Peter A Allard School of Law

Supriya Routh

Associate Professor
PhD (UVic), LLM (Vanderbilt), LLM (NUJS), LLB (North Bengal)


Supriya Routh is an Associate Professor at the Allard School of Law. His research interests include theory of labour and employment law, legitimacy of law-making for sustainable livelihoods, social justice and global value chains, postcolonialism and informal workers in the Global South, human rights and international labour law, and workers’ collective action. His socio-legal research agenda straddles the disciplines of law, political philosophy, and sociology.

Supriya’s current SSHRC-funded research examines Indigenous normative ideas on the relationship between livelihood activities (work) and sustainability of nature. By examining the idea of sustainable livelihood (sustainable development) as contemplated by the Pehdzeh Ki First Nation (PKFN) in the Northwest Territories, his research aims to contribute to non-Eurocentric and postcolonial legal imaginations in regulating sustainable development by generating empirical data and contributing to the theoretical literature on law, postcolonialism, and development.

Supriya is the author of Enhancing Capabilities through Labour Law: Informal Workers in India (Routledge, 2014) and scholarly articles on labour law, legal legitimacy, regulation of informal economic activities, workers’ collective action, regulation of work and environment, corporate social responsibility, right to information, and legal education. He is the co-editor (with Vando Borghi) of Workers and the Global Informal Economy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Routledge, 2016). Supriya has also co-authored / co-edited teaching and reference books namely, the Labour and Employment Law: Cases, Materials, and Commentary, Nonth Edition (Irwin Law, 2018) and Amartya Sen and Law (Routledge, 2020).

Prior to joining the Allard School of Law, Supriya was an Assistant and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, where he also held an appointment as an Associate at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives. Before moving to Canada, he was an Assistant Professor at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in India.

Supriya accepts graduate students (LLM and PhD) on the broad themes of sustainable development and law, labour and employment law, law and postcolonialism, and law and social justice. He looks forward to reading good research proposals in these areas.


Justice, Diversity, & Legal Legitimacy



Enhancing Capabilities through Labour Law: Informal Workers in India (London & New York: Routledge, 2014). Paperback: April 21, 2016.

Review of the Book: Ahmed, Saleh, “Book Review: Enhancing Capabilities Through Labour Law: Informal Workers in India”, 16: 4 Journal of Human Development and Capabilities (2015) pp. 639-640.

(Co-Editor: Vando Borghi) Workers and the Global Informal Economy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (London & New York: Routledge, 2016).

Reviews of the Book:

  1. Poblete, Lorena, “Informality, Precarious Work and New Approaches to Complex Realities”, 00: 0 Work, Employment and Society (2018) pp. 1-4 [Online].
  2. Mylène Fauvel, “Supriya Routh et Vando Borghi (dir.), Workers and the Global Informal Economy, New York, Routledge, 2016, 240p.”, 58 Revue interventions économiques (2017) [En ligne] 1-4.

Labour and Employment Law: Cases, Materials, and Commentary, Ninth Edition (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2018) [Contribution as a co-author/co-editor of the Labour Law Casebook Group].

(Co-Edited with 3 colleagues) Amartya Sen and Law (Routledge, 2020).


“Examining the Legal Legitimacy of Informal Economic Activities”, 31:2 Social & Legal Studies (2022).

“Constituting a Right to Association: A Postcolonial Exploration”, 36:4 International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations (2020) 523-552.

“Revisiting Social Reproduction: Migrant Care Workers and Their Entitlements in Canada”, 35:2 International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations (2019) pp. 201-226.

“Embedding Work in Nature: The Anthropocene and Legal Imagination of Work as Human Activity”, 40 Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal (2018) pp. 29-60.

“La Transition Vers L’économie Formelle: Une Stratégie Désorientée de l’OIT”?, 3 Revue de Droit Compare du Travail et de la Securite Sociale (2017) p. 128-141.

“Informal Workers’ Aggregation and Law”, 17 Theoretical Inquiries in Law (2016) pp. 283-320.

“Une Constitution a Deux Vitesses: Les Travailleurs et L’egalite Devant la Loi en Inde”, 2 Revue de Droit Compare du Travail et de la Securite Sociale (2015) pp. 24-34.

“Independence Sans Accountability: A Case for Right to Information Against the Indian Judiciary”, 13: 2 Washington University Global Studies Law Review (2014) pp. 321-352.

“An Ambitious Interpretation of the Informal for Policy-Makers”, 58, YOJANA – A Development Monthly (October, 2014) 41-44.

“Reseaux de Solidarite et Syndicalisme: Une Ressource pour Les Travailleurs Informels en Inde” (Solidarity networks and trade unionism: A Resource for informal workers in India), 1 Revue de Droit Comparé de Travail et de la Sécurité Sociale (2014) pp. 16-27.

(Coauthored with Lorenzo Frangi) “From Employee to Homo Faber? Considerations about Union Renewal and Informal Workers in Brazil and India”, 21 Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society (2014) 42-67.

“Developing Human Capabilities Through Law: Is Indian Law Failing?”, 3: 1 Asian Journal of Law and Economics (2012) 1-20.

“India’s RTI Legislation: Jurisprudential Understanding”, 13: 1-2 The Calcutta Review (2011) 177-184.

“Experiential Learning Through Community Lawyering: A Proposal for Indian Legal Education”, 24: 1 Pacific McGeorge Global Business Development Law Journal (2011) 115-159.

“Building Informal Workers’ Agenda: Imagining ‘Informal Employment’ in Conceptual Resolution of ‘Informality’”, 2:3 Global Labour Journal (2011) 208-227.

“The Role of Law Schools in Educating Judges to Increase Access to Justice”, 24: 1 Pacific McGeorge Global Business Development Law Journal (2011) 161-199 (Coauthored with five others).

“The Judiciary and (Labour) Law in the Development Discourse in India”, 2 Journal of Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America (2011) 237-257 [Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (VRÜ)].

“Globalizing Labor Standards: The Developed-Developing Divide”, 2:1 Jindal Global Law Review (2010) 153-171.

“Legal Education at the Crossroads”, 1 Journal of Indian Law and Society (2009) 58-85.

“Providing Legal Aid: Some Untried Means”, 50:3 Journal of Indian Law Institute (2008) 375-390.


“Workers and Competition Law in India: Workers’ Associations are Mostly Not Cartels” in Sanjukta Paul, Shae McCrystal & Ewan McGaughey eds., The Cambridge Handbook of Labor in Competition Law (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2022) 193-207.

“Dogma or Common Value of Humanity: A Prospective Account of Human Rights” in Samantha Besson et Samuel Jubé, Concerter les Civilisations: Mélanges en l’honneur d’Alain Supiot (Paris: Éditions Du Seuil, 2020) 379-389.

“Perspectives Indiennes sur le Travail au XXIe Siècle: Expansion de la Force de Travail et Subversion de la Norme de L’emploi”, in Alain Supiot ed., Le Travail au XXIe Siècle (Paris: Les Éditions des l’Atelier, 2019) 241-254.

“Des Droits Fondés Sur L’expérience Pour Les Travailleurs Non Conventionnels”, in Isabelle Daugareilh and Maryse Badel dir., La Sécurité Sociale: Universalité et Modernité – Approche de Driot Comparé (Paris: Pedone, 2019) 355-368.

Transition from Informality to Formality & Rights of Domestic Workers in India”, in Upasana Mahanta and Indranath Gupta eds., Recognition of the Rights of Domestic Workers in India: Challenges and the Way Forward (New Delhi: Springer, 2019).

“The Need to Become Fashionable”, in Brian Langille ed., The Capabilities Approach to Labour Law (London: OUP, 2019) 103-121.

“Do Human Rights Work for Informal Workers?”, in Diamond Ashiagbor ed., Re-imagining Labour Law for Development: Informal Work in the Global North and Global South (London: Hart, 2019) 101-121.

(coauthored with Ania Zbyszewska) “Challenging labour law’s ‘productivist’ bias through feminist lens – A Conversation”, in Ania Zbyszewska, Miriam Kullmann and Alicia Blackham eds., Theorizing Labour Law in a Changing World: New Perspectives and Approaches (London: Hart, 2019) 245-263.

(Coauthored with Pedro Augusto Gravata Nicoli) “Un Régime de Travail Réellement Humain et L’approche Pluraliste des Capabilités pour les Travailleurs Informels: Pistes de L’Inde et du Brésil” in Pierre Musso et Alain Supiot, dir., Qu’est qu’un Régime de Travail Réellement Humain? (Paris: Hermann, 2018) 357-374.

“Locating Worker Power in a Changing Bargaining Scenario”, in Ernesto Noronha and Premilla D’Cruz, eds., Critical Perspectives on Work an Employment in Globalizing India (New Delhi: Springer, 2017) 221-240.

(Coauthored with Vando Borghi) “The idea of form, informality and aspirations of workers”, in Supriya Routh and Vando Borghi eds., Workers and the Global Informal Economy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Abingdon, UK & New York: Routledge, 2016) 1-25

(Coauthored with Marisa N. Fassi) “Informal workers' organising strategies in India and Argentina”, in Supriya Routh and Vando Borghi eds., Workers and the Global Informal Economy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Abingdon, UK & New York: Routledge, 2016) 205-219.

“Les Bases Juridiques de la Responsabilite Sociale des Entreprises en Inde”, in Alain Supiot Et Mireille Delmas-Marty dir., Prendre la responsabilite au serieux, (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2015) 253-273.

“Droits Sociaux et Initiative Privée: Les Figures de la Solidarite en Faveur de la Dignité des Travailleurs Informels en Inde” (Welfare Rights & Private Action: Trends of Solidarity in Promoting Dignified Life of Informal Workers in India) [translated by Francois Brunet], in Alain Supiot ed., La Solidarity: Enquete sur un Principe Juridique, (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2015) 239-259.

(In Bengali) “Tathyer Aadhikar: Aaini Bisleshon” (Right to Information: A Jurisprudential Analysis), in Bhabesh Das, ed., Tathyer Aadhikaar (Right to Information), (Kolkata: Gangchil Publication, 2009) 43-59.


Research Report: “Evolving Nature of the Employment Relationship in the Indian Jurisprudence” for a project titled: Defining and Regulating the Employment Relationship of the Labour Law and Reform Unit (LABOURLAW) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) (November 2017).

Survey Report: “Situational Analysis of Ragpickers in Kolkata” as Lead Researcher (Project funded by the NGO Action Aid, and executed by the NGO Calcutta Samaritans, 2009).

Legal Compendium: Panchayat and Municipal Laws of West Bengal state for the Price Waterhouse Coopers, November, 2005 (Coauthored with Y Ghosh).


Publications listed on the Law Library Faculty Research Publications Database

Supriya Routh - Preferred

Research Interests

  • Asian legal studies
  • Human rights
  • Jurisprudence, legal theory, and critical studies
  • Labour and employment law
  • Law and development
  • Law and social justice
  • Law and society

How do you reimagine legal regulation to expand fair livelihood opportunities for all without abandoning our concern for non-human nature?

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