04/01/17

Judicial Reasoning and Judicial Behavior: Studying the Supreme Court of India: Call for Papers


Judicial Reasoning and Judicial Behavior: Studying the Supreme Court of India
Colloquium hosted by Center for Public Law and Jurisprudence
Jindal Global Law School
Call for Papers
The role of the Supreme Court of India in shaping the post-colonial nation has been central to its study in the academy. The institution’s assertion of supremacy in a constitutional democracy, and its tense relationship with separation of powers have been focal points of scholarship, and rightly so. However, there have been fewer studies on its structures of reasoning, its role as a policy maker, the impact of its structural organization as well as the role that the individual biographies of judges have played in the shaping of the institution as a whole. With more than six decades of appellate and constitutional adjudication behind it, any analysis of the Supreme Court’s functioning is bound to be challenging. However, this is also makes the institution ripe for study using tools drawn from a gamut of social science disciplines.
Accordingly, we propose to deepen existing scholarship of the Supreme Court with a colloquium that will bring together scholars of the Supreme Court to analyze its methods, reasoning and its institutional organization. We invite papers on any of these aspects of the Court’s body of work from different disciplinary perspectives, and not merely those that come from a doctrinal analysis of judicial decisions. Accepted papers may form part of an edited volume that will center on the imprint of the Indian Supreme Court on the making of constitutional democracy in contemporary India.
The themes/ questions that the papers might address are as follows:
1.           Judges of the Court – Biographies, Ethnographies and Subjective Biases: Aside from George H. Gadbois’ monumental work biographing the judges of the Court, sociological work on the Court has been limited. Further, these works do not adequately consider the manner in which the background of the judges might affect their sympathies and decision-making. In particular, there is a need to investigate the nature of assumptions and biases that inform the decision-making patterns of individual judges, and this would require a combination of theoretical, quantitative and qualitative field research. This work requires combining publicly available data with the imposing informal knowledge of the Court that floats within its corridors and, there are several challenges to doing this form of work. It is however, a promising field for sociological investigation.

2.           Structural Questions – Procedures and the rules of the practice, including on appointment of judges and how these shape substantive decision-making? Does the working of the Supreme Court lend itself to certain forms of reasoning, e.g., the use of precedent and departure from earlier decisions? What are some of the structural constraints that affect judicial behaviour like dissent? How do structural aspects affect the nature of cases that are often heard? Do structural factors influence the outcome of cases, and work against the interest of certain classes of litigants? How has the two-judge bench phenomena affected the manner in which law has evolved? Whether the manner in which cases are allotted to benches has influenced the evolution of law? While conclusive research on several such questions may be difficult, it may allow for experimenting with innovative methods.

3.           Judicial Reasoning – Is the court largely formalist? Is there a cleavage between its interpretive techniques in constitutional cases and other cases? What might explain the variations in interpretive techniques across types of cases? What forms of ‘normativity’ may be discerned in its decision-making processes? What are some ethical and moral assumptions that form the basis of decisions? How does the court construct gender, caste and religious identities and the manner in which such constructions would influence law? Does a liberal or conservative bias ground the reasoning of the court in certain types of cases? How has the court explored ambiguity, which is inevitable in legal doctrine? What hermeneutic tools do judges employ when discerning doctrine from precedent? What has been the Court’s tryst of with the philosophical notion of legal realism?

4.           Policy-making and Doctrine – Beyond the usual dichotomy of a law-making/interpretive function, which has marginal use as an analytical tool, and with the assumption that the Court, as a political institution shapes policy, several interesting questions arise. While evolution of doctrine in itself is studied frequently by practitioners and academics alike, it would be worth examining whether the evolution in a particular direction can be explained by changes in the social, economic or political context in which such cases arose. Whether the activism shown by the Court varies depending on the subject-matter with which the case deals? Whether the policy-making objectives of the Court affect the docket of the Court? Whether patterns in decision-making could point to the socio-economic or political aims of the Court? Whether the Court is capable of certain discernable, coherent objectives, despite its regularly changing composition? Moreover, the ‘dialogic process’ between Courts and law-making bodies has become an important analytical framework to study the role of Courts in shaping policy – how can this be applied to the Indian Supreme Court? How do judges view an ‘audience’ to their pronouncements and how do considerations of reputation affect the Court? How does the court influence the popular discourse on various social, political issues?
These themes are of course, intended to be suggestive and we remain open to all innovative and incisive analysis of the Supreme Court in the making of the modern Indian republic.
The colloquium will be held on 29-30 April 2017 at Jindal Global University’s campus, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
We will be open to abstracts till February 15, 2017. Please email your abstract as an MS-Word (.doc, .docx) file without any identifying references to Sannoy Das [sdas@jgu.edu.in], along with a separate document that contains the title of the proposed paper, your name and designation. 
Abstracts will be selected through a double blind peer-review process and selected authors will be notified by February 25, 2017. Draft papers will be due on April 23, 2017.
For clarifications, please write to sdas@jgu.edu.in.

14/12/16

The launch of the Indian Law Review at LASS 2016: Call for Papers

Routledge, Taylor & Francis is delighted to announce the launch the Indian Law Review. Edited by a global team of exceptional scholars, we are excited to be publishing the first volume in 2017. Authors are now welcome to submit manuscripts. The Indian Law Review, seeking to build upon LASSNET's successes over the last decade, is an academic - led, double- blind peer-reviewed, generalist journal on Indian Law. It aims:
·       to publish top quality scholarship on Indian law spanning all areas of law including comparative perspectives that include Indian Law.
·       to offer a forum for the community of scholars of Indian Law both within and outside India.
·       to take a broad interdisciplinary approach to the study of Indian Law, thereby reaching a wide readership, including legal academics, philosophers, criminologists, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, political scientists, legal practitioners and others. 
The Indian Law Review's scope is broad, and extends to all work relevant to Indian law (including comparative perspectives). The journal is not limited in terms of legal themes or methodology; the only limitation is jurisdictional, and submissions are welcome from scholars located worldwide. Indian Law Review may also publish a small number of high quality pieces relating to the law of other South Asian and Southeast Asian jurisdictions with historical and geographical connections to India.

The Indian Law Review publishes three issues per year. Each issue aims to contain three to five articles, one to three book reviews, a literature review, and notes on recent case and statutes. Its editorial policy requires anonymised submissions, and strictly follows double-blind peer review.

Indian Law Review is accepting submissions
The Indian Law Review uses Editorial Manager to manage the submission and peer review process, and is now accepting submissions for articles, literature reviews, case notes, legislative notes, and book reviews. To submit your manuscript please visit the Journal’s submission page. For information on preparing your submission please visit the Instructions for Authors page.

LASS in LiveLaw

Fourth Edition of LASSnet Conference 2016, 'Thinking With Evidence: Seeking Certainty, Making Truth'



 The only conference of its kind in South Asia, the fourth edition of the Law and Social Sciences Research Network (LASSnet) took place from 10-12 December 2016 in Delhi.
LASSnet is a virtual network anchored at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University. LASSnet was established in order to bring together scholars, lawyers and doctoral researchers engaged in research and teaching of issues of law in different social sciences in contemporary South Asia in 2007.
The fourth edition of the LASSnet conference was organised by the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jindal Global Law School of O.P. Jindal Global University, National Law University Delhi, Azim Premji University, Ambedkar University Delhi, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, and the Dickson Pool Transnational Law Institute at the King’s College, London. These institutions have been at the forefront of interdisciplinary research on law and have engaged with the role of law in the making of contemporary South Asia. More than 500 participants from all over the world attended the conference of over 60 sessions, and three featured panels engaged with what it means to think with ‘evidence’ in law and outside law.
Evidence has increasingly become an important category in our everyday lives, be it in the familial, political, or historical domain. The contested nature of evidence in law and life found animated debate at the conference. The theme of this conference, ‘Thinking with Evidence: Seeking Certainty, Making Truth’ pertains to the question of evidence and its role in legal and social research. For initiatives such as LASSnet, the imperative of thinking with evidence – in these times of virtual virality, forensic imaginaries and ephemeral archives – serves as a fertile ground on which we can stage discussions of the perils, pleasures, meanings and methods of inter-disciplinarity. ‘Thinking with Evidence’ allows engaging the possibilities of legal and social world, and how they invite discussions on our changing world and possible futures.
The conference was graced by many luminaries including C Raj Kumar, Ranbir Singh, Shyam Menon, Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Niraja Jayal, Julia Eckert, Ravinder Kaur, Vrinda Grover, Rebecca John, Peer Zumbassen, Shirin Rai, Lawrence Liang, Kalpana Kannabiran, Tarunabh Khaitan, Jawahar Raja, Abhinav Chandrachud, Shalini Randeria and Shireen Hassim.
LASSnet has highlighted the fact that although the domain of law has primarily been either a site of legal practice or of scholarship by lawyers alone, the emergence of LASSnet demonstrates how exciting and important it is to have conversations about law and justice from a range of disciplines. Scholarship in the field of law has grown to encompass a wide array of disciplines, methodologies, political perspectives and conceptual overlaps. If the initial movement was predominantly led by sociologists and then by scholars of literary studies, it now includes an ever expanding terrain of social science and humanities disciplines, including anthropology, digital studies, film and history. LASSnet has always seen law as an immensely fertile site to examine the social, the historical and the political. Previous LASSnet conferences were held in 2009, 2010 and 2012 at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the Foundation for Liberal and Management Education (FLAME) in Pune and at the Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
The opening talk at the 2016 conference was delivered by the eminent political theorist from Yale University, with Professors Shiv Visvanathan, Ramin Jahenbegloo, and Gitanjali Surendran on Gandhi’s ideas on non-violence. The closing contemplated the evidence of hope by crafting a discussion between the eminent legal scholars Indira Jaising, Babloo Loitongbam, Usha Ramanathan, Upendra Baxi, and Julia Eckert.
Three memorial panels were organised to recognise the contribution of the work and lives of three young academics, all of whom passed away in 2015. The panel dedicated to Dwijen Rangnekar marked his pathbreaking work in the field of geographical indicators. Another panel remembered Priya Thangarajah, a young Sri Lankan lawyer and researcher who made invaluable contributions to deepening our understanding of law and violence in times of conflict. And finally tribute was paid to U.S. based Pakistani scholar late Nasser Hussain whose work on law and emergency remains one of the most important contributions to the field in the region. The three panels engaged with the work of these scholars as a way of acknowledging their deep learning across histories, borders, disciplines and friendships.
The conference witnessed discussions around six books by emerging scholars from the LASSnet community on themes ranging from public interest litigation in India to debates around sentencing in criminal cases. One of the panels focused on a discussion around law and disability following the recent release of The India Social Development Report. The Indian Law Review, an academic journal on Indian law, was launched at the conference, also a product of the conversations at LASSnet over a decade. A syllabus workshop designed between King’s College London and O.P. Jindal Global Law School was held where mid-career teachers were invited to submit a syllabus of their own design for feedback and discussion.

01/02/16

Deadline for Submitting Panels and Individual Abstracts for LASS2016 Conference has been extended to 1 MARCH 2016.


LASSnet Conference- 10-12 December 2016

‘Thinking with Evidence: Seeking Certainty, Making Truth’. 


The indeterminacy in law could be read both as a problem of truth and also as one that plagues disciplines. The question of evidence has been central to the formation of disciplines and the claims that they make upon knowledge. For initiatives such as LASSnet, the imperative of thinking with evidence — in these times of virtual virality, forensic imaginaries and ephemeral archives — serves as a fertile ground on which we can stage discussions of the perils, pleasures, meanings and methods of inter-disciplinarity. While disciplines are defined partially by the evidentiary protocols that they follow, the very nature of inter-disciplinary enquiry calls into crisis the idea of a single protocol. The methodological concerns with the seeking and making of certainty and truth implicate a whole range of disciplines: anthropology, art, history, law, religion, philosophy, politics, economics, literature, theatre, and science, to name just a few. The stakes in thinking with evidence are very high since doing so raises the core epistemological claims, regarding not just of what, but also how we know. This is rendered all the more difficult because the very grounds of evidence are themselves shifting terrain, subject not only to developments in science and technology but also to forms of historical consciousness and social knowledge.
Thinking with evidence in engaging the encounters and intimacies between the imaginations of the legal and the social can provoke interdisciplinary conversations, in the affective and corporeal works and worlds of making, seeking and living with truth. Such an engagement offers an invitation to re-invigorate discussions around the dialectic of the abstract and the concrete of jurisdiction, procedure and techné.
How does evidence index intelligibility and illegibility simultaneously on bodies and things? How are questions of inheritance and memory mediated through a claim to the evidentiary? How may one think of ways of doing politics and living with law? Or address questions of responsibility and conduct, particularly as these arise in the context of experience, acting as evidence of legitimate speech?
The English word ‘evidence’ is associated with Latin verb, vidier, to see. The relationship between seeing, believing and knowing, when mediated by visual technologies, transforms ways of seeking certainity and making truth. Along with criminal law, procedural and constitutional law also offer fertile grounds to think of evidence as an object of truth and power. In our technologized regimes that are heavily invested in the forensic fascination with truth detection, how do we think of the constitutional implications of scientific evidence and the truth claims that they make?
Moreover, why is the ocular or aural privileged over the haptic or olfactory? How do we furnish evidence of experiences of humiliation when ocular or aural techniques of knowing and telling make suffering illegible in the legal languages of evidence? Moving our gaze to the gamut of categories that populate ‘evidence law’ we ask following William Twining: “how to do things with evidence?” Is it a legal fiction that there are evidentiary rules that determine probability, presumption, fact, proof and certainty, classifying some artefacts as facts or truths and others as exaggerations, falsehoods or myths? How is the process of making juridical facts, legal certainties and presumptions embedded in continuities and changes in social relations in history, economy, culture and politics? How does the production and circulation of technologies of evidence in popular culture create demands for scientific evidence in actual trials?
What kind of commodity is evidence? What kinds of technologies are deployed to evidence the body in law? What kinds of knowledges congeal in the category of expert evidence, from archealogy to forensics, to act upon languages of social suffering? What is the nature of the testimony that underlies expert evidence in law and literature? Do concepts of evidence in visual arts and performing arts speak to juridical notions of evidence, testimony and witnessing?
How may we understand what we do with evidence when we turn to religion, or custom; or state and non-state law? Drawing on the vast critical literature on Hindu or Islamic law; or customary and indigenous law in colonial, post-colonial and settler-colonial contexts, how may one think of evidence as it mediates between law and justice in relation to the claims of truth to power? How are notions of evidence in these traditions, or in traditions of aurality/orality, constituted by the theories of codified visuality in common law traditions? Further, what kinds of evidence does the discourse on plurality, secularism and rights rely upon?
Why do certain kinds of evidence of suffering falter, while other kinds of evidence succeed in making suffering visible? How do we think of evidence in a broad sense—as not just documents, facts, proof, or expert knowledge but also as "aesthetics of protests'', as truths that counter the processes by which evidence is constructed in the context of of displacement, gender violence, caste humiliation, mass violence, disappearances and/or state terror? When certain facts are banished from courts of law, how do the politics and aesthetics of protests furnish evidence of truth to power? How does the regime of evidence produce marginalities and exclusions from collective memory and historical record? What kind of residue resides in the legal archive that allows us to describe how law is haunted by unwritten precedents of injustice? In other words, how does evidence actualise the separation of law from justice?
Call For Papers| Conference Sub-Themes| Instructions for Submission
Conference Sub-Themes

Histories of Evidence/ Evidence of History
Evidence and Affect
Evidence and Absence
The Art and Architecture of Evidence
Evidence in/ as the Archive
Evidence and its Corporealities
The Work of Evidence in State-building
Memory and Museums/ Curating Evidence
The Markets of Evidence
Rival Jurisprudences of Evidence
The Evidence of the Body/Body of Evidence
Jurisdictions of Evidence
Indicators, measurements and evidence
Evidence, governance and policy-making
Scientific Evidence and the Making of Juridical Truths
Identity (Political, Social and Juridical) and Evidence
Others
In keeping with the eclectic spirit of LASSnet, we welcome submissions that address concerns of the LASSnet broadly in connection with the theme of the conference, including papers, panels, and presentations on the sub-themes detailed above. To mark the completion of 10 years of LASSnet in 2017, we plan to bring out a series of edited volumes and/or special issues in journals in 2017-2018. Book proposals or journal special-issues plans will be a priority in this edition of LASSnet. We strongly encourage participants to think of panels as potential volumes. The steering committee will actively organise conversations around publication plans and any one willing to organise pre-conference workshops is welcome to get in touch with us.
Instructions for submission of papers
In keeping with the eclectic spirit of LASSnet, we welcome submissions that address concerns of the LASSnet broadly in connection with the theme of the conference, including papers, panels, and presentations on the sub-themes detailed above. To mark the completion of 10 years of LASSnet in 2017, we plan to bring out a series of edited volumes and/or special issues in journals in 2017-2018. Book proposals or journal special-issues plans will be a priority in this edition of LASSnet. We strongly encourage participants to think of panels as potential volumes. The steering committee will actively organise conversations around publication plans and any one willing to organise pre-conference workshops is welcome to get in touch with us.
We welcome proposals for panels as well as for individual paper presentations.
Panel proposals: Panel coordinators should submit a panel description of 500 words as well as a proposed list of panelists (ideally no more than four speakers per panel, including the chair-discussant) via online submission link below (more details below). The panel description should be accompanied by individual paper proposals for each panelist, following the instructions below. Coordinators may also choose to propose a chair—discussant for the panel as a whole.
Individual papers: Paper abstracts (500 words maximum) should be submitted via online submission link below. Please note that abstract/papers should not be sent through email.
Online Submission Link: To submit Individual abstract you will have to :
i) Register as Author on submission website. Please refer to this document for step by step procedure
ii) Login to submission website using credentials received during step i, and upload an abstract in '.doc' or '.pdf' format along with additional information. Please refer to this document for detailed guidelines
You can directly go to Abstract Submission Website if you have registered yourself as an Author (step i. above), and read the guidelines for abstract submission detailed in step ii above.
In case of Panel submissions:
iii) Panel coordinator must first submit the panel details through abstract submission link (see step ii) with the difference that - instead of uploading abstract you will upload a '.doc' or '.pdf' file containing panel description and the list of panelists; and click on 'Panel abstract' box instead of 'Individial abstract' checkbox in the additional questions section (question number 1) of the abstract submission link.
iv) All panel authors will also submit their paper abstracts through abstract submission link (see step ii) with the difference that - they will click on 'Panel abstract' checkbox and provide name of the panel coordinator (question number 6) in the additional questions section of the abstract submission link.
Abstracts (Individual/Panel) should be submitted no later than 1st March 2016
We will get back to you within eight weeks of receiving the abstract or paper proposal. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted to the conference secretariat by 30 October 2016 (using Online Paper Submission Link to be made available) and distributed to the discussant and fellow panel members no later than 15 November 2016. In the case of pre–formed panels, this will be the responsibility of the Panel Coordinator.The maximum duration of individual presentations within each panel will be 20 minutes.
Contact the LASSnet 2016 Steering Committee at lassnetconf2016 [at] gmail [dot] com
To join LASSnet please write to lassnet [at] gmail [dot] com
Other information will be announced in due course at LASSnet blog / www.lassnet.org
and our facebook page here.

14/12/15



We are heartbroken to share with you that Priyadarshini Thangarajah, to her friends Priya or Thanga, passed away on 4 November 2015 in Colombo. It is hard to think of Priya in the past tense—she was always brimming with life, laughter and love. Each LASS conversation was all the more special, brilliant and spirited solely because of Priya.

Priya graduated from the National Law School University of India, Bangalore, India, in the summer of 2010. As an aspiring young lawyer, who took the bar examination, Priya wanted to challenge the estranged relationship between law and justice by becoming a magistrate. In 2014-15, Priya was a fulbright scholar and completed her LLM at Georgetown University. Priya worked with different organisations based in Sri Lanka and India on issues of gender, sexuality, violence and human rights. However, her passion for law and legal research was shaped through years of association with the Law and Society Trust in Colombo; and later her work at the Alternative Law Forum at Bangalore.

Priya was a sensitive and brilliant researcher. We have lost a courageous lawyer, scholar and activist, who believed in the value of cultivating principles that straddled these different spheres. She brought a radical, feminist politics of care to the politics of transformation she practised. Her research ranged from sexuality, violence, state repression, torture, human rights, and censorship. Her untimely passing is a huge loss not only to the futures of alternate lawyering and legal research in Sri Lanka but also South Asia.

Priya was a powerful writer. In 2010, she wrote:
I spent my initial activist days worrying that there were not enough young people given that we lost them in the 70s, then in this war, displacement and emigration then I suddenly found through facebook a hundred young people who cared. We may disagree but we care and that I must say has sustained me. And today as we light candles in street corners evading arrests and threats and silently light the flame of dissent I am hoping we will revolt in every street corner for we don’t have six years and I am done waiting for the terms to stop, the war to get over.

And more recently on the issue of marriage equality and queer struggles, she wrote
 Ours should not be a movement to make people feel comfortable and to prove that we, too, are capable of fidelity and devotion; what we should strive for is to love and to love whom we want, how we want to, and in as many ways as we desire.

To all her friends, courage to deal with this inconsolable loss; for LASS, it is a huge blow; to Priya, adieu dear friend.

In sorrow,
Uma, Ponni, Anusha, Svati, Brenna and Pratiksha with so many friends on LASS


More about Priya’s work:
In 2002, Priya served as a Tamil language interpreter for Women and Peace Mission to the East of Sri Lanka; while she interned at the Law and Society Trust at Colombo (2001-2003) researching sexual violence, human rights treaties, custodial deaths, child rights and electoral violence among other issues. Thereafter, Priya was also associate director and interpreter in a documentary film project entitled ‘the art of forgetting’ where she served as Tamil and Sinhala language interpreter during research, filming and editing of trilingual documentary film, assisted the director/producer in all aspects of post production.  In 2003, Priya travelled to Delhi to work as a researcher at the CSDS where she researched poverty related migration of women; and interned at PLD helping organise a seminar on rights based development. In 2005, Priya returned to the Law and Society Trust (LST) where she researched the right to die.  She also worked on the Official Languages Commission at the LST.  In 2007, Priya was research Assistant at LST when she researched and helped monitor the 16 cases being investigated by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry. She also interned with the then Commissioner, Presidential Commission of Inquiry, Colombo, by providing research support relating to the 16 cases under consideration by the Commission.

Priya worked with a number of notable organisations, lawyers and academics, which included Women’s Support Group in Colombo when she documented the struggles lesbian and bisexual women and transgendered persons face in Sri Lanka; researched human rights defenders for the Human Rights Alert in Manipur, worked for Meneka Guruswamy on the arms industry in India, wrote legal briefs for human rights cases relating to detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and the extrajudicial killings of 17 humanitarian workers (Action Contra la Faim) in Sri Lanka for K.S Ratnevel, Advocate, Colombo and worked with feminist historian Uma Chakravarti on gender, law and legal education. Priya also provided legal advice and gender and legal training for women in the Mannar Women’s Development Federation, Mannar in 2011-2012.

Read Priya at:
With Arasu, Ponni. Queer Women and Habeas Corpus in India: The Love that Blinds the Law, Indian Journal of Gender Studies October 2012 vol. 19 no. 3 413-435, http://ijg.sagepub.com/content/19/3/413.abstract




Watch Priya speak:
https://vimeo.com/148836197
courtesy Uma Chakravarti

03/11/15

Lawrence Liang's Tribute to Dwij, posted in the Wire

Dwijen Rangnekar, intellectual property law scholar and Feni aficionado, passed away on October 30

Dwijen Rangnekar (April 17, 1965 – 30 October 2015)
Dwijen Rangnekar
(April 17, 1965 – 30 October 2015)
My friends, do not die the way you used to die
I beg you, do not die, wait another year for me
one year
just one more year
we might trade ideas for walking on the street
free of the hour and the banner …
we have other tasks beside searching for graves and elegies
– Mahmoud Darwish
It is very rare in the rather serious world of intellectual property (IP) to have a discussion on the merits and demerits of using geographical indications (GIs) to protect locally produced goods veer into a detailed description of the pleasures of different kinds of Feni, the liquor produced from cashew/coconut in Goa. But that is precisely what one expected from Dwijen Rangnekar, who was as passionate about his Feni as he was about the appropriateness of GIs as a form of protection for it. In the midst of a discussion on the successful registration by the Goa government for a GI on Feni, I rather ill-informedly mentioned that I had only tasted Feni once and it reminded me of nail polish remover. Dwijen took serious objections to the statement and proceeded to give me a connoisseur’s guide to the world of Feni, making me want to rush to the closest Goan outpost to sample it for myself.
But underlying both his interest in Feni as well as GIs was a passionate curiosity and investment in the idea of the local. The lop-sided development of IP laws in the past two decades has meant that expansionist IP regimes have primarily favoured large corporations over individual creators and users and as an IP scholar interested in the intersection between IP and development, Dwijen was acutely aware of this. His work, however, demonstrated the rare instances when IP laws could also be used to promote the interest of local communities. But to be able to bridge the wide world that exists between abstract legal principles and local realities requires more than a sharp legal and analytical outlook, it also requires an ethnographic sensibility which is sensitive to the dynamics of the global, national and the local and this is precisely what Dwijen’s work brought to bear on IP scholarship in India.
Legal scholars usually have more affinities with historians – dwelling as they both do in archives of authority –  than they do with anthropologists. But when it comes to a domain like intellectual property which claims to be not just a theory of property but also a theory of culture and creativity, an IP scholar must, of necessity, simultaneously wear the hat of a cultural anthropologist. Scholars like Rosemary Coombe at York have ably demonstrated how a finely attuned understanding of cultural politics leads to a sharper understanding of how IP laws work. While India has had a rich tradition of brilliant IP scholars, what we missed was someone who was able to move between the worlds of international treaties, national legislations and the complex dynamics of power and economics within local communities.
Dwijen’s sudden and all too early demise signals a major loss to the world of IP scholarship and more generally to inter-disciplinary scholarship in law and culture. One of the founding members along with Pratiksha Baxi and others of the Law and Social Sciences Research Network (which has emerged as one of the most significant forums for inter disciplinary scholarship in law), Dwijen was more or less perfectly poised to transition fully into a significant voice from the global south on IP debates. His earlier work was more located in normative principles and is in debate with his own later work which recognised the importance of field work in IP scholarship. There was a significant recalibration of the kinds of questions that he started asking through IP laws.
If his early interest was in the question of the emergence of international norms on GIs and their suitability more generally, his work after the Feni study (to which he devoted a significant number of years) started asking questions of the relationship between law and the construction of geography. In an important article, “Remaking Place: The Social Construction of a Geographical Indication for Feni,” Dwijen argued that social movements often converged across claims to place and in this context GIs for him were a form of a ‘juridical reification of a place-based stabilisation of cultural norms’. But his article also warns us against any naive or romantic idealisation of GIs as a form of local protection and instead situates how dominant business within local communities along with state governments can appropriate the idea of the local. His account of the successful registration of a GI for Feni ably demonstrates that IP laws which are shaped globally can also be the basis of reshaping local politics.
If Dwij’s passionate curiosity was contagious then so was his laughter, sometimes producing disastrous consequences. Pratiksha Baxi recalls a moment from a Critical Legal Studies conference at Hyderabad when Dwijen laughed so loudly at a joke that he fell off his chair. As some poets have described, it was laughter that caught fire. Shamnad Basheer describes one of the last emails that he received from Dwij even as he was battling cancer in which Diwj asked him to ensure that he replied to a query from one of Dwij’s doctoral students at Warwick University, where he was an Associate Professor of Law. If our ideas and our work are the only guarantee we have against the cruel silliness of cancer, then let’s hope that Dwij’s scholarship, like his laughter, will also catch fire and set ablaze a sustained interest in law and locality.
Lawrence Liang is an advocate and the co-founder of the Bangalore Alternative Law Forum
http://thewire.in/2015/11/02/a-scholar-who-made-ipr-relevant-for-local-communities-too-14608/

02/11/15

Celebrating the life of Dwijen (Duji) Rangnekar, 2 November at 16:00

Memorial Meeting
2 November at 16:00
Shri Sathya Sai International Centre in New Delhi, India

Dwijen left us on October 30, 2015. What he left behind were memories, humour and thoughts that described the person he was. We invite you to come and share your stories about him and join us in celebrating his life.
​Sharif Rangnekar​
Dear Everyone,
It is with great sorrow that I write to let you all know that Dr Dwijen Rangnekar our friend, colleague and comrade—one of the 14 founder members of LASSnet who taught at the Law School in Warwick––passed away on 30 October 2015 after a most courageous fight against cancer in Delhi. It is really difficult to accept that Dwij has gone for he met life with irresistible charm, infinite celebration and an irascible humour. LASSnet owes much to Dwijen whose ideas, energy and solidarity made us achieve so much.
Among other things, Dwij was a leading expert in GIs. His ESRC project, a source of pride and joy to so many of us, was titled: Localising Economic Control Through Clubs: Examining the Intellectual Property Protection of Feni in Goa, India. His yet to be published manuscript on Feni is path breaking. It cuts across diverse disciplines inaugurating new directions in interdisciplinary research; and brings life to an area of research otherwise colonised by obscure legal language. Dwij extended solidarity to democratic and secular movements in India even when in Warwick, sustaining especially the friendships and politics forged in his formative years at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. For the incredible energy, vision, solidarity and friendship that Dwij brought to LASSnet, let us raise a toast to Dwij wherever we are tonight.
To his family and friends, deep condolences.
In sorrow, Pratiksha

His family can be reached at the following addresses:
Veena Rangnekar
A-6 Gulmohar Park,
New Delhi 110049
India
91 9818366361 (Veena, Dwij’s mother)
91 9810270921 (Sharif, Dwij’s brother)
 

31/10/15

Dr Dwijen Rangnekar is no more

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Dr Dwijen Rangnekar our friend, colleague and comrade—one of the 14 founder members of LASSnet who taught at the Law School in Warwick––passed away on 30 October 2015 after a most courageous fight against cancer in Delhi. It is really difficult to accept that Dwij has gone for he met life with irresistible charm, infinite celebration and an irascible humour. LASSnet owes much to Dwijen whose ideas, energy and solidarity made us achieve so much.Pictures from the first LASSnet @ JNU below.
Among other things, Dwij was a leading expert in GIs. His ESRC project, a source of pride and joy to so many of us, was titled: Localising Economic Control Through Clubs: Examining the Intellectual Property Protection of Feni in Goa, India. His yet to be published manuscript on Feni is path breaking. It cuts across diverse disciplines inaugurating new directions in interdisciplinary research; and brings life to an area of research otherwise colonised by obscure legal language. Dwij extended solidarity to democratic and secular movements in India even when in Warwick, sustaining especially the friendships and politics forged in his formative years at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. For the incredible energy, vision, solidarity and friendship that Dwij brought to LASSnet, let us raise a toast to Dwij wherever we are tonight.


To his family and friends, deep condolences.
In sorrow, Pratiksha
--> His family can be reached at the following addresses  
-->Veena, Dwij’s mother -->
Email: veenarangnekar41@gmail.com
--> Sharif, Dwij’s brother  
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Email: srangnekar@icloud.com

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For those of you who had not met Dwij, this is how Warwick introduces his research.

Dwijen's research focuses on the innovation process, technical change, knowledge production and appropriation strategies; of special interest is the role of intellectual property rights. In terms of industrial sectors, his research mainly concentrates on the seed industry, agro-food industries, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. The issues that are of interest include the transformation of agro-food industries and the relationship between plant variety protection and patent law; biotechnology, the life science industries and patent law; intellectual property rights and plant genetic resources; the international politics of intellectual property rights; protection of traditional knowledge, rural development and the role of geographical indications and trademarks; and the impact of intellectual property rights on knowledge production

Publications

2016
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2016) Commentary on protecting farmers rights under the Indian protection of plant variety and farmers’ right act 2001. In: Halewood, Michael , (ed.) Farmers' crop varieties and farmers' rights : challenges in taxonomy and law. Issues in agricultural biodiversity . Routledge. (In Press)
Rangnekar, Dwijen and Mukhopadhyay, P. (2016) Social gains from the GI for Feni : will market size or concentration dominate outcomes? In: Gangjee, Dev, (ed.) Research handbook on intellectual property and geographical indications. Edward Elgar. ISBN 9781847201300 (In Press)
2015
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2015) Biopiracy. In: Dharampal-Frick, G. and Kirloskar-Steinbach, M. and Dwyer, R. and Phalkey, J., (eds.) Key Concepts in Modern Indian Studies. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199452750
Rangnekar, Dwijen and Kleba, J. B.. (2015) Introduction. Law, Environment and Development Journal, 9 (2). pp. 97-105. ISSN 1746-5893
2013
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2013) Equipment for battles on intellectual property rights. Economic and Political Weekly, 48 (34). pp. 27-28. ISSN 0012-9976
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2013) The supreme court judgment : lawmaking in the south. Economic and Political Weekly, 48 (32). pp. 39-40. ISSN 0012-9976
2011
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2011) Remaking place : the social construction of a geographical indication for Feni. Environment and Planning A, 43 (9). pp. 2043-2059. ISSN 0308-518X
2010
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2010) The law and economics of geographical indications : introduction to special issue of the journal of world intellectual property. The Journal of World Intellectual Property, 13 (2). pp. 77-80. ISSN 1422-2213
Rangnekar, Dwijen and Kumar, Sanjay. (2010) Another look at Basmati : genericity and the problems of a transborder geographical indication. The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol.13 (No.2). pp. 202-230. ISSN 1422-2213
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2010) No 'lemons' no more : a sketch on the economics' of geographical indications. In: Correa, Carlos M., (ed.) Research handbook on the protection of intellectual property under WTO rules. Research handbooks on the WTO, Vol.1 . Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, pp. 515-539. ISBN 9781847209047
2009
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2009) Indications of geographical origin in Asia : legal and policy issues to resolve. In: Meléndez-Ortiz, Ricardo and Roffe, Pedro, (eds.) Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development : Development Agendas in a Changing World. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, pp. 273-302. ISBN 9781848446458
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2009) The use and application of geographical indications : the case of Darjeeling tea. In: Giovannucci, Daniele and Josling, Tim and Kerr, William and O’Connor, Bernard and Yeung, May T., (eds.) Guide to geographical indications: linking products and their origins. Geneva: International Trade Centre. ISBN 9789291373659
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2009) Commodification of seeds. Science as Culture, 6 (2). pp. 301-312. ISSN 0950-5431
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2009) Geographical indications and localisation : a case study of Feni. Coventry, UK: Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick..
2008
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2008) Geneva rhetoric, national reality: implementing TRIPS obligations in Kenya. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.241).
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2008) Is more less? An evolutionary economics, critique of the economics of plant breeds' rights. In: Gibson, Johanna, (ed.) Patenting lives : life patents, culture and development. Intellectual property, theory, culture . Aldershot, England ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Pub, pp. 179-194. ISBN 9780754671046
2007
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2007) Trade-related intellectual property rights. In: Robertson, R. and Scholte, Jan Aart, (eds.) Encyclopedia of Globalization. Routledge. ISBN 9780415973144
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2007) Context and ambiguity: a comment on amending India's patent act. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.224).
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2007) Context and ambiguity in the making of law : a comment on amending India's patent act. The Journal of World Intellectual Property, 10 (5). pp. 365-387. ISSN 1422-2213
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2007) Expert opinion : geographical indications. In: Najam, Adil and Halle, Mark and Meléndez-Ortiz, Ricardo, (eds.) Trade and environment : a resource book. International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. ISBN 9781895536997
2006
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2006) Geographical indications. In: Yu, Peter K., (ed.) Intellectual Property and Information Wealth : Issues and Practices in the Digital Age. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. ISBN 9780275988869
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2006) No pills for poor people? Economic and Political Weekly, 41 (5). ISSN 0012-9976
2005
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2005) No pills for poor people? Understanding the disembowelment of India’s patent regime. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.176).
2004
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2004) El desarrollo rural y la proteccion del conocimiento tradicional: cual es el papel de law indicaciones geograficas. In: Pina, Carlos Munoz and Rivera, Marisol and Forcada, Sara Avila, (eds.) Comercio y medio ambiente : distorsiones, información y acceso a mercados. México: Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales : Instituto Nacional de Ecología. ISBN 9789688177082
2003
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2003) Implementing the sui generis option in the TRIPs agreement : a framework for analysis. In: Katrak, Homi and Strange, Roger, (eds.) The WTO and developing countries. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781403903440
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2003) Plant breeding in an era of privatization. In: Richter, Frank-Jürgen and Banerjee, Parthasarathi, (eds.) The knowledge economy in India. Balsingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781403901101
2002
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2002) R&D appropriability and planned obsolescence: empirical evidence from wheat breeding in the UK (1960-1995). Industrial and Corporate Change, 11 (5). pp. 1011-1029. ISSN 0960-6491