Associate Professor





(852) 3943 9972

(852) 2994 2505

Room 633
Faculty of Law
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sha Tin, NT, Hong Kong SAR

Rehan Abeyratne is an Associate Professor of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He teaches undergraduate (LLB) and postgraduate (JD/LLM) courses on the Hong Kong Legal System, Constitutional Law, Comparative Legal Studies, Comparative Constitutional Law, and the Laws & Legal System of the United States. He received the Faculty of Law’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2019.

Professor Abeyratne’s primary research area is constitutional law. He is a co-editor of Towering Judges: A Comparative Study of Constitutional Judges (Cambridge University Press 2021) and of The Law and Politics of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments in Asia (Routledge 2021). He serves as co-chair of the ICON-S Committee on New Directions in Scholarship and on the editorial boards of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law and Comparative Constitutional Studies. His published works have appeared in the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I-CON), Yale Journal of International Law, Global Constitutionalism, Asian Journal of Comparative Law, Texas International Law Journal, Minnesota Journal of International Law, Nebraska Law Review, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, and George Washington International Law Review, as well as in edited volumes published by Hart, Cambridge University Press, and Oxford University Press. He received the Faculty of Law’s Research Excellence Award in 2021.

Prior to joining CUHK, Professor Abeyratne was a Scholar in Residence at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University (NYU) School of Law. He has also held visiting positions at Melbourne Law School and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law.

From 2011-16, Professor Abeyratne was an Associate Professor of Law at the Jindal Global Law School in Delhi, India. At Jindal, he also served as Assistant Dean (Research) and as Executive Director of the Centre for Public Interest Law. He received the Jindal Teaching Excellence Award in 2014, and the Research Excellence Award three times (2012-14).


  • Ph.D. (Monash University)
  • J.D. (Harvard Law School)
  • B.A. (Brown University)
  • Admitted to New York State Bar


  • Constitutional Law
  • Comparative Constitutionalism
  • Torts
  • Judicial Independence
  • Socioeconomic Rights
  • LGBTQ Rights



  • ASIAN COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW VOLUME 4: CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS (under contract with Hart/Bloomsbury) (edited with Ngoc Son Bui and Mara Malagodi).
  • ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK ON ASIAN PARLIAMENTS (Routledge, forthcoming 2022) (edited with Po Jen Yap).
  • THE LAW AND POLITICS OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS IN ASIA (Routledge 2021) (edited with Ngoc Son Bui) (Routledge Series on Comparative Constitutional Change) (link).
  • TOWERING JUDGES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CONSTITUTIONAL JUDGES (Cambridge University Press 2021) (edited with Iddo Porat) (CUP Series on Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy) (link).

Journal Articles:

  • Constitutional Dismemberments, Basic Structure Doctrine, and Pragmatic Justifications in Context: A Rejoinder, International Journal of Constitutional Law (I•CON) (forthcoming 2022) (with Po Jen Yap).
  • Abusive Constitutional Borrowing: The Latest Legal Iteration of a Political Crisis, Journal of Indian Law and Society (forthcoming 2022) (link).
  • Global Constitutionalism Reconfigured Through a Regional Lens, 10 Global Constitutionalism 331 (2021) (link).
  • Judicial Self-Dealing and Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments in South Asia, 19 International Journal of Constitutional Law (I•CON) 127 (2021) (with Po Jen Yap) (link).
  • Enforcing Socioeconomic Rights in Neoliberal India, 29 Minnesota Journal of International Law 1 (2020) (link).
  • Uncertain Sovereignty: Ceylon as a Dominion 1948-72, 17 International Journal of Constitutional Law (I•CON) 1258 (2019) (link).
  • Ordinary Wrongs as Constitutional Rights: The Public Law Model of Torts in South Asia, 54 Texas International Law Journal 1 (2018) (link).
  • Privileging the Powerful: Religion and Constitutional Law in India, 13 Asian Journal of Comparative Law 307 (2018) (link).
  • Separation of Powers and the Potential for Constitutional Dialogue in India, 5(2) Journal of International and Comparative Law 363 (2018) (with Didon Misri) (link).
  • Upholding Judicial Supremacy in India: The NJAC Judgment in Comparative Perspective, 49 George Washington International Law Review 569 (2017) (link).
  • Giving Structure to the Basic Structure Doctrine, 1(2) Indian Law Review 182 (2017) (link).
  • Al Maqaleh and the Diminishing Reach of Habeas Corpus, 95 Nebraska Law Review 146 (2016) (link).
  • Rethinking Judicial Independence in India and Sri Lanka, 10 Asian Journal of Comparative Law 99 (2015) (link).
  • Insular and Inconsistent: India’s Naz Foundation Judgment in Comparative Perspective, 39 Yale Journal of International Law Online 74 (2014) (with Nilesh Sinha) (link).
  • Socioeconomic Rights in the Indian Constitution: Toward a Broader Conception of Legitimacy, 39 Brooklyn Journal of International Law 1 (2014) (link).
  • Domestic Violence Legislation in India: The Pitfalls of a Human Rights Approach to Gender Equality, 21 American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 333 (2013) (with Dipika Jain) (link).
  • Superior Responsibility and the Principle of Legality at the ECCC, 44 George Washington International Law Review 39 (2012) (link).

    Book Chapters:

    • South Asia, in Cambridge Handbook of Comparative Law (Mathias Siems and Po Jen Yap eds., Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2022).
    • Judicial Review in Hong Kong, in Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law in Greater China (Ngoc Son Bui, Stuart Hargreaves, and Ryan Mitchell eds., Routledge, forthcoming 2022).
    • Turbulent Democracies in South Asia, in Routledge Handbook on Asian Parliaments (Po Jen Yap and Rehan Abeyratne eds., Routledge, forthcoming 2022).
    • Unamendability, in Research Handbook on Constitutional Interpretation (Carlos Bernal, Sujit Choudhry, and Catherine O’Regan eds., Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2022) (with Yaniv Roznai).
    • Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments as Constitutional Politics, in The Law and Politics of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments in Asia (Rehan Abeyratne and Bui Ngoc Son eds., Routledge, 2021) (with Ngoc Son Bui).
    • Basic Law, Hong Kong Bill of Rights and the ICCPR, in Law of the Hong Kong Constitution (3rd edition, Johannes Chan and C.L. Lim eds., Sweet & Maxwell, 2021) (with Dinusha Panditaratne).
    • Introduction – Towering Judges: A Conceptual and Comparative Analysis, in Towering Judges: A Comparative Study of Constitutional Judges (Rehan Abeyratne and Iddo Porat eds., Cambridge University Press, 2021) (with Iddo Porat).
    • PN Bhagwati and the Transformation of India’s Judiciary, in Towering Judges: A Comparative Study of Constitutional Judges (Rehan Abeyratne and Iddo Porat eds., Cambridge University Press, 2021).
    • More Structure, More Deference: Proportionality in Hong Kong, in Proportionality in Asia (Po Jen Yap ed., Cambridge University Press, 2020) (link).
    • Judicial Appointments in Sri Lanka: A Politicized Trajectory, in The Most Powerful Court in The World: Appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court of India (Arghya Sengupta and Ritwika Sharma eds., Oxford University Press, 2018).
    • Socioeconomic Rights, Human Dignity, and Constitutional Legitimacy in India, in Human Dignity in Context (Dieter Grimm, Alexandra Kemmerer, and Christoph Mollers eds., Nomos/Hart, 2018).
    • Judicial Independence and the Rise of the Supreme Court in India, in Asia-Pacific Judiciaries: Independence, Impartiality and Integrity (H.P. Lee and Marilyn Pittard eds., Cambridge University Press, 2017).
    • Asia as the Laboratory of the Superior Responsibility Doctrine, in Trials for International Crimes in Asia (Kirsten Sellars ed., Cambridge University Press, 2015).
    • Centralising Authority: Executive Power in India and Sri Lanka, in Reforming Sri Lankan Presidentialism: Provenance, Problems and Prospects (Asanga Welikala ed., Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2015).