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School of Law

Mr Deval Desai

BA MA (Oxford), LLM (Harvard)


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Mr Deval Desai
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Deval joins SOAS from the World Bank, where he spent two years working on justice and equity for the poor and jointly establishing a justice and conflict program. He received his LLM from Harvard Law School, his MA in History and French from Trinity College, Oxford, and was called to the Bar by Inner Temple.

His areas of academic interest build on the intersections between the loosely constituted fields of law-and-development and law-and-literature; they include the role of literature and performing arts – particularly theatre - in providing a critical space for the methodologies and techniques of law and development. His areas of policy expertise include building and strengthening justice institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states, with a particular emphasis on demand-side accountability and on extractive industries in sub-Saharan Africa. He has worked on these issues across West Africa (including Nigeria) and South Asia, with a focus on building community voice and empowering communities to hold public and private actors to account.

He has published on rule of law reform, justice and conflict, and governance and extractive industries in a range of fora, including the World Bank Legal Review, the 2011 World Development Report, The Changing Wealth of Nations and the World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series. He is also leading an empirical study of mining agreements between indigenous communities and multinationals for the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.