularism ʻà la françaiseʼ or a French way of life, the ban - it is argued - goes against entrenched French legal traditions and unduly conflates the concept of national identity at the cost of individual liberties, thus forgetting the true goal of secularism: the conciliation of different beliefs and values. Assuming that the defence of secularism is nevertheless (for reasons we will explore) upheld by the European Court of Human Rights as a legitimate aim pursued by the law, the French ban it is argued is likely to fall foul of European requirements for lack of proportionality.

Case Notes:


Book Reviews:

Papers given at conferences :


Organization of Comparative Law Conferences and Workshops:

Current Teaching

Introduction to French Private Law
Introduction to French Public Law
French Obligation law

Co-convenor of the LLM course on Advanced Issued in Family Law: Globalisation, Multiculturalism and Religion.



Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students. Her expertise is in on Law and Religion in the spheres of  family law and education as well as on Family and Bioethics, with a Comparative and a Private International Law perspective.

This page last modified 5 September, 2014 by Laws Webmaster