Sital Kalantry

Sital Kalantry

Professor of Law
Associate Dean and Director, RoundGlass India Center

 Sullivan Hall 457


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  • Comparative Law
  • Business and Human Rights
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Contract Law


  • B.A. 1994, Cornell University
  • Masters in Development Studies 1995, London School of Economics
  • J.D. 1998, University of Pennsylvania Law School


Professor Sital Kalantry is a tenured professor, associate dean, and founder of the India Center. She is an expert in comparative law, business and human rights, feminist legal theory, and contract law. Her latest book, Court on Trial, published by Penguin Press, uses originally developed data to improve transparency and the function of the court. Her prior book, Women’s Rights and Migration, explores the consequences of the use of acontextual information to develop laws relating to reproduction in the United States. She has written over a dozen articles and book chapters that have been published in major legal journals such as the Cornell Law Review and the Stanford International Law Journal as well as peer-reviewed social sciences journals including the Forum for Health Economics and Policy. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Slate, and the Hill (among others). She is a regular media commentator on reproductive rights, law in India, and human rights issues. Her writing has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and Indian Supreme Court.

Professor Kalantry teaches business and human rights, comparative constitutional law, and contract law. Her teaching is informed by her scholarship as well as her seven years of experience as a corporate lawyer at two major U.S. law firms, Milbank and O’Melveny & Myers, and by her litigation experience in international and foreign courts, including the Indian Supreme Court, Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Constitutional Court of Colombia.

She founded the Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, the University of Chicago International Human Rights Clinic, the Avon Global Center for Women & Justice at Cornell Law School, the Cornell India Law Center, and the India Center for Law and Justice at Seattle University School of Law. She is the founding faculty director of an online Master’s in Legal Studies Program at Cornell Law School. In that role, she designed the curriculum, recruited tenured and adjunct professors to teach courses, created admissions criteria, and coordinated with instructional designers and other administrators for this new master's program at Cornell Law School.

She has won awards for her book, for her public interest work (from the South Asian Bar Association), and for her mentorship and support to women students at Cornell University. She has received several grants, including a $1.5 million grant to start the Avon Center for Women and Justice, a grant from NYC Visioning Committee, and teaching innovation grant. She received the Fulbright Scholarship to teach at Jindal Global Law School in India and to conduct empirical research on the Indian Supreme Court.

Professor Kalantry has degrees from Cornell University (A.B.), the London School of Economics (MsC), and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School (J.D).

Visit the India Center for Law and Justice



  1. Court on Trial: A Data-Driven Account of the Indian Supreme Court (with Aparna Chandra and William Hubbard, Penguin Press 2023).
  2. Women’s Human Rights and Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India (Bert B. Lockwood ed., University of Pennsylvania Press 2017) (2018 Winner of the Best Academic Press Eric Hoffer Book Award)


  1. Foreign Law in Dobbs: The Need for A Principled Framework (Symposium), 14 ConLawNOW 37 (2023).
  2. Transnational Legal Feminist Approaches to the Honour Crimes Provision in the Istanbul Convention, Transnational Legal Theory Journal (August 2022) (co-author Shireen Moti).
  3. Unintended Consequences of Term Limits of Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Lessons from a Comparative Study of the Indian Supreme Court, 30 Tulane J. of Int. and Comp. Law 43 (January 2022).
  4. Do Reason-Based Abortion Bans Prevent Eugenics, 107 Cornell L. R. Online (October 2021).
  5. Medical and Mental Health Implications of Gestational Surrogacy, J. Obstet. Gynecol (2021) (with Annie Yau, Rachel L. Friedlander, Allison Petrini, Mary Catherine Holt, Darrell E. White, Joseph Shin)
  6. Reverse Legal Transplants, 99 N.C. L. Rev. 49 (2020)
  7. Transnational Law as a Framework for Law Clinics, 11 (2) JGLR 251 (2020) (with Rachael Hancock)
  8. When Contact Kills: Indigenous Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation During COVID, 68 UCLA L. Rev. Discourse 268 (2020-2021) (with Nicholas Koeppen)
  9. How Stereotypes about Indians are used to Promote Abortion Restrictions in the US?, 32 Nat'l. Sch. India Rev. 29 (2020)
  10. Views Adopted by the Committee under Article 5 (4) of the Optional Protocol, Concerning Communication Nos. 2747/2016 & 2807/2016 (H.R. Comm.), 58(1) International Legal Materials 195 (2019)
  11. Transnational Legal Feminisms: Challenges and Opportunities, 52 Cornell Int'l L. J. 171 (2019)
  12. From Executive Appointment to the Collegium System: The Impact on Diversity in the Indian Supreme Court, 51 Verfassung und Recht in Übersee 273 (2018) (with Aparna Chandra and William H. J. Hubbard)
  13. Regulating Markets for Gestational Care: Comparative Perspectives on Surrogacy in the United States and India, 27 Cornell J. L. & Public Policy 685 (2018)
  14. Expanding the Feminist Pathways Perspective beyond the United States: A Profile of Federal Women Prisoners in Argentina, 28 Women & Crim. Just. 125 (2018) (with Emily J.Salisbury, Breanna Boppre et. al.)
  15. The Supreme Court of India: A People’s Court?, 1 Indian L. Rev. 145 (2017) (with Aparna Chandra and William H. J. Hubbard)
  16. The French Veil Ban: A Transnational Legal Feminist Approach, 46 U. Balt. L. Rev. 201 (2017)
  17. Promoting Clinical Legal Education and Democracy in India, 8 Nujs L. Rev. 1 (2015)
  18. Sex-selective Abortion Bans: Anti-immigrant or Anti-abortion?, 16(1) J. Int'l Aff., 140 (2015)
  19. Sex-selective Abortion Bans are Not Associated with Changes in Sex Ratios at Birth in Illinois and Pennsylvania, Forum On Health And Economic Policy 1 (2014) (with Arindam Nandi and Brian Citro)
  20. Sex-Selection in India and the United States: A Contextualist Feminist Approach, 18 Ucla J. Int'l L. Foreign Aff. 61 (2013)
  21. Litigation as a Measure of Well-Being: The Threat of India’s Case Backlog, 62 De Paul L. Rev 247 (2013) (with Theodore Eisenberg and Nick Robinson) (republished in a book dedicated to Vice-Chancellor Singh of the National Law School in Delhi)
  22. Enhancing Enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Using Indicators: A Focus on the Right to Education in the ICESCR, 32 Hum. Rts. Q. 253 (2010) (with Jocelyn E. Getgen and Steven Arrigg Koh) (republished in “Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights,” edited by Manisuli Ssenyonjo, Ashgate Publishing)
  23. Intent-to-Benefit: Individually Enforceable Rights in International Treaties, 44 J. Int'l L. 63 (2008)

Book Chapters

  1. Enhancing reproductive justice transnationally: An equality-based approach to sex-selective abortion laws in India” (with Meher Dev) in Research Handbook on International Abortion Law (Mary Ziegler, ed., Elgar Publishing, 2023)
  2. Usando el Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos para proteger el derecho a la propiedad de los pueblos indígenas en las Américas: el impacto de la represa de Salvajina en las comunidades nasas”(co-author David Cordero) in “El debate sobre la propiedad en transición hacia la paz” (ed. Sergio Latorre Restrepo, et. al), published by Universidad del Rosario and Universidad del Northe.  
  3. Why do some Pro-Choice People Support Harmful Abortion Bans?” in WHOSE CHOICE IS IT? ABORTION, MEDICINE, AND THE LAW, 7TH EDITION (David F Walbert and J. Douglas Butler, eds. American Bar Association 2021).
  4. “The Surrogacy Public Interest Litigation in the Indian Supreme Court: Marginalizing the Marginalized” in SOUTH OF THE FUTURE: MARKETINT CARE AND SPECULATING LIFE IN SOUTH ASIA AND THE AMERICAS (Anindita Banerjee and Debra A. Castillo eds. SUNY Press 2020).
  5. When ‘Creeping Jurisdiction’ Goes Awry: The Social Action Litigation to Ban Surrogacy, in Judicial Review: Process, Powers, And Problems (Essays In Honour Of Upendra Baxi) 79–106 (Salman Khurshid et al. eds., Cambridge University Press 2020)
  6. Acid Attack Violence in India: The Case for State and Corporate Accountability for Gender-Based Crimes, in Human Rights In India (Satvinder Juss ed., Routledge 2019) (with Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum)
  7. The Supreme Court of India: An Empirical Overview, in A Qualified Hope: The Indian Supreme Court And Progressive Social Change 43–76 (Gerald N. Rosenberg et al., eds., Cambridge University Press 2019) (with Aparna Chandra and William H. J. Hubbard)
  8. Evaluating the Impact of the Indian Supreme Court Judgment on Sex-Selective Abortion, in A Qualified Hope: The Indian Supreme Court And Progressive Social Change 319–344 (Gerald N. Rosenberg et al., eds., Cambridge University Press 2019) (with Arindam Nandi)
  9. Usando el Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos para proteger el derecho a la propiedad de los Pueblos Indígenas en las Américas: el impacto de la represa Salvajina en las comunidades NASA en el Cauca (Colombia)(The Inter-American Human Rights System & Indigenous Peoples’ Property Rights: The Case of the NASA indigenous communities in Cauca region (Colombia)) (Sergio Latorre ed., 2019) (with David Cordero-Heredia)
  10. Clinical Legal Education and Democracy in India, in The Future Of Indian Universities: Comparative And International Perspectives 419–437 (C. Raj Kumar ed., Oxford University Press 2018)

Book Reviews

  1. India’s Founding Moment, The Constitution of A Most Surprising Democracy’ by Madhav Khosla: A Book Review, 30 (10) LPBR. Rev. 149 - 153 (2020) (with Meher Dev)
  2. Women in the Crossfire: Understanding and Ending Honor Killing, 41 Hum. Rts. Q. 1015 (2019)
  3. The Quiet Power of Indicators: Measuring Governance, Corruption, and the Rule of Law, 34 Nordic J. Hum. Rts. 226 (2016)
  4. Socio-Economic Rights: Adjudication under a Transformative Constitution, 34 Hum. Rts. Q. 579 (2012) (with Elizabeth Brundige)

See all publications on SSRN.