Earlier this week, Facebook finally announced the first 20 members of the company's long awaited independent oversight board. The body, which was initially discussed in light of the myriad scandals regarding handling of data that Facebook faced, is expected to hold an independent and autonomous power to decide upon ethical content moderation, and in ways, may set new precedent for how responsibility of content is handled in intermediary social media bodies such as Facebook's many platforms. Of the first 20 members in this board, is Sudhir Krishnaswamy, vice-chancellor of National Law School of India University in Bengaluru — and also, the only Indian to be on the board so far. With this distinction, here are the key highlights of Krishnaswamy's professional career, of which the post on Facebook's independent content oversight board is the latest addition.
Krishnaswamy is a stalwart figure in independent legal practice in India. Alongside being the youngest-ever vice-chancellor of the NLSIU, he is also the co-founder and managing trustee of the Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR). The latter is a noted legal organisation that is a strong advocate for fundamental rights of marginalised communities, among other areas of activity and interest. CLPR has played a key role in advancing the fundamental rights of members of the LGBTQIA+ community in India.
According to the CLPR website biography, Krishnaswamy's primary areas of interest are "constitutional law, legal education, legal theory, intellectual property law and administrative law". Apart from playing these primary roles, Krishnaswamy is also a professor of law and politics at the Azim Premji University in Bengaluru. Until September 2019, he was also the founding partner of Ashira Law, a boutique law firm in Bengaluru. As visiting faculty, Krishnaswamy also holds the distinction of being the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar visiting professor of Indian Constitutional Law at Columbia Law School in New York City, USA.
In his previous capacities, Krishnaswamy was a part of the Prime Minister’s Committee on Infrastructure, and also the Kasturirangan Committee on the governance of Bangalore. He was also a teaching fellow in law at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, as well as a professor at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata. Krishnaswamy was the director of the Bengaluru-based School of Policy and Governance.
Birth and education
Krishnaswamy was born in 1975, in Bengaluru. Growing up, he graduated with a BA, LLB degree in law from the NLSIU, Bengaluru. Following this, he gained distinction as a Rhodes Scholar, and read as a Bachelor of Civil Law and Doctor of Philosophy in Law from the University of Oxford.