The Courts & the Constitution – 2019 in Review

In January 2019, Law and Other Things, in collaboration with the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research and Azim Premji University, organized the first Court and Constitution Conference in Hyderabad. The conference attempted to critically examine and review the Supreme Court’s role and record as the Constitution’s guardian and interpreter on a variety of themes. The two-day event was well attended by a diverse cross-section of students, lawyers, judges, and junior and senior scholars. It was widely felt that the conference should become a recurring annual event.

Indeed, since January, there have been several important constitutional cases and controversies whose fuller implications need to be carefully and objectively unpacked. These developments include the Supreme Court’s role in monitoring the NRC project and the constitutionality of CAA; the proposal for simultaneous elections; issues around federalism including Jammu and Kashmir’s altered conditional status; the Ayodhya appeals; the scope of reservations; and questions about transgender marriage. And like last year, there have been a number of institutional developments involving the judiciary. They include judicial appointments and transfers; the handling of
sexual harassment complaints against judges; and the increase in the Supreme Court’s strength of judges.

Accordingly, Law and Other Things and its institutional sponsors, Azim Premji Univerisity and NALSAR University of Law will host the second edition of The Courts and the Constitution conference on the 25-26th of January 2020. The event will take place at the NALSAR’s campus in Hyderabad. The conference’s timing is propitious as it will coincide with India’s 70th anniversary as a constitutional republic. Consequently, in addition to analyzing recent constitutional developments in and outside courts, the conference aims to broadly reflect on the past, present, and future of Indian constitutionalism. An attempt will be made to attract a diverse range of viewpoints and participants from across the legal and political spectrum. 



Saturday, January 25, 2020

Session I – Inaugural Session (In Memory of Dr. N.R. Madhava Menon)

  • Faizan Mustafa (Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR): Welcoming Remarks & Reflections on Developments in Indian Constitutional Law during 2019
  • Vasanthi (Professor of Law, NALSAR): Overview of the Conference Agenda
  • Sitharamam Kakarala (Director, School of Policy & Governance-Azim Premji University): Remembering Dr. N.R. Madhava Menon’s Contributions to Legal Education
  • Vikram Raghavan (Law and Other Things): The Journey of the ‘Law and Other Things’ Blog

Session II-Institutional Developments in the Judiciary

Moderator: Sidharth Chauhan (Assistant Professor, NALSAR)    

  • Apurva Vishwanath (Indian Express)
  • Venkat Venkatesan (Frontline Magazine)
  • Arghya Sengupta (Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy)
  • Anuj Bhuwania (Associate Professor, Ambedkar University Delhi)

Session III-Federalism and the Constitution

Moderator: Arun Kumar Thiruvengadam (Professor, Azim Premji University) 

  • Anthony Blackshield (Emeritus Professor, Macquarie University)
  • Alok Prasanna Kumar (Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy)
  • Malavika Prasad (Ph.D. candidate, NALSAR)
  • Suchindran Baskar Narayan (Advocate, Madras High Court)
  • Rohit De (Associate Professor, Yale University)

Session IV-Emerging Voices Roundtable (In Memory of Shamnad Basheer)

Moderator: Amita Dhanda (Professor of Law, NALSAR) 

  • Kanika Gauba (Assistant Professor, Azim Premji University)
  • Chintan Chandrachud (Associate, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP)
  • Manav Kapur (Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University)


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Session V-Citizenship, Residency and the Constitution

Moderator: Arvind Narrain (ARC International)   

  • Mohsin Alam (Assistant Professor, O.P. Jindal Global University)
  • Nizam Pasha (Advocate, Supreme Court of India & High Court of Delhi)
  • Justice G.R. Swaminathan (High Court of Madras, Madurai Bench)
  • Aymen Mohammed (Ph.D. candidate, NALSAR)

Session VI-Law and Religion

Moderator: N. Vasanthi (Professor of Law, NALSAR)

  • Faizan Mustafa (Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR)
  • Sruthisagar Yamunan (Scroll)
  • Suhrith Parthasarathy (Advocate, High Court of Madras)

Session VII-Developments In Equality Jurisprudence

Moderator: Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Vice-Chancellor, NLSIU) 

  • Anup Surendranath (Assistant Professor, National Law University Delhi)
  • Alok Prasanna Kumar (Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy)
  • Arundhati Katju (Advocate, Supreme Court of India & High Court of Delhi)

Session VIII-On Reforming Tribunals

Moderator: Vivek Reddy (Advocate, High Court of Telangana) 

  • Prashant Reddy (Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy)
  • Arun Kumar Thiruvengadam (Professor, Azim Premji University)

Closing Remarks

  • Vikram Raghavan (Law and Other Things)
  • Arun Kumar Thiruvengadam (Azim Premji University)
  • Sidharth Chauhan (NALSAR)



For further information, please email us at: [email protected] with the subject – “Query: Courts and Constitution Conference 2020”.

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