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Dr. Aparna Chandra

Assistant Professor

B.A. LL.B (Hons.), National Law School of India University, Bangalore [2006]

LL.M, Yale Law School [2007]

J.S.D., Yale Law School [2013]

Aparna is an Assistant Professor of Law and Research Director, Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy and Governance at the National Law University, Delhi. Her areas of teaching and research are constitutional law, human rights, legal theory, gender and the law, and judicial process reform. Her on-going research includes a collaboration with the Israel Democracy Institute on a European Research Council funded multi-nation study titled “Proportionality and Public Policy”; a University of Chicago funded research project titled Empirical Analysis of Indian Supreme Court decisions; and a collaboration with the Centre for Reproductive Rights, New York on a book on Reproductive Justice in India.

Apart from her academic research and writings, Aparna has been involved in various law reform efforts and has undertaken government advisory work, especially on issues of human rights and civil liberties. She has advised the Law Commission of India on various reports and studies including the 262nd Report on the death penalty, the 245th Report on arrears and backlog in the judiciary, the 268th report on bail law reform, and the 273rd Report on torture. She is currently working with the Law Commission on a report on compensating victims of wrongful prosecutions, incarceration, and convictons. Aparna has worked with the government and judiciary on various judicial and legal reform initiatives, and has collaborated with various human rights organizations on research and advocacy projects. In 2017, she assisted the Government of India in drafting the National Report for India's Third Universal Periodic Review before the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Aparna previously worked at the National Judicial Academy, India, where she focused on developing “human rights based approaches” to judging, especially through mainstreaming rights in the judicial reasoning process. She also worked on issues of access to justice and participated in the Academy’s policy initiatives in this area.

Aparna has also previously worked as a Visiting Professor (Full Time) at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore; and as a Tutor in Law at Yale Law School, USA.

Aparna graduated from the B.A. LL.B (Hons.) program at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU) in 2006, and secured the first rank in the University. She was awarded 8 gold medals, including for Best All Round Graduating Student. At NLSIU, Aparna was Chief Editor of the National Law School of India Review, and an editor of the Socio-Legal Review.

Aparna received her LL.M and JSD degrees from Yale Law School in 2007 and 2013, respectively. She was a Lillian Goldman Scholar at Yale Law School from 2010-2012. Her doctoral dissertation (under the supervision of Judith Resnik and guidance of Bruce Ackerman and Alec Stone Sweet) examined the role of international law in domestic constitutional adjudication, with a primary focus on the Indian Supreme Court.


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Area of Interest.
    • Constitutional Law
    • Human Rights
    • Legal Theory
    • Gender and the Law
    • Judicial Process Reform.