Shabina Begum


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Shabina is a partner in the International Child Care department, who specialises in international child abduction from both Hague and Non-Hague signatory contracting States, forced marriage, child marriage, female genital mutilation, transnational abandonment, domestic abuse and gender based violence. She is a UN recognised expert of child, early and forced marriages in the UK. She was part of the pro – bono legal team who drafted the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022. She is a Resolution accredited Specialist in Child Abduction & Forced Marriage and Honour-based Violence.

Shabina has been recognised by The Law Society as a Legal Hero in 2023. She  won the Women of the Future Awards 2020 in the business category. She is also featured in Management Today’s “35 Women Under 35, 2020 ” List of Britain’s Brightest Young Business Leaders.  She is described as an “exceptional lawyer” and a “pioneer in her field“. Some of her notable cases include representing clients from the North Americas, Greater Gulf Countries and Asia Pacific.

Shabina is regularly invited to speak at conferences and seminars, she was invited to Geneva as the UK representative to participate in the global workshop on forced and child marriage. She was also invited to speak at the 16th session of the Commission on the Status of Women held by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in New York.

Some of her leading research includes tackling acid violence, child marriage and gender based violence on a global level. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2017 to undertake research on child marriage in the USA at Cornell University (Ivy League). In 2021 she was invited by the Senate of Mexico to share the findings of her research on child and forced marriage. In 2024 she was invited by the British Consulate General in Hong Kong to lead the Roundtable Discussion on Forced marriage and Child marriage.

She was a part time lecturer in law, she taught Sex and Gender in the Legal System and Legal Skills and Procedure at the University of Buckingham and Professional Skills and Ethics at the University of Greenwich.

Shabina speaks fluent Bengali, Hindi and Urdu. She is also a certified user of Level 1 British Sign Language.

Significant Reported Cases

Professional Membership

Honours & Awards

  • Winner of “The Law Society Legal Heroes” award – July 2023
  • Women of the Future 2020 Finalist “Business Category” – October 2020
  • Management Todays 35 Women Under 35 “Business Category” – August 2020
  • Fulbright Scholarship – July 2017
  • British Bangladesh Power & Inspiration, Top 100 in the UK – February 2017
  • Greenwich University Alumnus of the Year Award – July 2016
  • IKRWO ((Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation)) Special Recognition Award (for work in ending honour based violence) – March 2016
  • British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration, Top 100 in the UK – January 2014
  • Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship – March 2012
  • Sir William Boreman’s Trust Grant (Contribution towards the tuition fees for the Bar Vocational Course) – 2009
  • The Lowry Scholarship (Contribution towards the tuition fees for the Bar Vocational Course) – 2008
  • Blackstone’s Entrance Exhibition Award (covers the Admission and Call Fees) – 2008

Select Publications

  • Force Marriage, pre and post pandemic, Begum S, April 2023, Fam Law 427
  • Race and Religion vs Child Marriage in the US, Begum, S, March 2019, Hikaayat
  • Child Marriage in the US: What’s Race for to do with It?, S Begum 2018, Cornell (unpublished)
  • Female Genital Mutilation – Protective measures, Begum, S & Rahman J, February 2018, Family Law Journal
  • Ending Early and Forced Marriage: Bangladesh and UK perspective, Begum, S, October 2016, United Nations
  • FGM and Cutting: the international Response, Dr Hutchinson, A, OBE OC (hons), Begum, S, July 2016, International Family Law Publication
  • Forced Marriage: Protect and Prevent, Begum, S, June 2016, Family Law Journal
  • Forced Marriage: Too Much, Too Young, Begum, S, May 2016, Family Law Journal
  • Legal Aid, First Hurdle, Begum, S, June 2015, Family Law Journal
  • Acid Violence: Uniting for the Solution, Begum, S, February 2013, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

Select Global and Local Speaking Engagements

  • Lead the Roundtable Discussion on Forced marriage and Child marriage, British Consulate General Hong Kong, 7th March 2024
  • Human Rights in Practice, in the context of child & forced marriage and FGM, The Young Lawyers Symposium, Girls Human Rights, 20th February 2024
  • The Rights of the Child with an Emphasis on the Girl Child, 36th LAWASIA Conference, Bengaluru, India, 24th – 27th November, 2023
  • King’s Coronation Garden Party, (Commended for work on women’s and girls’ rights), Buckingham Palace (Women of the Future ambassador), 9th May 2023
  • Operation Limelight Multiagency Safeguarding Operation with Border Force and other Partners, Heathrow (Metropolitan Police), 13th April 2023
  • FGM in light of Women’s Health, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Security, Women’s Rights, A Women’s Bill of Rights, Women’s Parliament, Guildhall Cambridge, 8th March 2023
  • Private Law Proceedings & Impact on Children, University of Greenwich, 15th February 2023
  • Women in the legal profession, panel discussion, University of Buckingham, 17 May 2022
  • Women’s Parliament event, Women and forced marriage, University of Cambridge, 8th March 2022
  • Planning and shaping a not so linear path, Tedx Talk, University of Buckingham, 29th January 2022
  • Should the age of majority be reduced to 16? (Against Motion), Family Justice Council – Annual
  • Debate, Central Hall Westminster, 8th December 2021
  • Forced and Child Marriage in the UK & USA, UIA 2021 Human Rights Commission, Madrid event (via Zoom), 30th October 2021
  • Forced Marriage in the US and mutual learning, Mexican Senate, Mexico City, 12th October 2021
  • Forced Marriage in the UK & USA, Inherent Bias in Family Dispute Resolution, Invited by the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario. Speaker at “2020 FDRIO/FMC Conference: Foundations to Mastery.” Provided a global perspective, Canda (via Zoom), 16th November 2020
  • Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage, Training session to the Attorney General’s Office,
  • London (Via Teams), September 2021
  • Ending Child Marriage in England and Wales – International Day of the Girl, Garden Court online
  • Webinar, 14th October 2020
  • Forced Marriage, Training to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, 29th October 2019
  • FGM: What Next? Lessons learned and challenges for the future, 7 Bedford Row, 2nd September 2019
  • Rapporteur at the International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice Conference on Gender Inclusivity and Protecting the 21st Century Family in London, London, 3rd-5th July 2019
  • Dowry Based Violence, Hertfordshire Constabulary Annual HBA Conference (full day training session), November 2018
  • Forced Marriage in the UK, Forced marriage training seminar to Forced Marriage Unit (FCO), London, September 2018
  • Cornell University. Berger International Speaker Series: Child Marriage event, New York, April 2018
  • Child, Early and Forced Marriage in the US, William and Mary Law School, Virginia, November 2017
  • UK Perspective of criminalising forced marriage, Tahirih Justice Centre event – national forced
  • marriage consultation, Washington D.C, October 2017
  • Child, Early and Forced Marriage, World Congress on Family Law and Children’s
  • Rights (, Dublin, July 2017
  • Child, Early and Forced Marriage, UN Expert Workshop, Geneva, October 2016
  • Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence, National Family Law Conference ( content/uploads/2015/05/FLSchedJuly01.pdf), Canada, July 2016
  • Domestic Violence & Early and Child Marriage, UN Commission on the Status of Women, New York, March 2016
  • Ending Early and Forced Marriages, End Child Marriage seminar, Bangladesh, November 2015
  • Combating Acid Violence, EU Domestic Violence Conference, Belfast, September 2014

Media Appearances

  • Law Society Legal Hero: Child Marriage and Gender-Based Abuse – Shabina Begum – Legally Speaking Podcast
  • Should the age of majority be reduced to 16?: Family Justice Council 14th Annual Debate (December 2021)
  • ION TV – SKY 782: interview with Shabina on Women in the Law
  • Churchill Fellow news release
  • BBC Asian Network: interview on Shabina’s trip to Bangladesh to research forced marriage
  • Many Faces of Violence: a summary of Shabina’s research on the issue of acid violence
  • Feminist Times: interview with Shabina

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