Prof. Severyna Magill

Prof. Severyna Magill

Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Centre for Human Rights Studies, Jindal Global Law School

B.A. (Keele University);

M.A. (SOAS University of London)


Prof. Severyna Magill is the course coordinator for the Human Rights Law and Theory programme at Jindal Global Law School. She also teaches elective courses in Women’s Bodies and the Law, Feminist Thought, and Feminist Jurisprudence. Severyna’s research interests are in domestic violence, sexual violence and sexual harassment laws within the UK and India.

Severyna served the university as the Member-Secretary of the Committee Against Sexual Harassment and played the lead role in drafting the university’s polices, designing training programmes, and overseeing the hearing of all cases. She has also provided consultancy services on sexual harassment at the workplace to Action Aid, India, and the Department of Social Security, and Women and Children’s Development, Punjab. She has previously worked for Non-Governmental Organisations funded by UN Women, the European Commission, and the UK Home Office in both rural India and in London, UK. Severyna obtained her Masters in International Law from SOAS in 2009.

The Right to Privacy and Access to Abortion in a Post- Puttaswamy World, (2020)
In August 2017 India’s Supreme Court ruled that a Constitutional right to privacy exists in KS Puttaswamy v Union of India. Whilst considering how the right to privacy has evolved the Supreme Court referenced international case law charting the right to use contraception and to access abortion. Indian jurisprudence already has a wealth of case law on reproductive rights, often referencing the same principles of liberty, autonomy, and dignity that the Puttaswamy judgment refers to. After Puttaswamy there has been much talk about the scope of reproductive rights in India being broadened. This article contributes and builds upon this discourse as it seeks to predict how the Supreme Court will respond to future challenges using the new constitutional right to privacy. It maps the legal framework under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, which regulates access to abortion within India and considers issues relating to access to abortion, the continuing practise of sex-determination and sex-preferred abortions, and debates surrounding access to abortion where foetuses have been diagnosed with medical conditions likely to affect their quality of life, and/or survival. This article examines liberty, autonomy, and dignity as they are articulated within the Puttaswamy decision and how they are represented within existing reproductive rights jurisprudence and academic debates with reference to access to abortion. This approach aims to predict how any future challenge to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act’s provisions using the new constitutional right to privacy will be responded to by the Supreme Court of India.