Sumedha Choudhury

PhD Candidate

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Sumedha is a PhD candidate at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and a member of the Institute of International Law and the Humanities (IILAH). Sumedha’s doctoral thesis focuses on the issue of statelessness in the context of postcolonial states (with a primary focus on India).

She has previously worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), India in the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Unit.

Sumedha holds an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford and an LLM with a specialisation in International Law from South Asian University.

Thesis Title

Citizenship and Statelessness: A Critical Enquiry of India’s Practice

Thesis Summary

The National Register of Citizenship (NRC) update list which was released in 2019 excluded 1.9 million people in Assam, India. Further, the amendment to the Citizenship Act (CAA 2019) and rising anti-minority rhetoric in India together raised questions and concerns regarding citizenship, statelessness, and violation of basic human rights.

Sumedha’s doctoral thesis critically engages with these events. She delves into the impact of colonial rule in the construction of statelessness in postcolonial states (with a primary focus on India) and the continuing colonial propensities by the ruling elites. Further, she examines and challenges the conventional ideas on the international legal approaches to statelessness through a postcolonial perspective.


  • Discrimination Law
  • History of International Law
  • India and South Asia Law
  • International Law
  • Legal Theory
  • Post-colonial Theory
  • Refugee Law
  • Statelessness