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Dr DEVA, Surya

BA (Hons), LLB, LLM (Delhi)
PhD (Sydney)

Associate Professor

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Dr DEVA, Surya

Contact Information

Office: LI-6346
Phone: +(852)-3442-7370
Twitter: @ProfSuryaDeva

Research Interests

  • Business and Human Rights
  • India-China Constitutional Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Sustainable Development
  • Gender Dimensions of New Technologies

Dr Surya Deva is an Associate Professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong, and a member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. He is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of business and human rights. Deva has published extensively in this area and advised various UN bodies, governments, multinational corporations, and civil society organisations. He also researches in the areas of India-China constitutional law, international human rights law, sustainable development, and gender dimensions of new technologies. Deva is one of the founding Editors-in-Chief of the Business and Human Rights Journal, and sits on the Editorial/Advisory Board of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, the Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, the Indian Law Review, and the Australian Journal of Human Rights. He is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Constitutional Law (2014-18; 2018-22).

Publications (please visit SSRN page)



Book Chapters

  • ‘The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Its Predecessors: Progress at a Snail’s Pace?’ in Ilias Bantekas and Michael Ashley Stein (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Business and Human Rights (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2021).  
  • ‘International Investment Agreements and Human Rights: Assessing the Role of the UN’s Business and Human Rights Regulatory Initiatives’ in Julien Chaisse et al (eds.), Handbook of International Investment Law (Springer, forthcoming in 2021).
  • ‘From “business or human rights” to “business and human rights”: what next? in Surya Deva and David Birchall (eds.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Business (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2020), 1-21.
  • ‘Alternative Paths to a Business and Human Rights Treaty’ in Jernej Letnar Černič and Nicolás Carrillo-Santarelli (eds.), The Future of Business and Human Rights: Theoretical and Practical Considerations for a UN Treaty (Antwerp: Intersentia, 2018), 13-31. 
  • ‘Scope of the Proposed Business and Human Rights Treaty: Navigating through Normativity, Law and Politics’ in Surya Deva and David Bilchitz (eds.), Building a Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Context and Contours (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) 154-182.
  • ‘Connecting the Dots: How to Capitalize on the Current High Tide for a Business and Human Rights Treaty’ in Surya Deva and David Bilchitz (eds.), Building a Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Context and Contours (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) 472-494.
  • ‘Business and Human Rights: Time to Move Beyond the “Present”?’ in César Rodríguez-Garavito (ed.), Business and Human Rights: Beyond the End of the Beginning (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) 62-75. 
  • ‘Saving Clauses: The Ninth Schedule and Articles 31A to 31C’ in Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla and Pratap Bhanu Mehta (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) 627-643.
  • ‘Democracy and Elections in India: Reviewing the Role of the Election Commission and the Courts’ in Po Jen Yap (ed.), Judicial review of Elections in Asia (London: Routledge, 2016) 38-56.
  • ‘Business and Human Rights, or the Business of Human Rights: Critical Reflections on Emerging Themes’ in Bård A. Andreassen. Võ Khánh Vinh (eds.), Duties Across Borders: Advancing Human Rights in Transnational Business (Antwerp: Intersentia, 2016) 23-38.
  • ‘Multinationals, Human Rights and International Law: Time to Move beyond the ‘State-Centric’ Conception?’ in Jernej Letnar Černič and Tara Van Ho (eds.), Human Rights and Business: Direct Corporate Accountability for Human Rights (The Hague: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2015) 27-49.
  • ‘Development, Sovereign Support to Finance and Human Rights: Lessons from India’ in Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky and Jernej Letnar Černič (eds.), Making Sovereign Financing and Human Rights Work (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2014) 289-302.
  • ‘The Indian Constitution in the 21st Century: The Continuing Quest for Empowerment, Good Governance and Sustainability’ in Albert Chen (ed.), Constitutionalism in Asia in the Early Twenty-First Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) 343-366.
  • ‘Treating Human Rights Lightly: A Critique of the Consensus Rhetoric and the Language Employed by the Guiding Principles’ in Surya Deva and David Bilchitz (eds.), Human Rights Obligations of Business: Beyond the Corporate Responsibility to Respect? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) 78-104.
  • ‘Death Penalty in the “Rarest of Rare” Cases: A Critique of Judicial Choice-Making’ in Roger Hood and Surya Deva (eds.), Confronting Capital Punishment in Asia: Human Rights, Politics and Public Opinion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) 238-286.
  • ‘Taking Nature Seriously: Taming Corporate Profiteering by Guidelines and Principles?’ in Christina Voigt (ed.), The Rule of Law for Nature: New Dimensions and Ideas in Environment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) 312-328.
  • ‘Can Robots have Human Rights Obligations? An Exploration’ in Sam Muller et al (eds.), The Law of the Future and the Future of Law, vol. 2 (The Hague: TorkelOpsahl Academic EPublishers, 2012) 185-193.
  • ‘Corporate Human Rights Violations: A Case for Extraterritorial Regulation’ in Christoph Luetge (Editor-in-Chief), Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics (Springer, 2012) 1077-1090.
  • ‘Constitutional Courts as Positive Legislators: The Indian Experience’ in Allan Brewer-Carias (ed.), Constitutional Courts as Positive Legislatures: A Comparative Law Study (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011) 587-601.
  • ‘Child Labour: An Analysis of the Nature of Corporate Responsibility’ in Tonia Novitz & David Mangan (eds.), Role of Labour Standards in Development: Theory in Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press/British Academy, 2011) 106-21. 
  • ‘Corporate Human Rights Abuses: What Role for the National Human Rights Institutions?’ in Hitoshi Nasu & Ben Saul (eds.), Human Rights in the Asia Pacific Region: Towards Institution Building (London: Routledge, 2011) 234-48.
  • ‘"Protect, Respect and Remedy": A Critique of the SRSG’s Framework for Business and Human Rights’ in Karin Buhmann, Lynn Roseberry & Mette Morsing (eds.), Corporate Social and Human Rights Responsibilities: Global Legal and Management Perspectives (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) 108-126
  • ‘Public Interest Litigation in India: A Quest to Achieve the Impossible?’ in Yap Po Jen & Holning S Lau (eds), Public Interest Litigation in Asia (London: Routledge, 2010) 57-79.
  • ‘The State of Affirmative Action amidst Privatisation: Some Critical Reflections’ in Swati Deva (ed.), Law and (In)equalities: Contemporary Perspectives (Lucknow: Eastern Book Company, 2010) 25-51.
  • ‘Globalisation and its Impact on the Realisation of Human Rights: Indian Perspective on a Global Canvas’ in C Raj Kumar & K Chockalingam (eds.), Human Rights, Justice, and Constitutional Empowerment (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 237-263.
  • ‘Criminal Liability for Corporate Human Rights Abuses: Is the Rome Statute an Option?’ in RK Dixit et al (eds.), International Criminal Jurisprudence: Issues and Challenges (New Delhi: Indian Society of International Law, 2006), pp. 148-155.

Journal Articles

  • ‘Business and Human Rights: Alternative Approaches to Transnational Regulation’ (2021) 17 Annual Review of Law and Social Science (forthcoming).
  • ‘Threats to Hong Kong’s Autonomy from the NPC’s Standing Committee: The Role of Courts and the Basic Structure Doctrine’ (2020) 50 Hong Kong Law Journal 901-933.  
  • ‘Business and Human Rights Scholarship: Past Trends and Future Directions’ (2019) 4:2 Business and Human Rights Journal 201-212 (co-authored with Anita Ramasastry, Florian Wettstein and Michael Santoro).
  • ‘Sustainable Business and Australian Corporate Law: An Exploration’ (2016) 11 International & Comparative Corporate Law Journal 60-104.
  • ‘Child Labour: Should Companies “Stand at Bay” or “Enter the Water”?’ (2014) 56 Journal of Indian Law Institute 143-174.
  • ‘Socially Responsible Business in India: Has the Elephant Finally Woken Up to the Tunes of International Trends?’ (2012) 41 Common Law World Review 299-321.
  • ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implications for Companies’ (2012) 9:2 European Company Law 101-09.
  • ‘The Constitution of China: What Purpose Does It (Not) Serve?’ (2011) 2:2 Jindal Global Law Review 55-77.
  • ‘Sustainable Development: What Role for the Company Law?’ (2011) 8 International & Comparative Corporate Law Journal 76-102.
  • ‘The Role of Law in Hong Kong’s (De)Colonisation: A Critical Narrative’ (2010) Juridikum 300-310.
  • ‘The PRC Tort Law: A Big Step Forward?’ (2010) 2 City University of Hong Kong Law Review 383-395.
  • 'Public Interest Litigation in India: A Critical Review' (2009) 29 Civil Justice Quarterly 19-40.
  • ‘Does the Right to Property Create a Constitutional tension in Socialist Constitutions: An Analysis with Reference to India and China’ (2008) 1 NUJS Law Review 583-603.
  • ‘"Yahoo! for Good" and the Right to Privacy of Internet Users: A Critique’ (2008) 11:9 Journal of Internet Law 3-10.
  • 'Corporate Complicity in Internet Censorship in China: Who Cares for the Global Compact or the Global Online Freedom Act?' (2007) 39 George Washington International Law Review 255-319.
  • "Global Compact: A Critique of UN’s "Public-Private" Partnership for Promoting Corporate Citizenship" (2006) 34 Syracuse Journal of International Law & Commerce 107-151.
  • 'Human Rights Realisation in an Era of Globalisation: The Indian Experience' (2006) 12 Buffalo Human Rights Law Review 93-138.
  • 'Sustainable Good Governance and Corporations: An Analysis of Asymmetries' (2006) 18 Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 707-750.
  • 'The Constitution of India: Symbol of Unity in Diversity' (2005) 53 Jahrbuch des OffentlichenRechts der Gegenwart 649-686 (co-authored with Mahendra P Singh).
  • 'The Sangam of Foreign Investment, Multinational Corporations and Human Rights: An Indian Perspective for a Developing Asia' (2004) Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 305-327.
  • 'UN’s Human Rights Norms for Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises: An Imperfect Step in the Right Direction?' (2004) 10 ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law 493-523.
  • 'Acting Extraterritorially to Tame Multinational Corporations for Human Rights Violations: Who Should Bell the Cat?' (2004) 5 Melbourne Journal of International Law 37-65.
  • 'Human Rights Violations by Multinational Corporations and International Law: Where from Here?' (2003) 19 Connecticut Journal of International Law 1-57.
  • ‘Doha Declaration and Health Concerns of Developing Countries’ (2001) 23 Delhi Law Review 145-164.

Online Publications

Journal Editorship

Research Grants

  • Relevance of the Basic Structure Doctrine to the Basic Law, Private Foundation Grant (HKD415,000) [1 April 2018-30 September 2021] (PI)
  • Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART), EU Horizon 2020’s Grant (EUR2,491,210) [1 March 2016-29 February 2020] (I)
  • Improving the Environment by Playing “Green Beans”, City University of Hong Kong Campus Sustainability Fund Grant (HKD112,238) [2015-16] (PI).
  • CSR between Public and Private – Public institutional conditions for the generation and implementation of CSR norms in Denmark, China and the US, Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation Grant (DKK287,418) [2015] (I).
  • Sustainable Companies: How to Make Companies Contribute Effectively to Mitigate Climate Change?, Norwegian Research Council (NOK 5.8 million) [2010-13] (I).
  • Business, Human Rights and Access to Justice in China, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Grant (CHF20,000) [2010] (PI).
  • The Role of Company Law in Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility: What Could Hong Kong Learn from the UK and Australia?, City University of Hong Kong Strategic Research Grant (HK$179,454) [2008-11] (PI).

Professional Affiliations

Media Interviews

  • ABC TV, Al Jazeera TV, CCTV, Agence France-Presse (AFP), TimeFinancial Times, The GuardianLe TempsThe Sydney Morning HeraldThe South China Morning PostThe Huffington Post, Thomson Reuters, Quartz, RTHK Radio 3, Radio Free Asia, and SBS Radio.