Professor Upendra Baxi

Upendra Baxi

Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Warwick and Delhi
Thursday’s Opening Keynote Speaker

Professor Upendra Baxi, born in Rajkot, Saurashtra, is a distinguished legal scholar with a prolific career spanning multiple prestigious institutions. He graduated from Gujarat University and earned his law degrees from the University of Bombay and the University of California at Berkeley, which awarded him a Doctorate in Juristic Sciences in 1973.

Baxi began his teaching career at Sydney Law School and served as Professor of Law at the University of Delhi from 1973 to 1996, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He was also a Professor at the University of Warwick from 1994 to 2009. His tenure includes serving as Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University and South Gujarat University, and as Honorary Director of the Indian Law Institute.

He has held visiting and honorary positions at several law schools globally, including the National Law School of India University, NALSAR, National Law University (Delhi), and Gujarat National Law University. His academic work encompasses courses in law and science, comparative constitutionalism, legal theory, and human rights at institutions such as Duke University, Washington College of Law, and the University of Toronto.

Baxi’s editorial roles include contributions to numerous law journals, including the Journal of the Indian Law Institute, Law & Society Review, and the Human Rights Law Review. His major publications include “The Indian Supreme Court and Politics,” “The Crisis of the Indian Legal System,” “Courage, Craft and Contention,” “Liberty and Corruption,” “The Future of Human Rights,” and “Human Rights in a Posthuman World.”

He has been influential in the fields of Third World and International Law theory, human rights, and the sociology of law. His research has been recognized and translated into several languages, and he has delivered keynote addresses and lectures worldwide, notably at conferences celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Professor Baxi has also made significant contributions to legal education and policy in India. He was instrumental in establishing the National Law School University at Bangalore and has been involved in various reform initiatives, including judicial reforms and legal education. His policy work includes contributions to prisoners’ rights, labour law reform, and rural labour laws.

As an activist, Baxi has combined his academic career with social justice efforts, advocating for human rights within the criminal justice system. His notable actions include the critique of the Supreme Court decision in the Mathura Case, promoting a new responsive legal and constitutional culture concerning violence against women, and innovating social action litigation in India.

Professor Baxi’s contributions have been recognized with honorary doctorates from institutions such as the National Law School of India University, La Trobe University, the University of Antwerp, and NALSAR. He has received lifetime achievement awards from the Indian Lawyers’ Association and the Indian Society of International Law. In 2011, he was awarded the Padmashri, one of India’s highest civilian honors.

His work continues to influence legal scholarship and practice, with his research and writings cited by courts in India and internationally, including the International Court of Justice. His dedication to legal education, human rights, and social justice marks him as a leading figure in the legal field.