Navya’s Story

Through the generosity of Mr Hemant Sahai of New Delhi, the College  launched the HSA Advocates Award to Navya Jannu in 2016, under the Cornelia Sorabji Law programme. She is currently an Indira Gandhi Scholar, and studying for a D.Phil 

Navya graduated from Jindal Global Law School in August 2016. She has wanted to become a lawyer from a very young age and has had a diverse array of internship experiences in the Indian Law sector. Her M.Phil thesis focused on climate change and solar energy infrastructure in India. She is also assistant editor of the Indian Law Review.

‘In the first semester of my undergraduate year, the first book I picked up was Cornelia Sorabji’s autobiography. To now be studying at her alma mater and on a Law programme in her name is very special to me. India’s first female lawyer and first female prime minister came from Somerville and to be part of that legacy of strong Indian women is something that is really encouraging and inspires me.

I feel that India is at a stage where it needs intellectual leadership to inform the development of laws, particularly in the realm of renewable energy. Here, the energy-environment binary, as true in most developing countries, depicts a collision between aspirations of an ambitious government, anxieties of vulnerable groups and environmental concerns flagged by social agents. Law plays a balancing role in this chaotic paradigm.

In this regard, I feel law students carry a responsibility to engage with the state critically and society constructively, often acting as a bridge between them. I am grateful to Mr. Hemant Sahai for his support in realizing my aspirations and remain encouraged by our shared interest in the same law.’

Oxford Academic Activities:

2019: Convenor of the Environmental Law Discussion Group at the Oxford Law Faculty

2019: Graduate Mentor at Law Faculty

Nov 2017 Postgraduate Research Residency at Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, Oxford

Oct 2017 Primary Discussant at the South Asian Law Discussion Group, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford

Apr 2017 Organised Roundtable on Renewables and the Environment,  Somerville College

Sep 2016 Inaugural Scholar Speech at the Indian High Commission, London

Additional Courses Attended:
Bonavero/ Oxfam Course on ‘Developing Strategies for the Protection of Human Rights’ (competitive admission; strategic human rights analysis)

Previous Oxford Qualification:

M.Phil in Law (January 2019)

Distinction – Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL)  (July 2017)

Awarded Archibald Jackson Prize for securing Distinction in the course

Subjects: Regulation, Law in Society, International Dispute Resolution, International Law of the Sea

Awarded HSA Scholarship and Geiringer Grant (for academic visit to the International Court of Justice)


UK-India 35 under 35 Forum, June 2018

Journal of Environmental Law Workshop at Cardiff University, November 2018

Ecosperity Conference in Singapore, June 2019.