5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
B.A. LL.B (Hons.), National Law School of India University
LL.M, Yale Law School
JSD, Yale Law School
Aparna Chandra is a constitutional lawyer with an expertise in Indian constitutional law among other areas. She has previously worked at the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal and the National Law University, Delhi where she founded the Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy and Governance. She has assisted the Law Commission of India in various reports and has been appointed as amicus curiae by the Delhi High Court in matters involving the interface between constitutional and criminal laws.
Aparna researches and writes on constitutional law, human rights, gender and the law, and judicial process reform. Her current research focuses on rights adjudication by courts, gender and the law, and empirical legal studies. In collaboration with the Centre for Reproductive Rights, New York, she undertook a study on legal barriers to accessing safe abortion services in India. She was also part of a European Research Council funded project by the Israel Democracy Institute on fundamental rights adjudication in various jurisdictions around the world. She is also a national co-convenor of the Indian Feminist Judgments Project.
She has been part of various law reform efforts in India, some of which are mentioned below:
Appointed Amicus Curiae by the High Court of Delhi in SAFMA v. Union of India (challenge to the constitutionality of a law permitting the imposition of the death penalty for child sexual abuse).
Appointed Convener of a Committee of Experts to recommend measures for the prevention and redressal of child sexual abuse, and for rehabilitation of victims and young offenders.
Appointed Amicus Curiae by the High Court of Delhi in M/s Aman Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. v. Devender Singh, FAO 465/2016. Submitted report on the lacunae in the liability and compensation regime for fatal and disabling accidents in India.
Appointed Amicus Curie by the High Court of Delhi in in Court on its Own Motion v. State, WP (Crl) 1352/2015. Directed by the Court to submit reports based on research in prisons. Recommendations submitted to the Court formed the basis for guidelines issued in the Court’s order in this matter dated December 12, 2017. Further recommendations are under consideration.
Co-principal investigator, two Prison Advocacy Projects in collaboration with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee, both examining causes for excessive undertrial incarceration in Delhi prisons, and solutions thereto.
Submitted a Memorandum to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare on the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016. Invited to depose before the Committee. The recommendations in the memorandum were accepted by the Committee and found place in its report tabled before Parliament.
Co-authored Report on Women in Detention, commissioned by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Report formed the basis of the Ministry’s own report on this issue, submitted to the Supreme Court of India in an on-going matter (2018).
Member, Committee appointed by the Delhi High Court to study the working of the Vulnerable Witness Deposition Complexes in Delhi (on-going)
Member, Committee on Judicial Impact Assessment, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India (2013-2014).
Member, Drafting Committee, Law Commission of India’s 262nd Report: “The Death Penalty” (2015).
Core-Committee Member, Law Commission of India, Group to Review of the Working of the Criminal Justice System (2015).
Assisted in preparing the 277th Report: “Wrongful Prosecution (Miscarriage of Justice): Legal Remedies” (2018).
Assisted in preparing the 273nd Report: “Implementation of United Nations Convention Against Torture” (2017).
Assisted in preparing the 268th Report: “Amendments to Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 – Provisions Relating to Bail” (2017).
Consultant, E-Committee, Supreme Court of India, for a report on changes required in High Court rules governing civil and criminal trial processes in the subordinate judiciary, particularly for introducing technology in the trial process in order to make the trial process more litigant friendly, effective and efficient (2015).
Consultant, Law Commission of India, for a project to study the extent and resolution of delays in the Indian Judicial system, as per the orders of the Indian Supreme Court in Imtiyaz Ahmad v. State of U.P.,(2012) 2SCC688. This project culminated in the 245th Report of the Law Commission of India on Arrears and Backlog(2014).
Consultant, Law Commission of India, on a discussion paper on reforming laws relating to liability and compensation for fatal accidents in India. The paper locates the liability and compensation regime within the framework of the state’s constitutional obligations to ensure social justice and welfare, and to enable citizens to live their lives with dignity.
- Court on Trial: A Data-Driven Account of the Supreme Court of India, Penguin Random House, July 2023 (co-authored)
- Securing Reproductive Justice in India: A Casebook (NLUD and Centre for Reproductive Rights, New York, 2019) (co-authored)
- Limitation Analysis by the Indian Supreme Court, in Mordechai Kremnitzer, et al (eds) Proportionality in Action: Comparative and Empirical Perspectives on the Judicial Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
- Equality and Diversity, in Philip Dann & Arun Thirvengadam (eds.), Democracy in Diversity: Democratic Constitutionalism in the EU and India (Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming 2020) (co-authored)
- The Supreme Court of India: An Empirical Overview of the Institution, in Gerald Rosenberg & Sudhir Krishnaswamy (eds.),A Qualified Hope: The Indian Supreme Court and Progressive Social Change (Cambridge University Press, 2020) (co-authored).
- Analysing Orders Granted under the PWDVA, 2005, in Indira Jaising et al (eds), Conflict in the Shared Household 203 (Oxford University Press, 2019)
- Bail and Incarceration: The State of Undertrial Prisoners in India, in Vidyasagar, Narsappa & Thirumalai (eds.), Approaches to Justice in India (Eastern Book Company, 2017) (co-authored).
- Indian Judiciary and Access to Justice: An Appraisal of Approaches, in Narasappa & Vidyasagar (eds.), State of the Indian Judiciary 183 (Eastern Book Company, 2016).
- Criminal Law and the Constitution, in Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Sujit Choudhry and Madhav Khosla (eds).,Oxford Handbook of the IndianConstitution794(Oxford University Press,2015). (co-authored).
- Proportionality in India: A Bridge to Nowhere?, Oxford Human Rights Journal (March 2020)
- From Executive Appointment to the Collegium System: The Impact on Diversity in the Indian Supreme Court Diversity, 51 (3) VRÜ Verfassung und Recht in Übersee: Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America 273 (2018) (co-authored).
- Book Review: Anuj Bhuwania, Courting the People: Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India, 16 (2) International Journal of Constitutional Law 710 (2018).
- The Supreme Court of India: A People’s Court?, 2 Indian Law Review 1 (2017) (co-authored).
- Puttaswamy, the Right to Privacy and Women’s Rights, Economic and Political Weekly, December 23, 2017, p. 46.
- India and International Law: Formal Dualism, Functional Monism, 57 Indian Journal of International Law (2017).
- The Universal Periodic Review Process: A Critical Appraisal, 16 Journal of the National Human Rights Commission 233 (2017) (co-authored).
- Book Review: Shubhankar Dam, Presidential Legislation in India: The Law and Practice of Ordinances, 12(1) Asian Journal of Comparative Law 203 (2017).
- A Socio-Historical Perspective on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, UGC E-Pathshala Module for the Paper Social Legislation and Crime, for the Subject: Criminology (2017).
- A Capricious Noose: A Comment on the Trial Court Sentencing Order in the December 16 Gang Rape Case, 2 Journal of National Law University, Delhi 136(2014).
- Bhullar, the Bogey of Human Rights, and the Death of Due Process, 1 Journal of National Law University, Delhi 119(2013).
- Of Maternal State and Minimalist Judiciary: The Indian Supreme Court’s Approach to Terror Related Adjudication, 21(1) National Law School of India Review 54(2009).
Op-Eds/Other Significant Publications
- Justice Arun Mishra and the Supreme Court’s Rule of Whim, Article 14 (September 5, 2020) (co-authored).
- Ball’s in Supreme Court, Indian Express(April 27, 2018) (co-authored)
- Recriminalizing Homosexuality: A Requiem for Naz, Live Mint (December 12, 2013)
- Tough Laws are not Tough on Terror, The Hindu (September 28, 2008)
- Faith v. Reason: Secularism at Stake, The Hindu (October 7, 2007)
- Misadventures of the Supreme Court in Aruna Shanbaug v Union of India, Law and other Things(Mar 13, 2011), available at http://lawandotherthings.com/2011/03/misadventures-ofsupreme-court-in-aruna/ (blog post cited by the Supreme Court of India in Common Cause v Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 208).