Soli Jehangir Sorabjee, AM (born 9 March 1930) is an Indian jurist and former Attorney-General of India. He has been honored with Padma Vibhushan for his defense of the freedom of expression and the protection of human rights. Sorabjee has held several offices in organizations of national and international repute.
Soli Sorabjee was born on 9 March 1930 in Bombay. He studied at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai and Government Law College, Mumbai, was admitted to the bar in 1953. At Government Law College, he was awarded the Kinloch Forbes Gold Medal in Roman Law and Jurisprudence (1952).
In 1971, Sorabjee was designated Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India. He served as Solicitor-General of India from 1977 to 1980. He was appointed Attorney-General of India on 7 April 1998, a post he held until 2004.
In March 2002, Soli Sorabjee was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his defense of the freedom of expression and the protection of human rights. He worked on the Citizen's Justice Committee which represented pro bono the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims.
Some of the other important cases he has appeared for are: Keshavananda Bharati, Maneka Gandhi, S.R. Bommai, I.R. Coelho, etc. He recently appeared in the case of B.P. Singhal, where the Apex Court held that Governors could not be dismissed without due cause.
Soli J. Sorabjee was a close friend and colleague of Nanabhoy ("Nani") Palkhivala. Sorabjee's daughter, Zia Mody, is also a lawyer and partner at AZB & Partners, one of the leading law firms in India. Zia Mody is the author of the book 10 Judgements that Changed India. Sorabjee has a granddaughter, named Anjali Mody.
Sorabjee holds several offices in organizations of national and international repute.
He is the chairman of Transparency International and Convenor of the Minority Rights Group. He has served as Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Commission since 1997, a member of the United Nations Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities since 1998. Sorabjee served as member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague from 2000 to 2006.
Soli J. Sorabjee is also President of the United Lawyers Association, Vice-President of the Human Rights Committee of the International Bar Association, Vice-President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Executive Committee member of the International Association of Constitutional Lawyers and member of the Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament Law of the International Law Association. He is also a Patron of the Media Legal Defence Initiative, a UK-based charity that provides legal aid and assistance to journalists and news media organizations around the world, supports training in media law and promotes the exchange of information, litigation tools and strategies for lawyers working on media freedom cases.
Sorabjee has written a number of publications to his credit:
He also writes columns for the Indian Express.