Rajeev Dhavan

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Rajeev Dhavan
Born ca. 1947
Nationality Indian
Occupation Lawyer
Known for Civil rights activity

Rajeev Dhavan (born ca. 1947[1]) is an Indian lawyer, an advocate of the Supreme Court of India, a human rights activist and a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists.[2] He is the author or co-author of numerous books on legal and human rights topics, and is a regular columnist in the leading newspapers in India.[3]


Rajeev Dhavan studied law at Allahabad University, then at the University of Cambridge and London University. He has taught at Queen's University Belfast, the University of West London, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Texas at Austin. He is an Honorary Professor at the Indian Law Institute.[2]

Dhavan is an advocate of the Supreme Court of India.[2] He runs the Public Interest Legal Support and Research Centre, which tries to make youth aware of constitutional and legal subjects.[4] Dhavan was elected to the International Commission of Jurists in 1998, and was a member of the Executive Committee between 2003 and 2007, and from 2009. He was appointed chairperson of the Executive Committee in 2009.[2]

In March 2003 Dhavan was a signatory to a statement that condemned the US-led invasion of Iraq, calling it "unprovoked, unjustified and violative of international law and the United Nations Charter". Other signatories included Rajinder Sachar, Shanti Bhushan, Pavani Parameswara Rao, Kapil Sibal and Prashant Bhushan.[citation needed] Dhavan has represented the Babri Masjid Action Committee in Supreme Court hearings over the title to the land on which the mosque stood before being destroyed by a mob in 1992.[4] When a court ruled that the site should be divided between Hindus and Muslims, Dhavan said: "This is panchayati justice which takes away the legal rights of Muslims and converts the moral sentimental entitlements of Hindus into legal rights".[5]


  • Rajeev Dhavan (1972). Juristic Techniques in the Supreme Court of India 1950-1971 in Some Selected Areas of Public and Personal Law. p. 1454. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan (1976). Black People in Britain, the Way Forward: A Report of a Conference Held [In Bloomsbury Hotel, London] 17-19 January 1975. The Committee. p. 227. ISBN 0950565903. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan (1976). The Supreme Court of India and parliamentary sovereignty: a critique of its approach to the recent constitutional crisis. Sterling Publishers. p. 404. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan (1977). The Supreme Court of India: A Socio-legal Critique of Its Juristic Techniques. N. M. Tripathi. p. 524. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan, Alice Jacob (1978). Selection and appointment of Supreme Court judges: a case study. N.M. Tripathi. p. 125. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan (1978). The amendment: conspiracy or revolution?. Wheeler. p. 235. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan, P. Kalpakam, Indian Law Institute (1978). The Supreme Court under strain: the challenge of arrears. Tripathi. p. 164. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan, Christie Davies (1978). Censorship and obscenity. Rowman and Littlefield. p. 187. ISBN 0847660540. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan, Indian Law Institute (1979). President's rule in the states. N. M. Tripathi. p. 240. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan (1980). Justice on trial: the Supreme Court today. Wheeler. p. 292. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan, Indian Law Institute, Press Council of India (1982). Contempt of Court and the Press. N.M. Tripathi. p. 280. 
  • V. R. Krishna Iyer, Rajeev Dhavan, Salman Khurshid (1985). Judges and the judicial power: essays in honour of Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer. Sweet & Maxwell. p. 340. ISBN 0421288604. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan, Indian Law Institute (1986). Litigation explosion in India. N.M. Tripathi. p. 179. 
  • Jeremy Cooper (1986). Jeremy Cooper, Rajeev Dhavan, ed. Public Interest Law. Basil Blackwell. p. 482. ISBN 0631142991. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan (1987). Only the Good News: On the Law of the Press in India. Manohar Publications. p. 514. ISBN 818505438X. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan, William L. Twining, Neil Kibble (1989). Access to legal education and the legal profession. Butterworths. p. 343. ISBN 0406700656. 
  • Marc Galanter, Rajeev Dhavan (1989). Law and Society in Modern India. Oxford University Press. p. 329. ISBN 0195622944. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan, Public Interest Legal Support & Research Centre (New Delhi, India) (2004). Refugee Law and Policy in India. PILSARC. p. 164. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan (2008). Reserved!: How Parliament Debated Reservations 1995-2007. Rupa & Company. p. 319. ISBN 8129113694. 
  • Rajeev Dhavan (2008). Publish and be Damned: Censorship and Intolerance in India. Tulika Books. p. 312. ISBN 8189487450. 


  1. ^ "Q&A Rajeev Dhavan, Supreme Court Advocate - ‘Our policy is to ban first and hear later’". Tehelka Magazine 9 (08). 25 Feb 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d "RAJEEV DHAVAN". International Commission of Jurists. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  3. ^ "Speakers: Rajeev Dhavan". The Center for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  4. ^ a b VENKATESAN, V. (Oct 9–22, 2010). "‘Seriously flawed'". Frontline 27 (21). Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  5. ^ J. VENKATESAN (October 1, 2010). "Panchayati justice that takes away legal rights of Muslims: Rajeev Dhavan". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-04-26.