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Surya Deva is a Professor at the Macquarie Law School and Director of the Centre for Environmental Law at Macquarie University. He is also the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development and a Co-Director of the Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum. Deva is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of business and human rights. He served as a member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (2016-22). Deva has advised UN agencies, governments, national human rights institutions, multinational corporations, trade unions and civil society organisations on issues related to his expertise. He researches in the areas of business and human rights, comparative constitutional law, international human rights law, sustainable development, climate change,  and gender equality.

Deva has published extensively in areas of his research expertise (see SSRN). His publications have been cited in reports of international organisations, parliamentary bodies, and civil society organisations. Deva's publications have made significant impact on shaping law and policy at national, regional and international levels in the business and human rights field. He also regularly contributes op-eds and blogs on topical issues in diverse outlets (SCMP; The Conversation; Völkerrechtsblog; OpinioJurisVerfassungsblog; OpenGlobalRights). 

He has presented over 100 papers at international conferences and workshops, and delivered keynote address at several conferences such as those organised by the Council of Europe, National Human Rights Commission of Korea, University of Oslo, Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, LAWASIA, Korea University Human Rights Center, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, and Jawaharlal Nehru University. Deva was invited to speak at the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting (2016) and (2022), one of the most prestigious annual conferences in the field of international law. 

Deva has also delivered seminars and guest lectures at institutions such as University College Oxford, Essex Law School, UCL Faculty of Laws, British Academy, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Cambridge's Lauterpacht Centre of International Law, UCLA School of Law, Duke Law School, University of Oslo, University of Vienna, University of Cape Town, University of Heidelberg, Seoul National University, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Singapore, Renmin University of China Law School, University of Hong Kong, UNSW Faculty Law, and Sydney Law School. 

Prior to joining Macquarie, Deva was an Associate Professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong. Previously he taught at the University of Delhi and the National Law Institute University Bhopal. He holds BA (Hons) Political Science, LLB and LLM from the University of Delhi and a PhD from the University of Sydney.

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 Vice President of the International Association of Constitutional Law (2022-26).

Deva regularly comments in mainstream media, including ABC TV, Al Jazeera, Channel 4, CNN Digital, The New York Times, The Guardian, Reuters, Financial Times, The Atlantic, Le TempsSouth China Moring Post, The Huffington Post, India Today, and RTHK Radio 3.

Research interests

Business and human rights

Sustainable development 

Climate change

Comparative constitutional law

Gender equality 

Research student supervision

Business and human rights 

Corporate regulation and accountability 

Sustainable development 

Climate change 

International human rights law

Comparative constitutional law 

Freedoms and democracy in Hong Kong 


LAWS5036 Modern Corporate Governance  

LAWS2400 / LAWS8040 Torts

LAWS5078 PACE: B&HR Access to Justice Lab

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Sydney Law School

Award Date: 2 Oct 2007

LLM, University of Delhi

Award Date: 14 Mar 1999

LLB, University of Delhi

Award Date: 13 Apr 1996

External positions

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development

1 May 2023 → …

Vice President, International Association of Constitutional Law

7 Dec 2022 → …

Adjunct Professor, City University of Hong Kong

1 Oct 202130 Sept 2025

Visiting Professor , Royal University of Law and Economics, Cambodia

1 Jul 202130 Jun 2025

Core Advisory Group on Business and Human Rights, National Human Rights Commission of India

Feb 202130 Apr 2022

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

1 May 201630 Apr 2022

Editor-in-Chief, Business and Human Rights Journal

1 Dec 2014 → …

Elected Member, Executive Committee, International Association of Constitutional Law

20145 Dec 2022

Associate Professor / Assistant Professor, City University of Hong Kong

8 Aug 200531 Aug 2021


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