Dr. Shivprasad Swaminathan

Professor & Associate Dean (Research) and Executive Director, Centre on Public Law and Jurisprudence

B.S.L; LL.B (Pune); B.C.L (Oxford); D.Phil (Oxford)

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 in leading journals including Modern Law ReviewLegal TheoryJurisprudenceOxford University Commonwealth Law Journal and Asian Journal of Comparative Law.

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.

Awarded for Teaching Excellence 2012-13 , 2013-14 (notable mention) and 2014-15 (notable mention).

Awarded for Research Excellence in 2015-16; 2016-17 and 2018-19.

Received the Scholarship for International Researchers from Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg (2017).

Invited for the Stanford-Pennsylvania International Junior Faculty Forum, Stanford University (2017).


Awarded the Clarendon Scholarship (University of Oxford) 2008.

Awarded the Balliol Eddie Dinshaw Scholarship (University of Oxford) 2008

Awarded the Balliol Luis Stuart Fund Bursary (University of Oxford) 2011.


  • ‘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).
  • ‘De-Inventing the Wheel: Liquidated Damage, 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 1872’ (2017) 12 Asian Journal of Comparative Law 141-165.
  • ‘The Great Indian Privity Trick: Hundred Years of Misunderstanding Nineteenth Century English Law’ (2016) 16 Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 160-182. 
  • ‘The Long Slumber of Dicey’s Indian Monarch’ (2016) 42 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 212-235. 
  • ‘A Centennial Refurbishment of Dunlop’s Contractual Concepts’ (2016) 45 Common Law World Review 248-256.
  • ‘In Search of a Mythical Exception to Privity in Indian Law’ (2016) 43 Journal of Malaysian and Comparative Law 53-68. 
  • ‘Projectivism and the Metaethical Foundations of the Normativity of Law’, (2016) 7 Jurisprudence 231-266. 
  • ‘Expressivist Turn, Relativist Returns: Toh’s Hartian Reconstruction’, (2014) 29 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 87-116. 
  • ‘Police Powers and the Constitution of India: The Inconspicuous Ascent of an Incongruous American Implant’ (2014) 28 Emory International Law Review 63-121 (with Arvind Datar). 
  • ‘Schrodinger’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. 
  • ‘The Rise and Fall of Hercules: A Hard Look at Dworkin’s Theory of Adjudication’, (2007) Supreme Court Cases- Journal 15- 32.


  • ‘Minors’ Contracts: A Major Problem with the Indian Contract Act, 1872’ Statute Law Review(with Ragini Surana).
  • Book Review: ‘Law in Theory and History’ (2019) Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.

Book Chapters

  • ‘Coercion, Undue Influence and Unconscionability in Indian Law’ in Mindy Chen-Wishart, Stefan Vogenauer and Hiro Sonoo (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