ACADEMIC STAFF
Prof. Surabhi CHOPRA
Associate Professor
Tel (852) 3943 1610
Fax (852) 2994 2505
Email surabhic@cuhk.edu.hk
Office

Room 606,
Faculty of Law,
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sha Tin, NT, Hong Kong SAR



Surabhi Chopra is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong. 

Prof. Chopra researches national security laws, sectarian violence and the socio-economic rights of the poor.  Her work centres on India with comparisons to other Asian countries. She examines how the law defines rights, how governments implement them and how courts respond when they are violated. As such, her research lies at the intersection of constitutional, criminal and international human rights law. 

Prof. Chopra has a law degree from Cambridge University (First Class), a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics (Distinction) and a BA in Anthropology from Harvard University (Magna cum Laude). 

Prof. Chopra was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 2006 and completed pupillage with Tooks Chambers, London. Her experience includes work with, inter alia, the International Development Research Centre (Government of Canada), Human Rights Watch, ActionAid, UNICEF, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (Government of India) and the Indian Ministry of Finance. She continues to consult and work pro bono for governments, multilateral organisations and NGOs.

Prof. Chopra’s research draws heavily upon her litigation and policy experience. She led a project using India’s right to information law to extract a unique set of records on some of the country’s worst episodes of mass sectarian violence. The resulting insights are presented in On Their Watch: Mass Violence and State Apathy in India (Chopra & Jha eds. 2014). She has recently published articles in the Asian Journal of Law and Society, the Boston University International Law Journal, and the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, among others.

Prof. Chopra teaches constitutional, criminal and human rights law at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She received the Faculty of Law’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2017. She currently serves on the Faculty of Law’s Committee on Teaching and Learning, and has a particular interest in training and support for teachers. She is an elected member of the Board of the Faculty of Law, and serves as executive committees of the CUHK Gender Research Centre and Gender Studies Programme.

Prof. Chopra’s work is available on SSRN, Academia.edu and Researchgate. She tweets at @ProfChopra.

Representative publications

(Sole authored unless otherwise indicated.)

Journal articles · Books · Book chapters · Policy research · Media · Conference papers

Journal articles

  • ‘Massacres, Majorities and Money: Reparation after Sectarian Violence in India’ (2017) 4(1) Asian Journal of Law and Society. [link]
  • ‘Archives of Violence: Seeking and Preserving Records on Mass Sectarian Attacks in India’ (2016) 28(1) National Law School of India Review. [link]
  • ‘Dealing with Dangerous Women: Sexual Assault under Cover of National Security Laws in India’ (2016) 34(2) Boston University International Law Journal. [link]
  • ‘National Security Laws in India: The Unraveling of Constitutional Constraints’ (2016) 17(1) Oregon Review of International Law 101-170. [link]
  • ‘Legislating safety nets: Comparing recent social protection laws in Asia’ (2015) 22(2) Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies (IJGLS symposium on Law and the Globalization of Austerity) 573-629. [link]
  • ‘The International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh: Silencing Fair Comment’ (2015) 17(2) Journal of Genocide Research 211-220. [link]
  • ‘Holding the State Accountable for Hunger’ (2009) 44(33) Economic & Political Weekly 8-12. [link]

Books

  • Surabhi Chopra and Prita Jha (eds), On Their Watch: Mass Violence and State Apathy in India (New Delhi, India: Three Essays Collective, 2014) 374 pgs. [link]

Book chapters

  • ‘Securing Rights, Protecting the Nation: Judicial Review of National Security Law and Policy by the Indian Supreme Court’ in Satvinder Juss ed. Human Rights in India (New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2018).
  • ‘Systemic and Entrenched: Human Rights Abuse in Need of Regional Intervention in Asia’ in Jong-Ik Chon ed., Global Constitutionalism and Multi-layered Protection of Human Rights – Exploring the Possibility of Establishing a Regional Human Rights Mechanism in Asia (Seoul: Constitutional Court of Korea, 2016).
  • ‘Sexual Assault under Cover of National Security Laws in India’ in Amy Barrow and Joy L. Chia (eds), Gender, Violence and the State in Asia (London: Routledge, 2016) 103-118.
    [adapted with permission of the Boston University International Law Journal
  • ‘Introduction’ in Surabhi Chopra and Prita Jha (eds), On Their Watch: Mass Violence and State Apathy in India (New Delhi, India: Three Essays Collective, 2014) 1-20.
  • ‘Holding Public Officials Accountable’ in Surabhi Chopra and Prita Jha (eds), On Their Watch: Mass Violence and State Apathy in India (New Delhi, India: Three Essays Collective, 2014) 285-310.
  • ‘Relief, Compensation and Rehabilitation’ in Surabhi Chopra and Prita Jha (eds), On Their Watch: Mass Violence and State Apathy in India (New Delhi, India: Three Essays Collective, 2014) 311-332.
  • ‘Right to Food in Bangladesh’ in Hameeda Hossain (ed.), Human Rights in Bangladesh 2005 (Dhaka: Ain o Salish Kendra, 2006). 

Policy research

  • The Law on National Security in India: When the Exceptional and Normal Intersect. (New Delhi: International Development Research Centre, 2012).
  • Surabhi Chopra, Prita Jha. Rekha, Koli, Suroor Mander, & Anubha Rastogi, Accountability for mass violence: Examining the State’s Record (New Delhi: International Development Research Centre, 2012).
  • The Rights to Food and Water: Dependencies and Dilemmas (London: Institute for Human Rights and Business, 2011). [link]
  • Protection of Children in Areas of Civil Unrest (New Delhi: National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, 2010).
  • Contributor to Report of the Internal Working Group on Debt Management: Establishing a National Treasury Management Agency (New Delhi: Ministry of Finance, Government of India, 2008). [link]
  • ‘Legal Developments since 1996 on Education’, contribution to ‘Chapter 2: Elementary Education: Recent Developments’ in Anuradha De, Reetika Khera, Meera Samson and A.K. Shiva (eds), Public Report on Basic Education Revisited (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • ‘Legal Safeguards for Children’s Rights’ in Focus on Children under Six, Abridged Report (New Delhi: Citizens’ Initiative for the Rights of Children under Six, 2006) 11.
  • Contributor to South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Racial Discrimination: The Record of Pakistan (New Delhi: South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, 2001).
  • Contributor to South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Abandoned and Betrayed: Afghan Refugees under UNCHR Protection in New Delhi (New Delhi: South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, 1999).

Media

  • Judging the soldiers: Confronting extrajudicial killing on India’s borders, August 17, 2016, South Asia @LSE (London School of Economics & Political Science, 2016). [link]
  • Taming India's Militant Military, Nikkei Asian Review, August 3, 2016. [link]
  • ‘Impunity in India: No Reckoning With Mass Violence’, June 26, 2015South Asia @LSE (London School of Economics & Political Science, 2015). [link]
  • ‘Mass Violence in India: Using the Right to Information to Examine the State’s Response’ (South Asia Institute, Harvard University, 2015). [link]
  • ‘Business & human rights in South Asia – Recent Developments’ (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 2010). [link]
  • ‘Comment on John Armour and Priya Lele, Law, Finance and Politics: The Case of India’ (2009) 43(3) Law & Society Review (Ajay Shah blog, 2008). [link]

Conference papers and presentations

  • Weak Review, Strong Values? The Potential for Regulatory Constitutionalism in National Security Judicial Review in India in 7th Asian Constitutional Law Forum, Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand (2017-12).
  • (invited) Judging the Troops: Constitutional Torts in response to Abuse by the Armed Forces in India in Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, National Security Law group, San Francisco, USA (2017-01)
  • (invited) Socio-legal Effects of Legislating Security Offences at China’s Behest in Article 23 Legislation: Concerns and Imperatives 13 Years On, Centre for Public and Comparative Law, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong (2016-08)
  • Reckoning with Records: Can the Right to Information Foster Accountability for Mass Violence in India? in International Studies Association Asia-Pacific Region Conference, “The Pacific Century? The Asia-Pacific in an Era of Global Transformation organized by International Studies Association (2016-06)
  • Panel on Reckoning with State crimes in South Asia in 2016 AAS-in-Asia Conference organized by Association for Asian Studies (2016-06)
  • Pardoning the Executioner: Litigating Extrajudicial Killing and Other Grave Violations of Human Rights in India in Law & Society Association Annual Meeting organized by Law & Society Association (2016-06)
  • Judging the Soldiers: The Judicial Response to Constitutional Rights Violations by the Armed Forces in India in 6th Asian Constitutional Law Forum, Constitutionalism in the Courts: Judicial Review and the Separation of Powers in Asia organized by Centre for Asian Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore (2015-12).
  • The Post-Colonial State’s Duty to Prevent Sectarian Violence: Examining the Indian Judiciary’s Response in International Society of Public Law Annual Meeting organized by International Society of Public Law (2015-07)
  • Handling the Minors We Fear: Reconciling Indian Laws on National Security and Juvenile Justice in Law & Society Association Annual Meeting organized by Law & Society Association (2015-05)
  • Legislating Safety Nets: Comparing Recent Social Protection Laws in Asia in Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies Symposium on Law and the Globalization of Austerity organized by Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies (2014-09)
  • Legislating Safety Nets: Comparing Recent Social Protection Laws in Asia in Law & Society Association Annual Meeting organized by Law & Society Association (2014-05)
  • Sexual Assault under Cover of National Security Laws in India in Gender, Violence and the State in Asia organized by Centre for Rights & Justice, Faculty of Law, CUHK (2014-05)
  • Young Adults and National Security Laws in India in Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference organized by Socio-Legal Studies Association (2014-04)
  • Judicially Reviewing the State’s Failure to Prevent Mass Violence: What do Evolving Judicial Remedies Mean for Government and for Victims? in Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference organized by Socio-Legal Studies Association (2014-04)
Research grants

(Principal Investigator unless otherwise indicated.)

  • Enforcing Socio-Economic Rights in Asia, CUHK Direct Research Grant, 2015 – 2016.
  • Legislating Safety Nets: Recent social security laws in Asia, CUHK Direct Research Grant, 2013.
  • National Security Laws in India: When the Exceptional Becomes Normal, CUHK Direct Research Grant, 2011 – 2013.
  • The Law on National Security in India: How the Exceptional and Normal Intersect, International Development Research Centre, 2012.
Education and professional qualifications

  • Barrister, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Advocate, Bar Council of India
  • BA in Law, Cambridge University (First Class)
  • Master in Human Rights, London School of Economics & Political Science (Distinction)
  • BA in Social Anthropology, Harvard University (Magna cum laude)

Awards

  • Teaching Excellence Award, Faculty of Law, CUHK, 2017
  • Lincoln’s Inn Marchant Scholar
  • Jennings Prize for Academic Excellence in Law, Wolfson College, Cambridge
  • Sir David Williams Prize for Public Law, Wolfson College, Cambridge
  • UK Foreign Office Chevening Scholar
  • Harvard College Scholarship