Aradhana Vadekkethil

I graduated from National Law University, Delhi in 2017. I aim to pursue public law courses in BCL such as Comparative Human Rights, Comparative Equality Law. My aim is to enter the field of academia and legal policy making in the area of criminal law

I still remember reading “Love and Life behind the Purdah” written by Cornelia Sorabji which reflected her sheer determination to liberate the women from their self-willed domesticity. It is a tremendous honour to be studying on a law programme in her name. It is inspirational to be part of Somerville which has a rich legacy of strong women such as Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Dorothy Hodgins and so many others.

I am interested in bringing legal reforms in the field of criminal law and in analysing the intersections of gender, class and caste as they relate to crime and violence. I am interested in exploring the nature of policing in India and learning about the lives of those who have been caught up in the criminal justice system. This interest has been sparked by a conversation I once had with a death row prisoner as part of a research project on Death Penalty. It were his words, “As a law student, your shoulders carry the burden of rendering justice and the hopes of millions who trust you to lead them in the right way”, that have influenced me to study criminal law and human rights law in my BCL programme at Oxford.

The OIC and Cornelia Sorabji scholarship have given me the incredible opportunity to read for the BCL while at Somerville College. I hope this experience will help me to hone my skills and broaden my perspective and help me contribute to criminal law reform in a meaningful way.

Academic activities

Research Volunteer, Oxford Pro Bono Death Penalty Project, University of Oxford (October 2017) – I was involved in a comparative research project for an anti death penalty NGO, Reprieve and worked on the issue of right to effective counsel in death penalty cases.

Research Volunteer, Oxford Pro Bono WHO Tobacco Project, University of Oxford (October 2017) – I assisted the Oxford Pro Bono Group in a comparative law project for the World Health Organisation (WHO) concerning civil liability provisions in domestic legal systems.

Recipient of Goa Education Trust (British Council) Scholarship to pursue Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) at University of Oxford for the year 2017-18.

Co-Chair, Oxford Pro Bono Publico (2019)

Graduate Research Resident, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights (2019)

Assistant Editor, Indian Law Review

Research Projects

Oxford Pro Bono (as co-chair)

a) Oxford Pro Bono Project on Anonymity Protection for Child Victims
b) Oxford Pro Bono Project – Comparative Law Project on Tort and Constitutional Damages

Newspaper articles

Did You Wonder Why No One Filed a Complaint about the Bengaluru Mass Molestation on New Year’s Eve? Here is Why, The Ladiesfinger available at

We went Through 45 High Court Judgments of Rape Cases in 2016, So you Don’t Have to. Really, you don’t want to, The Ladiesfinger available at

Collaboration Projects

Principle Researcher and Contributing Author for Cornell Law School, International Human Rights Policy Advocacy Clinic and National Law University, Delhi, “Should Compensated Surrogacy Be Permitted or Pro- hibited?” (2017). Cornell Law Faculty Publications. 1551.

Senior Researcher, Death Penalty Research Project, NLU Delhi (October 2013 – May 2016) – The Death Penalty Research Project was carried out by National Law University, Delhi in collaboration with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), and was approved by Honourable Justice Sathasivam in his capacity as the Executive Chairman of NALSA. The Project aimed at creating a socioeconomic profile of death row prisoners across India as well as map their interaction with the criminal justice system at different levels. As a researcher I went to Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi and Maharashtra to conduct prison, family and lawyer interviews. I was part of the ‘Research and Writing Team’ for the Death Penalty India Report 2016. Details of the report can be accessed here – report/.

Research Blogs

Aradhana Cherupara Vadekkethil, “Indian Gay Rights Case opens gateways for Article 15 and Intersectionality” (OxHRH Blog, 19 October 2018), < for-article-15-and-intersectionality>


Recipient of Archibald Jackson Prize (Somerville College) for obtaining a Distinction in BCL.


I got the opportunity to work at Women’s Legal Centre, Cape Town through Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and Oxford Pro Bono Publico Internship Scheme during the months of August and September 2018. I was involved in the comparative legal research on sexual harassment law and sex workers’ rights.