Sen, Dr. Sarbani

Dr. Sen received her LL.B. from Delhi University (1987), an LL.M. from the London School of Economics (1989) and an LL.M./J.S.D. from Yale Law School in 1996. On returning to India in 1996, she practiced as a constitutional litigator until 2005. She also taught part time at the National University of Juridical Sciences, Calcutta, and researched refugee law issues as a researcher for the UNHCR, New Delhi.
In Fall 2006 she was a Graham Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. She is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University. Dr Sen will be teaching as Adjunct Faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School from January 2007 and deliver a paper at the Second Osgoode Constitutional Law Roundtable in February 2007.
Dr Sen's publications include "Paradoxes of the international regime of care: the role of the UNHCR in India," in
Refugees and the state, practices of asylum and care in
, 1947-2000, (Ranabir Samaddar ed., New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2003) and
The Indian founding: its revolutionary origins, (forthcoming from Oxford University Press, 2007).
At Osgoode Hall Law School she taught the course: "The concept of Equality from a comparative perspective." The course looked at how the concept of equality has been defined in legal theory. It focused at its constitutional incorporation in Canada and India's charter of rights, and how judicial interpretive canons have changed after World War II (such as reference to the human dignity paradigm) in looking at the concept of equality. Through a close study of Canadian case law, the course examined the theory and issues such as Charter equality in terms of gender, race, and citizenship from within the human dignity framework. It also looked at the founding debates on the Indian constitution on its equality clauses as India emerged from colonial rule; judicial exegesis of the equality guarantee after independence (expounding principles such as "equality before law" and "equal protection of the laws" and what were the tests of a "reasonable classification" by the government); subsequent judicial decisions (reading the language of Arts. 14, 19, and 21 to understand the meaning of equality; developing judicial criteria to define "social and economic backwardness"; defining the powers of the state to exercise positive discrimination) and the judicial construction of public interest litigation procedures.

Dr Sen's other research concentrates on the intersection between international trade law and human rights in the context of India's WTO membership and its impact on the concept of "development" from a developing country perspective.

Fellow Year: 
2006 - 2007
Dr. Sarbani

Adjunct Faculty, Osgoode Hall Law SchoolLL.B (Delhi); LL.M (LSE); LL.M / J.S.D. (Yale)