Surya is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of business and human rights. He served as a member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (2016-22). Surya has advised UN agencies, governments, national human rights institutions, multinational corporations, trade unions and civil society organisations on issues related to business and human rights. He also researches in the areas of comparative constitutional law (especially India and China), sustainable development, climate change, international human rights law, and gender equality.
Surya has published extensively in areas of his research expertise His publications have made significant impact on shaping law and policy at national, regional and international levels in the business and human rights field. Surya has presented over 100 papers at international conferences and workshops, and delivered keynote address at several conferences such as those organised by the Council of Europe, National Human Rights Commission of Korea, University of Oslo, Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, LAWASIA, Korea University Human Rights Center, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, and Jawaharlal Nehru University. Deva was invited to speak at the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting (2016) and (2022), one of the most prestigious annual conferences in the field of international law.
Prior to joining Macquarie, Surya was an Associate Professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong. Previously he taught at the University of Delhi and the National Law Institute University Bhopal. He holds BA (Hons) Political Science, LLB and LLM from the University of Delhi and a PhD from the University of Sydney.
Surya a is one of the founding Editors-in-Chief of the Business and Human Rights Journal, and sits on the Editorial/Advisory Board of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, the Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, the Indian Law Review, and the Australian Journal of Human Rights. He is an elected Vice President of the International Association of Constitutional Law (2022–26).