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Prof. (Dr.) Rahela Khorakiwala

Prof. (Dr.) Rahela Khorakiwala

Ph.D., Jawaharlal Nehru University (India)

M.Phil., Jawaharlal Nehru University (India)

L.L.M., New York University (USA)

B.A. LL.B. (Hons.), Government Law College (India)

Prof. (Dr.) Rahela Khorakiwala is a lawyer by training, having completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, her law degree at the Government Law College, Mumbai and her LLM at New York University School of Law. Rahela has worked as a legal consultant with the Ministry of External Affairs (Foreign Affairs) in New Delhi on an international maritime dispute and the World Bank for a project in Kabul. Rahela has also worked at the law offices of Federal & Company in Mumbai. She was also selected as a Fellow at the NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice where she worked at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. 

Rahela was awarded the Gold Medal for her first rank in the undergraduate programme at Mumbai University. Rahela has been the recipient of several awards and scholarships through her academic career. 

Rahela has completed the integrated M.Phil./Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi where she did an ethnographic study of the colonial courts of India, studying them as a legal anthropologist. Her research looks at how certain colonial practices in these courts impede access to justice in contemporary times. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt, Rahela has recently published her first book titled, From the Colonial to the Contemporary: Images, Iconography, Memories, and Performances of Law in India’s High Courts. Rahela has over ten publications to her credit, including a chapter in a book and peer-reviewed contributions to the Indian Law Review, Asian Journal of Law and Society, Socio-Legal Review and the Economic and Political Weekly. Her research has an extensive outreach as she has presented her work at several conferences across the world.

Rahela's primary areas of interest are in law and society, ethnographic studies and the intersection of law with sociology and anthropology.



  • ‘The Majesty and Dignity of Courts: Changes in Court Dynamics with the Onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic in India’ (2022) 18 (1) Socio-Legal Review 51-69
  • ‘The Historicity of Law in India’ (2019) Rg 27 Rechtsgeschichte - Legal History 441-443
  • ‘From Calcutta to Ieper: Two Buildings with a Shared History’ (2018) LIII (43) Economic & Political Weekly 23-25
  • ‘Depictions of Justice in the Colonial Courts of British India: The Judicial Iconography of the Bombay High Court’ in S Huygebaert, G Martyn, V Paumen E. Bousmar and X Rousseaux (eds), The Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law and Justice in Context, from the Middle Ages to the First World War (Springer) ch 21, 433-449
  • ‘Memorializing History in the Bombay High Court’ (2017) 1 (3) Indian Law Review 269-282
  • ‘Legal Consciousness as Viewed through the Judicial Iconography of the Madras High Court’ (2018) 5 (1) Asian Journal of Law and Society 111-133
    • Honorary Mention for this paper at the 2018 ALSA Conference in Gold Coast, Australia

  • ‘Judicial Iconography and Access to Justice in the Bombay High Court’ (2017) 7 South Asia Chronicle 351-374
  • ‘Judicial Iconography in India’ (2014) 1 (2) Asian Journal of Legal Education 89-101
  • ‘The Indian Electoral Process and Negative Voting’ (2014) 8 Government Law College Law Review 77-97


  • From the Colonial to the Contemporary: Images, Iconography, Memories, and Performances of Law in India’s High Courts (Oxford, Hart Publishers, 2020). 

Book Chapter:

  • ‘The Law, the Visual and Access to Justice in the Colonial Courts of India’ in S Ballakrishnen and S Dezalay (eds), Invisible Institutionalisms: Collective Reflections on the Shadows of Legal Globalisation (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2021) ch 3, 91-106.