Prof. (Dr.) Shivprasad Swaminathan

Professor & Associate Dean & Executive Director- Centre on Public Law and Jurisprudence

B.S.L LL.B (ILS Pune);

B.C.L. (University of Oxford);

D.Phil (University of Oxford)

Prof. (Dr.) Swaminathan is Professor and Executive Director, Centre on Public Law and Jurisprudence at Jindal Global Law School. He got his undergraduate law degree from Indian Law Society, Pune before going on to read for B.C.L at  St. Catherine’s College, Oxford;  and D. Phil , at Balliol College, Oxford where he was a Clarendon Scholar.  He has previously practised at the bar in the Bombay High Court, where he read in the chambers of Navroz Seervai, Senior Advocate. He works primarily in legal philosophy; and teaches Jurisprudence and Contract law. His papers have been published (or are forthcoming) in leading journals including Modern Law Review, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies,  Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and  Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal.


Dr. Swaminathan teaches Jurisprudence and Contract law. He has previously taught an elective, Genealogy of Central Doctrines of Indian Contract Law; and co-taught an elective, Common Law Mind.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Awarded the Asian Law Institute Visiting Fellowship at National University of Singapore (March-April 2019).


  • Appointed as one of the inaugural (Associate) Professors of Research at Jindal Global Law School (2018-2019).


  • Awarded Scholarship for International Researchers by Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg (September-November 2017).


  • Stanford-Pennsylvania International Junior Faculty Forum, Stanford University (2017)


  • ‘Award for Research Excellence’: Jindal Global University (2017-2018).


  • ‘Award for Research Excellence’: Jindal Global University (2016-2017).


  • ‘Award for Research Excellence:’ Jindal Global University (2015-2016).


  • Awarded ‘Special Mention for Outstanding Performance in Teaching’ Jindal Global University (2014-2015).


  • Awarded ‘Special Mention for Outstanding Performance in Teaching’ Jindal Global University (2013-2014).


  • Awarded ‘Teaching Excellence Award’: Jindal Global University (2012-2013).


  • Clarendon Fund Scholarship, University of Oxford: University and College Fees for D.Phil. (2008-2011).


  • Balliol Eddie Dinshaw Scholarship, Balliol College: Full maintenance grant (2008-2011).


  • Sir Louis Stuart Fund Bursary, Balliol College: Maintenance grant (2011-12).


  • ‘What the Centipede Knows: Polycentricity and Theory for Common Lawyers’. Forthcoming in Oxford Journal of Legal Studies.


  • ‘Contractual Unfairness: Another Way of Skinning the Cat’. Forthcoming in Indian Law Review.


  • ‘Dicey and the Brickmaker: An Unresolved Tension between the Rational and the Reasonable in Common Law Pedagogy’ (2019) 40 Liverpool Law Review 203-226 (Special Issue) Link


  • ‘Minors’ Contracts: A Major Problem with the Indian Contract Act, 1872’. Forthcoming in Statute Law Review (with Ragini Surana) Link


  • Mos Geometricus and the Common Law Mind: Interrogating Contract Theory’ (2019) 82 Modern Law Review 46-70. (Link)


  • ‘Nothing ‘Mere’ to It: Reclaiming Subjective Accounts of Normativity of Law’ (2019) 25 Journal of Human Values 1-14 (Special Issue: Norms Values and Human Conditions).


  • Book Review: ‘Law in Theory and History: New Essays on a Neglected Dialogue’ (2019) 32 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 249-254.


  • ‘De-Inventing the Wheel: Liquidated Damages, Penalties and the Indian Contract Act,1872’ (2018) 6 Chinese Journal of Comparative Law 103-117.


  • ‘The Will Theorist’s Mail Box: Misunderstanding the Moment of Contract Creation in the Indian Contract Act’ (2018) 39 Statute Law Review 14-26.


  • ‘A Tale of Two Harts: The Paradox in Essays on Bentham’ (2017) 23 Legal Theory 27-54.


  • ‘Eclipsed by Orthodoxy: The Vanishing Point of Consideration and the Forgotten Ingenuity of the Indian Contract Act’ (2017) 12 Asian Journal of Comparative Law141-165.


  • ‘The Great Indian Privity Trick: Hundred Years of Misunderstanding Nineteenth Century English Law’ (2016) 16 Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal160-182.


  • ‘The Long Slumber of Dicey’s Indian Monarch’ (2016) 42 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 212-235.


  • ‘A Centennial Refurbishment of Dunlop’sContractual Concepts’ (2016) 45 Common Law World Review 248-256.


  • ‘Projectivism and the Metaethical Foundations of the Normativity of Law’ (2016) 7 Jurisprudence 231-266.


  • ‘In Search of a Mythical Exception to Privity in Indian Law’ (2016) 43 Journal of Malaysian and Comparative Law 53-68.


  • ‘Expressivist Turn, Relativist Returns: Toh’s Hartian Project’, (2014) 29 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 87-116.


  • ‘Police Powers and the Constitution of India: The Inconspicuous Ascent of an Incongruent American Implant’ (2014) 28 Emory International Law Review 63-121 (with Arvind Datar SC).


  • ‘Schrödinger’s Constitutional Cat: The Effect of the High Court’s Declaration of Unconstitutionality’ (2013) 25 National Law School of India Review 100-118.


  • ‘The Conflict between Freedom of the Press and Parliamentary Privileges: An Unfamiliar Twist in a familiar Tale’ (2010) 22 National Law School of India Review 123-133.


  • ‘The Rise and Fall of Hercules: A Hard Look at Dworkin’s Theory of Adjudication’ (2007) Supreme Court Cases Journal 15- 32 (Eastern Book Company).


Book Chapters

  • ‘Common Lawyer as Practical Philosopher’ in Arvind Datar SC ed. Essays and Reminiscences: A Festschrift in Honour of Nani Palkhivala (Lexis Nexis 2020).


  • ‘Coercion, Undue Influence and Unconscionability in Indian Law’ in Mindy Chen-Wishart, Stefan Vogenauer and Hiroo Sono (eds.) Studies in the Contract Laws of Asia IV : Validity (Oxford University Press: forthcoming).


  • ‘Lalman v Gauri Dutt: Legend and Reality’ in Umakanth Varottil, V. Niranjan and Mihir Naniwadekar (eds.) Corporate and Commercial Law in India: The Reform Decade (Eastern Book Company: forthcoming).


  • ‘A Novel Exception to Privity of Contract’ in Umakanth Varottil, V Niranjan and Mihir Naniwadekar (eds.) Corporate and Commercial Law in India: The Reform Decade (Eastern Book Company: forthcoming).


  • ‘The Philosophical Foundations of the Basic Structure Doctrine: Entrenchment or Defeasibility?’ in Sanjay Jain and Sathya Narayan (eds.) Basic Structure Constitutionalism (Eastern Book Company 2011) 257-272.


Opinion Pieces

  • ‘Scholars, Scribblers in the Same Boat’: Op-ed piece in The Hindu 24 February 2014


  • ‘Tamil Nadu’s IPL Overreach’: Op-ed piece in The Hindu 12 April 2013.


  • ‘Selling Hot News Where There is None’: Op-ed piece in Mint 2 April 2013.


  • ‘India’s Benign Constitutional Revolution’: Op-ed piece in The Hindu 26 January 2013.


  • ‘The Moving Bulls Eye’: Op-ed piece in The Open Magazine 6 February 2013.


  • ‘Saving Free Speech from the Police’: Op-ed piece in The Hindu 26 November 2012.


  • ‘All India Permit’: Op-ed piece in Indian Express 9 July 2009