Academic Programmes

5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)



  • B.C.L., University of Oxford, UK, in Comparative Human Rights, Jurisprudence and Intellectual Property Rights – 2000
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights Law, National Law School of India University, Bangalore – 1999
  • B.A.LL.B., University Law College, Bangalore University – 1999


Jayna Kothari has been practicing as an Advocate in the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore and the Supreme Court since the last 16 years. Her areas of expertise and interest include public interest law, constitutional and administrative law, social rights, disability rights, family law, consumer rights and property law. She is the founder of the Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore since 2009.

Some of the landmark cases in which she has appeared include the constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court of India to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Primary Education Act 2009, a litigation in the High Court of Karnataka on addressing out of school children and finding remedies to bring them back to school, the case of National Federation for the Blind v. State of Karnataka in which more than 300 categories of government jobs were identified and reserved for persons with disabilities in the State of Karnataka, and a public interest litigation challenging the controversial Upper Bhadra irrigation Project in Karnataka undertaken without forest and wild life clearances.

Teaching Experience

  • 2015 – Faculty at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo; Taught Advanced Course on the Human Right to Education.
  • 2014 -Taught Advanced Course on Justiciability of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at Abo Akademi University, Finland.
  • 2014 – Taught a seminar course at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore titled ‘Strategies in Public Interest Lawyering.’
  • 2003 – Taught a course on Human Rights Law at University Law College, Bangalore.

Awards & Honours

  • 2015 – Awarded the Indian Express Women’s Devi Award for Dynamism & Innovation
  • 2010 – Awarded the National Child Rights Fellowship by CRY (Child Rights and You) to work on a paper titled, “A Child’s Right to Identity: Do Adopted Children have the Right to know their Parentage?”
  • 2008 – Received the Wrangler Dr. D.C. Pavate Memorial Fellowship in 2008 to read as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, during which time she worked on a project on ‘The Impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on national disability law in India.’



Book Chapters

  • Social Rights Litigation in India: Developments in the Last Decade, in Daphne Barak-Erez and Aeyal M. Gross (eds.), Exploring Social Rights: Between Theory and Practice (Hart Publications, Oxford 2007), 171-174.

Journal Articles

  • “A battle of rights: the right to education of children versus rights of minority schools” (Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, Vol. 2, 2016) co-authored with Aparna Ravi
  • A Social Rights Model for Social Security Law (Verfassung und Recht in Ubersee (“VRU”) or Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America)
  • Undermining the Domestic Violence Law, Infochange India (2013)
  •  When Sexual Harassment Law Goes East: Feminism, Legal Transplantation and Social Change, SJIL, 47, 177 (2011), co-authored with Daphne Barak-Erez
  • The UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities: An Engine for Law Reform in India, 45, EPW 18, 65-72 (2010).
  • Criminal Law on Domestic Violence, 40, EPW 46, 4843-49 (2005).
  • Social Rights and the Constitution, (2004) 6 SCC (Jour) 32

Newspaper Columns and Blog Posts

  • “After Deleting Section 309”, The Indian Express (December 22, 2014)
  • “Between Life and Death”, The Indian Express (June 28, 2014)
  • “The Invisible Voter” The Indian Express (April 14, 2014)
  • “Disabilities of our Democracy”, co-authored with David Seidenberg, The Hindu (April 25, 2014)
  • “Denying the Disabled”, Frontline (November 15, 2013)
  • “Closing the Care Gap”, The Indian Express (September 4, 2013), co-authored with Reecha Das
  • “What Rights to Women in Relationships Akin to Marriage Have?” India at LSE Blog (July 15, 2013)
  • “A Difficult Road to her Roots”, The Hindu (Bangalore, March 30, 2013)
  • “The Folly of Mandating Spectrum Auctions”, The Hindu Business Line (November 24, 2012)
  • “Horizontal Application of the Right to Education in India”, Oxford Human Rights Hub (September 13, 2012)
  • “Who Decides?” The Hindu (March 20, 2011)

Reports and Working Papers

  • The Myth of Speedy and Substantive Justice: A Study of the Special Fast Track Courts for Sexual Assault and Child Sexual Abuse Cases in Karnataka.” Co-authored with Aparna Ravi. Available at: http://clpr.org.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Fast-Track-Courts-Report-Final.pdf
  •  “Moving Towards Autonomy and Equality: An Analysis of the New Mental Health Care Bill 2012” (CLPR Working Paper 1 / 2012) co-authored with Dharmendra Chatur