Sujit Choudhry

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Sujit Choudhry
Born1970 (age 49–50)
Alma materMcGill University (B.Sc.)
University of Oxford (B.A.)
University of Toronto (LL.B.)
Harvard Law School (LL.M.)
OccupationLawyer, Educator, Author
Years active1996-current
AwardsRhodes Scholarship
Cecelia Goetz Professorship
William E. Taylor Memorial Fellowship
Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship
Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law
In office
Preceded byGillian Lester (Interim Dean)
Succeeded byMelissa Murray (Interim Dean)

Sujit Choudhry is an educator and expert in comparative constitutional law. He is the Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions. Choudhry was the first person of Indian origin to be named dean of a top US law school.[1] He has also been the Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, the Scholl Chair at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and a recipient of the Trudeau Fellowship. In April 2018, Choudhry presented a report to Ukrainian constitutional experts in Kyiv on executive powers.[2]

Choudhry was served with a civil complaint for sexual harassment by his former executive assistant in March 2016.[3] He resigned as dean at Berkeley Law, and later sued the university for an unconstitutional violation of his due process rights and racial discrimination for its handling of the case.[4] The lawsuits were settled in April 2017, with Choudhry remaining a tenured faculty member of Berkeley Law.[5]


Choudhry was born in New Delhi in 1970.[6] He went to the University of Toronto Schools for high school. He received a B.S. at McGill University.[6][7] Choudhry received law degrees from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), the University of Toronto and Harvard Law School, where he had a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship.[8] He was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, and had a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship from Harvard University and the William E. Taylor Memorial Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).[8]

During the 1996-7 term, Choudhry was Law Clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada.[9] He was a Graduate Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Ethics and the Professions as well as a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School for the 1998-1999 academic year.[10] Choudhry was a member of the Governing Toronto Advisory Panel, supported the movement for same sex marriage in Canada.[11][12] He was counsel of record before the Supreme Court of Canada in two noted cases: the Charkaoui security certificate case and the Guantanamo detainee cases of Khadr 1 and Khadr 2.[13]

Early career[edit]

In 1999, he joined the faculty of the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor.[14] Choudhry was tenured in 2004[6] and later named Scholl Chair and was Associate Dean. At the University of Toronto, he was cross-appointed to the Department of Political Science and a Senior Fellow of Massey College.[15][16]

In 2010, the Trudeau Foundation awarded Choudhry a Trudeau Fellowship.[17] The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto named Choudhry Practitioner of the Year in 2011.[18] He was later appointed the Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law at New York University School of Law.[19][20] At New York University, he led a student team to Tunisia in 2013 and 2014[21][22] to present technical reports at the University of Tunisia and to meet with President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, among others.[19]

He was appointed Dean[20][23] and the first I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at Berkeley's School of Law in 2014.[24] The South Asian Bar Associations of Southern California (SABA-SC) and Northern California (SABA-NC) each awarded Choudhry the "Trailblazer Award".[25][26]

Later career[edit]

Choudhry is the Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions.[24] The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has cited Choudhry's work in its reports.[19] He has served as an advisor to the constitution building process in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and the Ukraine.[23]

In July 2017, he co-led a workshop on executive powers in Kyiv, and in December 2017, co-convened a workshop on restoring democratic constitutions after authoritarian backsliding in Berlin.[27] Choudhry and other experts in constitutional and international law released an open letter in October 2017 calling for dialogue and negotiations in Catalonia.[28]

He participated in a United Nations expert meeting in Geneva on mass atrocity and transitional justice in November 2017.[29] Choudhry co-authored a report titled "Semi-Presidentialism and Inclusive Governance in Ukraine" with Thomas Sedelius and Julia Kyrychenko, which was presented in April 2018 before Ukrainian constitutional experts in Kyiv.[2]


In 2015, the University of California investigated an allegation from Choudhry's former executive assistant of sexual harassment and closed the case.

Choudhry and the Regents of the University of California were served with a civil complaint in March 2016, which led the case to be reopened and Choudhry to sue the university for an unconstitutional denial of due process and for racial discrimination.[30][31][32]

Under settlement agreements, the civil complaint against Choudhry was dismissed in April 2017 and all proceedings were dropped.

He remained a tenured faculty member of Berkeley Law "in good standing with no disciplinary record".[33][34][35][36]

See Also: Claude Steele (Controversy)[37][38][39]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Choudhry, Sujit (23 August 2006). "Worse than Lochner?". Access to Care, Access to Justice: The Legal Debate over Private Health Insurance in Canada: 75–100. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  • Sujit Choudhry (2006). The Migration of Constitutional Ideas. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521173476.
  • Sujit Choudhry (2006). Dilemmas of Solidarity: Redistribution in the Canadian Federation. Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0802094070.
  • Sujit Choudhry, Michael Pal (2007). Is every ballot equal? : visible-minority vote dilution in Canada. Institute for Research on Public Policy, Montreal. OCLC 246907471.
  • Sujit Choudhry (2008). Constitutional Design for Divided Societies. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-953541-5.
  • Sujit Choudhry (2008). Multinational Federations, Constitutional Amendment and Secession.
  • Choudhry, Sujit; Mehta, P. B.; Khosla, M. (2014). Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution. Oxford University Press.
  • Choudhry, Sujit; Ginsburg, Tom (2017). Constitution Making. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Personal life[edit]

Choudhry is married with two children.[6]


  1. ^ a b Rajghatta, Chidanand. "Indian-origin scholar Sujit Choudhry becomes dean of top US law school". The Economic Times. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Semi-Presidentialism and Inclusive Governance in Ukraine". International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
  3. ^ "UC Berkeley law dean Sujit Choudhry resigns after sex harassment suit". CBS Local.
  4. ^ "Berkeley law school dean resigns after sexual harassment complaint". CNN.
  5. ^ "UC Berkeley dean in sexual harassment case keeps tenure and avoids charges". The Guardian.
  6. ^ a b c d Frey, Jennifer. "Introducing Sujit Choudhry | NYU Law Magazine". Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  7. ^ Deepak Chitnis (1 July 2014). "Sujit Choudhry takes office as Dean of University of California Berkeley School of Law". The American Bazaar. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Harvey, Colin; Schwartz, Alexander (20 July 2012). Rights in Divided Societies. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  10. ^ Nicolaïdis, Kalypso; Howse, Robert (2001). The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the United States and the European Union. Oxford University Press.
  11. ^ Makin, Kirk (25 January 2005). "Harper blasted on gay marriage". The Globe and Mail.
  12. ^ "The City We Want—The Government We Need" (PDF). Governing Toronto. November 2005.
  13. ^ "Sujit Choudhry | Fondation Trudeau". Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  14. ^ "The Law School Community" (PDF). NYU Law. 6 July 2011.
  15. ^ Kumar, Arun (2 July 2014). "Delhi born scholar becomes dean of top US law school". Desi Express. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  16. ^ Roach, Kent (2005). Access to Care, Access to Justice: The Legal Debate Over Private Health Insurance in Canada. University of Toronto Press.
  17. ^ Verma, Sonia (28 September 2010). "Trudeau's legacy pays the way for peace". The Globe and Mail.
  18. ^ "South Asian Bar Association of Toronto names Sujit Choudhry Practitioner of the Year". NYU Law.
  19. ^ a b c "Sujit Choudhry named next dean of Berkeley Law | NYU School of Law". 6 May 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  20. ^ a b Kumar Arun (2 July 2014). "Delhi born scholar becomes dean of top US law school". India Tomorrow.
  21. ^ CT Clinic. "CT Clinic". Constitutional Transitions. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Constitutional Transitions Clinic visits Tunisia to confer with president | NYU School of Law". 22 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  23. ^ a b Gluss, Susan (5 May 2014). "NYU's Sujit Choudhry named new dean of Berkeley Law". University of California.
  24. ^ a b "Sujit Choudhry". Institute For Integrated Transitions.
  25. ^ Staff Reporter (23 March 2015). "South Asian Attorneys Honored at 22nd Annual SABA-NC Gala". India West. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  26. ^ Staff Reporter (8 April 2015). "Three Honored At SABA Foundation Event". India Journal. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  27. ^ "Sujit Choudhry Convenes Roundtable to Tackle Hungary's and Poland's Authoritarian Backsliding".
  28. ^ "Sujit Choudhry speaks out on Spain and Catalonia".
  29. ^ "Sujit Choudhry Attends Expert Group Meeting on Transitional Justice and Atrocity Prevention in Geneva".
  30. ^ Peter Berkowitz (17 May 2016). "An Assault on Due Process at UC Berkeley". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  31. ^ Peter Berkowitz (17 April 2016). "Double Jeopardy at the University of California". RealClear Politics. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  32. ^ Gershman, Jacob (25 April 2016). "Former UC Berkeley Law School Dean Accuses University of Violating His Rights". The Wall Street Journal.
  33. ^ Lee, Chantelle; Lynn, Jessica; Pratt, Pressly (14 April 2017). "UC Board of Regents settles lawsuits with Sujit Choudhry, Tyann Sorrell". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  34. ^ Rubenstein, Steve (14 April 2017). "Former UC Berkeley law school dean settles suit with accuser". SFGATE. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  35. ^ Hancock, Ben (15 April 2017). "Berkeley Law, Ex-Dean Settle Suits Over Alleged Sexual Harassment". ALM Network of Legal Publications, Events, Research, and Intelligence Tools. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  36. ^ "Former Berkeley law school dean accused of sexual harassment reaches settlement".
  37. ^ "UC officials defend Claude Steele's appointment to law school faculty amid controversy - The Daily Californian". 18 March 2016.
  38. ^ "Berkeley Provost Got Law-School Appointment at Controversial Dean's Urging – The Ticker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education".
  39. ^ "A letter to the community from Claude Steele - The Daily Californian". 11 May 2016.

External links[edit]