Prof. (Dr.) Saumya Uma will be joining Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), India as an Associate Professor in January 2020. She teaches and researches at the intersection of gender, human rights and the law. She has over 25 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). She has a vast experience in engaging with a variety of international and national actors and institutions including universities, non-profit organizations, UN agencies, parlimentarians and bureaucrats from India and abroad. She has researched and authored twelve books, edited/co-edited books by reputed publishers such as the Oxford University Press, and has written and published more than 50 articles.
Dr. Uma pursued her B.A. LL.B.(Hons.) from National Law School of India (NLSIU), Bangalore. While practising law in the courts of Mumbai, she went on to do her first LL.M. in Family Law and Human Rights from the University of Mumbai. Thereafter she received the prestigious British Chevening scholarship for human rights, administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, U.K. for pursuing a second LL.M. in International Human Rights at the University of Nottingham, U.K. She returned to her alma mater – NLSIU – to work on and complete her doctoral research. The research focussed on developing an India legal framework on victim and witness protection, with a specific reference to gender based violence.
She has experience in full time teaching at renowned Indian law universities such as National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Maharashtra National Law University – Mumbai and Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). She has expertise in teaching students from varied socio-economic and cultural backgrounds at the undergraduate and post graduate levels, and in teaching in a ‘pure’ law environment as well as in an inter-disciplinary environment (law with humanities and social sciences, and law with public policy). The subjects she has taught in the past at the undergraduate and post graduate levels include constitutional law, family law, introduction to law and legal methods, legal literacy and rights awareness, feminist jurisprudence and gender justice, legal clinics and clinical methodology, human rights lawyering, group inequality and inclusive policy, social exclusion and the law, and communication and advocacy skills. She is popularly known for employing varied pedagogy in the classroom – such as participatory, experiential, skill-based, clinical, application-oriented, peer learning, collaborative teaching and student-centric methods to enhance learning outcomes for the students. Additionally, she has steered mentorship programmes, legal services clinic, internship cells, committee on prevention of sexual harassment and faculty discussion forums during her academic career.
For decades, Dr. Uma has taught or addressed students of various universities as a guest faculty, including in Christ University – Bangalore, Guwahati University, Jawaharlal Nehru University – Delhi, NALSAR – Hyderabad, National Law University – Jodhpur, National Law University Odisha – Cuttack, Nirma University Institute of Law – Gandhinagar, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law – Patiala, SNDT Women’s University – Mumbai, South Asian University – Delhi, St. Joseph’s College – Bangalore, St. Xaviers College – Mumbai, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) – Mumbai, University College of Stockholm – Sweden, University of Mumbai, Utkal University – Bhubaneswar and West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) – Kolkata. She has also been engaged with capacity building activities of law teachers, lawyers, police officials, judges and NGO representatives.
Dr. Uma’s research and writing focusses on contemporary issues 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 and accountability for mass crimes; freedom of religion; South Asian women’s movements and 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 is currently authoring a book on victim and witness protection for gender based violence, and engaged in research and writing on women’s rights in the context of religious fundamentalism and violent extremism in South Asia.
Previously, she has advised the Government of India on policy formulation with regard to protection of minority rights in contexts of religion-based mass violence. She initiated and spear-headed as the national coordinator of ICC-India: an anti-impunity and mass awareness campaign on International Criminal Court and its relevance to India. She is an active participant of feminist and human rights movements and initiatives in India and South Asia. She is a member of European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), a life member of Indian Association for Women’s Studies (IAWS), and serves on the Board of Governors of Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) and Women’s Regional Network (WRN).