From Revolution to a Constitutional Democracy: The Promises of the Indian Constitution


From Revolution to a Constitutional Democracy: The Promises of the Indian Constitution

28 May 2015 05:00PM

 We were very proud to host eminent Supreme Court lawyer Menaka Guruswamy for a very special talk at our lab. Menaka spoke about the drafting of the Indian constitution, the idea of India it envisages, and its relevance to us today. 

About Menaka Guruswamy

Menaka Guruswamy practices law at the Supreme Court of India. Amongst other cases, she has litigated a large constitutional case that successfully sought reform of public administration and the bureaucracy in the country. She has successfully defended federal legislation that mandates that all private schools admit disadvantaged children (the Right to Education Act), has litigated successfully against Salwa Judum - state sponsored vigilante groups in Chhattisgarh and has challenged the constitutionality of criminal provisions that punish consensual same-sex relations. Most recently, she was appointed amicus curiae by the Supreme Court in a case concerning extra-judicial killings in Manipur. Her law practice also spans commercial and criminal litigation at the Supreme Court of India and High Courts around the country.

Menaka was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, a Gammon Fellow at Harvard Law School, and a gold medalist from the National Law School of India. She has law degrees from all three schools. Her doctorate from Oxford University is on Constitution- Making in India, Pakistan and Nepal.

Menaka has worked at the Office of the Attorney General of India. She has also practiced law in New York, as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell. In 2006-2007, she taught at New York University's School of Law. She has also been visiting faculty at Columbia Law School. Menaka has advised the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), New York, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), New York and UNICEF, South Sudan. Menaka is on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Constitutional Law, and has also advised the Constitution-Making processes in Nepal.