Oxford University refuses to rescind Honorary Doctorate in Law for Sultan of Brunei

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

PinkNews Exclusive
Oxford University has said it will not rescind an Honorary Doctorate in Law given to the Sultan of Brunei, despite a recently introduced law which makes homosexuality punishable by stoning.

In April the Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah gave approval to Brunei’s revised penal code, which urges death by stoning for same-sex sexual activity.

The Sultan, whose family has governed Brunei for 600 years and whose fortune is estimated at $13 billion (£7.75 billion), received an honorary knighthood from the Queen in 1992 and has been awarded a string of honours by British universities, including an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Oxford.

Responding to PinkNews questions about whether the university would remove the honour, an Oxford University spokesperson said it would not, and declined to comment further.

Former Conservative Party Chairman Lord Deben, today criticised King’s College London for rejecting calls by the publisher of PinkNews to rescind another Honorary Law Doctorate given to the Sultan in 2011.

PinkNews publisher Benjamin Cohen spoke at a graduation dinner at King’s at the weekend, and called for the honour to be withdrawn.

A King’s spokesperson said the college would not rescind the honour, given that it was awarded before the new law was introduced.