Dr. Rajeev Dhavan
Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Rajeev Dhavan is an Indian Senior Advocate, a human rights activist, and a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists. Rajeev Dhavan studied law at Allahabad University, then at the University of Cambridge and London University. He has taught at Queen’s University Belfast, the University of West London, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Texas at Austin. He is an Honorary Professor at the Indian Law Institute.
He runs the Public Interest Legal Support and Research Centre, which tries to make youth aware of constitutional and legal subjects. Dhavan was elected to the International Commission of Jurists in 1998, and was a member of the Executive Committee between 2003 and 2007, and from 2009. He was appointed the chairperson of the Executive Committee in 2009. In March 2003 Dhavan was a signatory to a statement that condemned the US-led invasion of Iraq, calling it “unprovoked, unjustified and violative of international law and the United Nations Charter”. Other signatories included Rajinder Sachar, Shanti Bhushan, Pavani Parameswara Rao, Kapil Sibal and Prashant Bhushan. Dhavan has represented the Babri Masjid Action Committee before the Allahabad High Court over the title to the land on which the mosque stood before being destroyed by a mob in 1992. When the Allahabad High Court ruled that the site should be divided between Hindus and Muslims, Dhavan said: “This is Panchayati justice which takes away the legal rights of Muslims and converts the moral sentimental entitlements of Hindus into legal rights”.