Menaka Guruswamy

B.R. Ambedkar Research Scholar

Menaka Guruswamy

B.R. Ambedkar Research Scholar

Dr. Menaka Guruswamy practices law at the Supreme Court of India. She is also B.R Ambedkar Research Scholar at Columbia Law School.

Among other cases, she successfully represented a group of retired civil servants in a large constitutional case that brought reform of public administration and the bureaucracy in the country (TSR Subramanium and Ors v Union of India and Ors), has successfully defended federal legislation that mandates that all private schools admit disadvantaged children (the Right to Education Act), and litigated successfully against Salwa Judum—state sponsored vigilante groups in Chhattisgarh. She has also challenged colonial-era laws that criminalise consensual same-sex relations (Naz Foundation, Navtej Singh Jauhar). She is amicus curiae appointed by the Supreme Court in a case concerning 1528 alleged extra-judicial killings by security personnel in the state of Manipur. (Victims of Extra Judicial Executions)

Dr. Guruswamy 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. She has also advised the United Nations Development Fund, New York and United Nations Children’s Fund, New York on various aspects of International Human Rights Law.

Dr. Guruswamy 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, with a Doctor of Philosophy in Law (D. Phil.) from Oxford University. She has been Visiting Faculty at Yale Law School, Columbia Law School and New York University School of Law. Most recently, she was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Institute of Advanced Studies, Berlin for 2016-2017.

Her most recent publications include essays on Constitution-Making in South Asia, in Handbook on Comparative Constitutional Law (Edward Elgar, Forthcoming (2018) and ‘Crafting Constitutional Values: An Essay on the Supreme Court of India’, (in An Inquiry into the Existence Of Global Values, Hart Publishing/Bloombury: (2015).  She is currently working on a book on South Asian Constitutionalism. She is admitted to the Bar in New York and in Delhi. She can be contacted at

  • Oxford University, D.Phil. 2015
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M., 2001
  • University of Oxford, B.C.L, 2000
  • National Law School of India University, B.A., LL.B. (with honors), 1997
S. Constitutional Design in Post-Conflict Democracies