Sujit Choudhry

ISBN (identifier) ISSN (identifier) Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship

Sujit Choudhry
Born1970 (age 49–50)[1]
Alma materMcGill University (B.Sc.)[3]
University of Oxford (B.A.)
University of Toronto (LL.B.)
Harvard Law School (LL.M.)[4]
OccupationLawyer, legal scholar
Years active1996–present
AwardsRhodes Scholarship
Cecelia Goetz Professorship
William E. Taylor Memorial Fellowship
Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship[4]
Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law
In office
Preceded byGillian Lester (Interim Dean)
Succeeded byMelissa Murray (Interim Dean)

Sujit Choudhry is a lawyer, legal scholar, and expert in comparative constitutional law.

Sujit is also an internationally-recognized authority on comparative constitutional law. For over 20 years, he has been an advisor for constitution building, governance and rule of law processes, including in Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Myanmar, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine and Yemen. He has lectured or spoken in three dozen countries. As a leading expert on the Canadian constitution, Sujit has published over 100 articles, book chapters, working papers, and reports. His work has been cited with approval by the Supreme Court of Canada and other courts across Canada.

Sujit has also been retained to provide legal and policy advice to government commissions and committees, including:

the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health (the Naylor Committee) the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada (the Romanow Commission) the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.


Choudry is an author of the books The Migration of Constitutional Ideas, Dilemmas of Solidarity, Constitutional Design for Divided Societies, Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, Constitution-Making, Territory and Power in Constitutional Transitions and Security Sector Reform in Constitutional Transitions.

In November 2017, he participated in a United Nations expert meeting in Geneva on mass atrocity and transitional justice.[5]

Choudhry co-authored a report titled "Semi-Presidentialism and Inclusive Governance in Ukraine" with Thomas Sedelius and Julia Kyrychenko which was presented in April 2018 before Ukrainian constitutional experts in Kyiv.[6] He is the Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions.[7]

Sexual harassment complaint

In March 2015, when Choudhry was dean of University of California, Berkeley School of Law, he was accused of sexual harassment by his executive assistant, Tyann Sorrell.[8] Chaudhry did not dispute that the conduct had occurred, but only disputed how often the conduct occurred.[9] The university's office for the prevention of harassment and discrimination concluded that Choudhry’s behaviour had violated campus sexual harassment policies.[9][10] In March 2016, Sorrell filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Choudhry in the Alameda County Superior Court,[11] and against the Regents of the University of California for their failure to respond effectively to her complaint against Choudhry.[12] Choudhry thereafter went on an indefinite leave of absence from his position as dean,[13][14][15][16] but continued to remain a member of faculty.[17] His return to the Berkley campus in September 2016 as a member of faculty was met by student protests.[12] The lawsuit resulted in settlement agreements, under which Choudhry agreed to pay a total of $50,000 to Sorrell’s attorneys, a contribution that his lawyer William Taylor called “relatively minimal.” Choudhry also agreed to pay $50,000 to charities of Sorrell’s choice.[18][19]

Academic service

Choudhry was the first person of Indian origin to be named dean of a top US law school, and the first I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at Berkeley's School of Law.[2][7] He was also a recipient of the Trudeau Fellowship and the South Asian Bar Associations of Southern California (SABA-SC) and Northern California (SABA-NC) each awarded him the "Trailblazer Award".[20][21][22]

Awards and Honours

Trailblazer Awards, South Asian Bar Associations of Southern California and Northern California, 2015 Practitioner of the Year, South Asian Bar Association of Toronto, 2011 Trudeau Fellowship, 2010.

Public Service

The Academic Advisory Committee to the Province of Ontario’s Democratic Renewal Secretariat the Board of Directors of Legal Aid Ontario the Governing Toronto Advisory Panel (a three-person blue ribbon panel appointed by Toronto City Council to recommend a new governance structure for the City of Toronto)

Education Sujit holds law degrees from Toronto, Harvard and Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar). He served as Law Clerk to former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada before being called to the Bar of Ontario in 2001. For nearly two decades, he was a full-time constitutional law scholar at the University of Toronto, NYU, and UC Berkeley, and is currently a Gastwissenschaftler at the WZB Berlin Social Science Research Center.

Selected publications

Personal life

Choudhry is married with two children. He has supported causes such as same-sex marriage, and helped to draft a letter to the Canadian Parliament on the unconstitutionality of its outlaw.[23]


  1. ^ Frey, Jennifer. "Introducing Sujit Choudhry | NYU Law Magazine". Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b Rajghatta, Chidanand. "Indian-origin scholar Sujit Choudhry becomes dean of top US law school". The Economic Times. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  3. ^ Deepak Chitnis (1 July 2014). "Sujit Choudhry takes office as Dean of University of California Berkeley School of Law". The American Bazaar. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Sujit Choudhry Attends Expert Group Meeting on Transitional Justice and Atrocity Prevention in Geneva".
  6. ^ "Semi-Presidentialism and Inclusive Governance in Ukraine". International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
  7. ^ a b "Sujit Choudhry". Institute For Integrated Transitions.
  8. ^ Levin, Sam (26 April 2016). "'I was expendable': how UC Berkeley failed a woman being sexually harassed". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ Press, Associated (10 March 2016). "UC Berkeley law dean resigns over sexual harassment lawsuit". the Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  11. ^ "UC Berkeley's Sujit Choudhry allegedly sexually harassed his employee: What you need to know - World News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Berkeley Students Protest After Professor Who Violated Sexual Harassment Policy Returns To Campus". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  13. ^ Press, Associated (10 March 2016). "UC Berkeley law dean resigns over sexual harassment lawsuit". the Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  14. ^ Press, Associated (10 March 2016). "UC Berkeley law dean on 'indefinite leave' over sexual harassment suit". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  15. ^ "UC Berkeley law dean Sujit Choudhry resigns after sex harassment suit". CBS Local. 10 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Berkeley law school dean resigns after sexual harassment complaint". CNN.
  17. ^ Levin, Sam (7 September 2016). "UC Berkeley dean who violated sexual harassment policies returns to campus". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  18. ^ Lee, Chantelle; Lynn, Jessica; Pratt, Pressly (14 April 2017). "UC Board of Regents settles lawsuits with Sujit Choudhry, Tyann Sorrell". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  19. ^ Hancock, Ben (15 April 2017). "Berkeley Law, Ex-Dean Settle Suits Over Alleged Sexual Harassment". ALM Network of Legal Publications, Events, Research, and Intelligence Tools. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  20. ^ Verma, Sonia (28 September 2010). "Trudeau's legacy pays the way for peace". The Globe and Mail.
  21. ^ Staff Reporter (23 March 2015). "South Asian Attorneys Honored at 22nd Annual SABA-NC Gala". India West. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  22. ^ Staff Reporter (8 April 2015). "Three Honored At SABA Foundation Event". India Journal. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Harper blasted on gay marriage". The Globe and Mail.