Prof. (Dr.) Saumya Uma has over 27 years’ combined work experience as an academic, law researcher, lawyer, trainer, writer and campaigner on gender, law and human rights. She has served as a research consultant on human rights, with international agencies such as the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). Additionally, she worked as the National Coordinator of ICC-India: the Indian campaign on International Criminal Court – from 2002 to 2010.
Dr. Uma teaches and researches at the intersection of gender, human rights and the law. In particular, she writes on feminist jurisprudence; international criminal justice and its relevance to India; victim and witness protection; violence, impunity and justice for mass crimes; South Asian women’s movements and the feminist envisioning of justice; human rights law and lawyering; gender-based violence and reparative justice; access to justice; social exclusion and marginalization; clinical legal education; and legal pedagogy. She has researched and authored eleven books, edited/co-edited books by reputed publishers such as the Oxford University Press, and has written and published nearly 50 articles in journals, newspapers and popular online media platforms.
Although firmly grounded in the discipline of law, Dr. Uma believes that a holistic approach to law is one that takes within its fold scholarship from other disciplines in social sciences and humanities, including sociology, political science, history and gender studies. As such, her work reflects an inter-disciplinary approach to law, as compared to a ‘black letter’ law approach. Her current research interests are threefold: a) analysing aspects of Indian family law through a feminist perspective, particularly on issues of matrimonial rights and inheritance; b) examining freedom of religion as a human right and its intersection with women’s equality rights in the national, South Asian and international contexts; and c) tracing the inter-linkages between international law and domestic legal processes on issues pertaining to human rights, in other words, in domesticating international human rights standards. Additionally, she is presently preparing a book manuscript on women’s empowerment through the law, under contract with Aleph Book Company, India.
Dr. Uma holds a B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from National Law School of India (NLSIU), Bangalore; two postgraduate law degrees – LL.M. in Family Law and Human Rights from the University of Mumbai, India and LL.M. in International Human Rights at the University of Nottingham, U.K. She received the prestigious British Chevening scholarship for human rights, administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, U.K. for pursuing the latter degree. She completed her doctoral research from her alma mater – NLSIU. The research focused on developing an Indian legal framework on victim and witness protection, with a specific reference to gender based violence. In 2011, she received a fellowship from Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, Mumbai. In 2019, she was offered the Indian Equality Law Visiting Fellowship by the Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne (declined).
Dr. Uma has several years of experience in full time teaching at renowned universities in India such as National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Maharashtra National Law University – Mumbai and Ambedkar University Delhi prior to joining Jindal Global Law School. For decades, she has addressed students of various universities pertaining to law and social sciences as a guest faculty. She has also been engaged with capacity building activities of law teachers, lawyers, police officials, judges and representatives of non-profit organizations. Additionally, Dr. Uma has a vast experience in closely collaborating with a variety of international and national actors and institutions including universities, non-profit organizations, UN agencies, parliamentarians and bureaucrats from India and abroad. For further details, please see https://works.bepress.com/saumyauma/