Erum Khalid Sattar

  • Professor


Harvard Law School, SJD, 2017
Harvard Law School, LLM, 2010 (waived)
Lincoln’s Inn, BVC, 2010
Queen Mary, University of London, LLM (Overall Distinction), 2008
European Union Erasmus Programme, Intensive Course, 2008
University of London LLB (Honours), 2007

Erum Khalid Sattar received her Doctorate in Juridical Sciences (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School in 2017, where her dissertation committee consisted of Professors Mark Tushnet, James Salzman (of UCLA and UC Santa Barbara) and Amartya Sen. Her research focuses on issues of water federalism and trans-boundary water sharing in the Indus River Basin. Before coming to Harvard, she qualified to become a Barrister-at-Law from The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London. She is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Asia Quarterly, the journal of the Harvard Asia Center, and co-founded the Water Law Study Group at Harvard Law School.

Broadly, Erum studies the institutional architecture of national and international development and has explored British colonial-era water law and policy and its continuing effects in the Indus River Basin. Her current research is a comparison of the instrumental transformation of water law doctrine in 18th and 19th century America, the legal and institutional regimes created by the Moors in Spain and their continuing effects in the American Southwest, and the colonial-era regime of water control created by the British in India. She is exploring these legal and institutional histories for their contemporary relevance at a time of extreme weather and water stress in which parts of the world, particularly in semi-arid environments, currently find themselves.


Sattar, Erum Khalid and Robison, Jason Anthony and McCool, Daniel Craig, Evolution of Water Institutions in the Indus River Basin: Reflections from the Law of the Colorado River (Forthcoming in the Michigan Journal of Law Reform).

Condon, Madison; Kriens, Don; Lohani, Anjali; Sattar, Erum, Challenge and Response in the Indus Basin, 16 Water Policy 58 (2014).