John Sebastian

PhD Candidate

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John Sebastian is a PhD candidate at Melbourne Law School. He is a member of the Constitution Transformation Network and the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. His PhD research focuses on the special rights of linguistic and religious minorities in the Indian Constitution, and analyses the manner in which the Constitution engages with the many conflicting interests and values underlying the legal recognition of these identities.

John’s general research interests cover the areas of legal and political theory, constitutional law and criminal law. While largely focused on India, he is also interested in the use of comparative methods in his research. He has published on a range of issues in constitutional and criminal law.

For the duration of his PhD, John is on leave from his position as an Assistant Professor of law at OP Jindal Global University in India. John was at OP Jindal University for over four years, where he taught constitutional law, criminal law and administrative law courses. Prior to that, he worked as a law clerk and research assistant to Justice Madan B Lokur in the Supreme Court of India for a year. John holds a BCL (Distinction) from the University of Oxford, where he was awarded the Tobias Law Prize, and a BA, LLB (Hons) from National Law University, Delhi.

Thesis Title

A Theory of Linguistic and Religious Minority Rights in the Indian Constitution

Thesis Summary

Though deeply contentious, the Indian Constitution contains certain special safeguards for linguistic and religious minorities. These safeguards range from cultural and educational rights in the list of fundamental rights to special mechanisms in the official language provisions of the Constitution.

In times of increasing cultural nationalism, John’s thesis aims to better understand and justify the constitutional position of these minorities. The thesis adopts a normative, analytical and doctrinal approach, analysing constitutional and legal texts, case law, history and political theory on minority rights.


  • Administrative / Public Law
  • Asian Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Discrimination Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • India and South Asia Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Law and Religion
  • Legal Theory
  • Multiculturalism and the Law