Subrata Roy Chowdhury

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Subrata Roy Chowdhury is an Indian lawyer who has distinguished himself as a practitioner both in the Supreme Court of India and in the Calcutta High Court. Less well known to members of the Indian Bar who are more often involved only in the municipal law issues is his role as a public international law scholar. Rule of Law in a State of Emergency is his third major book in the area of public international law.[citation needed]


Chowdhury is an activist in the area of international human rights law. As Professor Richard Lillich makes clear in the foreword to the book, the Paris Minimum Standards of Human Rights Norms in a State of Emergency adopted by the International Law Association in 1984 were originally Mr Roy Chowdhury's idea. He chaired the ILA sub-committee that drafted and revised the Paris Minimum Standards. In this book, Mr Roy Chowdhury builds on his work as Chairman of the sub-committee and expands on the Paris Minimum Standards by careful and painstaking analysis of state practice and the work of international monitoring bodies.

The Paris Minimum Standards are based on norms derived from international human rights covenants. They are intended to ensure that the rule of law is upheld even after a bona fide declaration of a state of emergency. It follows the format of the ILA report on the Paris Minimum Standards and is divided into three sections. The first section of the book sets forth and analyzes the minimum standards that should be observed with respect to the declaration, duration and control of a national state of emergency. The second section deals with the general principles to be observed with respect to the suspension or limitation of the rights of the individual and the role of the legislature and the judiciary in ensuring the protection of such rights. The third section sets forth and describes the non-derogable rights and freedoms that may not be suspended or limited even during a state of emergency.

The Institute of Social Studies awarded its honorary doctorate to Subrata Roy Chowdhury in 1992.[citation needed]

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