Manas Ray is a Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. He has written on cultural and film theory, ethics, governmentality, the Indian diaspora, and post-partition Calcutta and has been published in collections like Global Television: views from the periphery (OUP, London, 1998), Floating Lives: negotiating cultural identity through media (Rowman and Littlefield, New York, 2002), Media of the Diaspora (Routledge, New York, 2003), City Flicks (Seagull, Calcutta 2004), Partitioned Lives (Pearson Longman, Delhi, 2007) and Penguin Anthology of Writings on Calcutta (New Delhi, 2008). At present, he is working towards a monograph entitled, Theorizing the Illiberal: essays on sovereignty and (neo)liberal technologies of governance.


Tarunabh Khaitan

Tarunabh completed his undergraduate law degree from National Law School, Bangalore in 2004 and the BCL and M.Phil. from Oxford thereafter. He is currently finishing his doctorate on comparative aspects of anti-discrimination law and teaches constitutional law to Oxford undergraduates. His past research activities include a conference paper on the use of litigation as a political tool by social interest groups; and another on the characterisation of the crimes committed in Gujarat 2002 under international criminal law. A forthcoming article deals with the equality jurisprudence under the Indian constitution and the extremely deferential standards of review evolved by the Supreme Court, which has ensured that Article 15(1) remains a non-starter. More broadly, his research interests include studying constitutional, criminal and family law from socio-legal and comparative perspectives.


Priya Thangarajah

Priya Thangarajah is currently a Law student at the National Law School of India University. She is Sri Lankan and has worked on a range of Human Rights issues related to conflict for the past three years and continues to do so intermittently from India and when she visits Sri Lanka. In India, she works consistently with a number of independent collectives with a focus on issues of gender and sexuality. More recently she has been involved in research and writing around issues of queer women and the law in India. Her primary areas of focus are gender, sexuality and conflict related issues.

Rajendra Pradhan

Rajendra Pradhan is currently the Chair of Social Science Baha, an NGO dedicated to promoting social sciences in Nepal. He received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Delhi but prefers to call himself an anthropologist. A researcher with varied research interests, he has studied religion among the Hindu Newars of Kathmandu, the care of the elderly in a Dutch village, food beliefs and practices in the Nepal Tarai, (irrigation) water rights and history and culture of water in Nepal, traditional dispute resolution processes, social exclusion and inclusion and more recently an ethnography of the state.

Over the past 12 odd years, he has developed an interest in and used legal anthropological and especially legal pluralism perspectives for his research search on water rights, dispute process and ethnography of the state.

He has published numerous articles and edited several books including Water Rights, Conflict and Policy (1997), Water, Land and Law: Changing Rights to Land and Water in Nepal (2000), Law, History and Culture of Water in Nepal (2003), Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law in Social, Economic and Political Development (2003). He is currently working on several books, including on Legal Anthropology and Traditional Disputing Processes in Nepal and on an ethnography of the state-citizen interaction at the local level.

Email address rpradhan@soscbaha.org

May 29 South Asia Lunch at Montreal LSA Meeting

Please join us
for the annual
South Asia CRN Lunch
at this year's Law and Society Meeting
in Montreal, Canada.

The lunch will take place on
Thursday, May 29, from 12.30-2pm
the Brasserie Brunoise,
1012 de la Montagne:

Please RSVP Mitra Sharafi (mitrasharafi@ yahoo.com)
by Tuesday, May 27
if you plan to attend (partners welcome).

Directions from conference area: walk west from the Place Bonaventure approximately five blocks along boulevard Rene Levesque Ouest, rue de la Gauchetiere, or boulevard St. Antoine Ouest. Early on, you will pass Marie Reine du Monde cathedral. The restaurant is on a cross-street,
rue de la Montagne, between Rene Levesque and de la Gauchetiere. If you reach the campus of Concordia University, you have gone 1-2 blocks too far.

Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&q=brasserie+brunoise&near=Montreal,+QC,+Canada&fb=1&cid=0,0,1368105787806840336&sa=X&oi=local_result&resnum=1&ct=image)

We look forward to seeing you there.

-Mitra Sharafi & Marc Galanter
(University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Meeting at Law and Society, Montreal

Dear All,

As this fascinating network grows …and plans get into place for the first inaugural conference at JNU – there is much to talk and engage about. I imagine there are some of us here who are heading to the L&S meeting in Montreal? With that round the corner – I thought it would be a great idea (possibly highly ambitious given diaries?!) to try and convene a meeting there – nothing more serious that food and drinks. Though, with plans to scheme something for LASS/JNU?

Any takers – please drop me a line at dwijenr@gmail.com



Dr Dwijen Rangnekar


University of Warwick, UK

Email: d.rangnekar@warwick.ac.uk

Ph: +44 +24 7652 8906

Fax: +44 + 24 7657 2548


ESRC Project on Geographical Indications http://www.warwick.ac.uk/go/feni


Navita Mahajan

Navita Mahajan is an independent researcher and a teacher educator. She teaches the pedagogical courses in Counseling & Guidance, training /initiating the students in deeper realms of mind particularly in Personal Counseling at the Faculty of Education, Dev Samaj College of Education, Panjab University. She works and writes in the areas of Partition of South Asia, conflict transformation and role of education in Peacebuilding through track II. She is currently working on a book project based on the narratives of the third generation of Post Partitioned Punjab and is also working on exploring the South East Asian concept of Peace.


Ashok Agrwaal

After graduating from law school in 1982 Ashok joined the bar in Delhi, India and have been practicing law since then. He started off as an independent lawyer, not affiliated to any firm and continues to be so even today.

Over the last 20 years his focus has been on issues of accountability and State impunity. In 1995 he filed a petition in the Indian Supreme Court seeking a comprehensive enquiry into allegations of enforced disappearances in the north-western Indian State of Punjab during the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, when the state was wracked by an armed insurrection. The final order, in October 2006, fell woefully short of expectations but it did result in the grant of minimal compensation to the families of over 1200 persons who had been disappeared (and then killed) by the Punjab police and other security forces. This is a first in independent Indian history.

Between 2002 and 2005 Ashok conducted a study of the effectiveness of the writ of habeas corpus in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has also been in the throes of a violent insurrection since 1990. An abridged version of his report is to be published shortly, in the form of a monograph, by South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR), the Kathmandu based regional NGO, in collaboration with which the research was done.

Currently Ashok balances his time between practice and research/ writing. A paper, titled 'Law's Autonomy: A Paradigm of State Power' was recently published in a volume titled ‘Autonomy - Beyond Hermeneutics and Kant’, Paula Banerjee and Samir K. Das (eds.), (Delhi: Anthem, 2007). It explores the ambivalence of law in the context of individual and social autonomy. This paper, as well as the report on habeas corpus in Kashmir, can be downloaded from http://works.bepress.com/ashokagrwaal/

Another paper, tentatively titled Trivialising Justice: Reservations and the Rule of Law, will be published by Sage, as part of a volume on Law and Social Justice (part of a 4 volume status report on social justice in India), towards the end of this year or early next year.


call for paper - Sur Journal

Call for Papers – Sur Journal Special Issue:

Perspectives on the future of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Challenges ahead
New deadline 15 June, 2008

Sur – Human Rights University Network and the International Service for Human Rights invite contributions to be published in a Special Issue on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Sur – International Journal on Human Rights (n. 9, second semester 2008).

The Sur Journal is published twice a year, distributed free of charge to approximately 2,700 readers in over 100 countries. It is edited in three languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish and can also be accessed online at http://www.surjournal.org.

The Journal aims at disseminating a Global Southern perspective on human rights and to facilitate exchange among professors and activists from the Global South without disregarding contributions from other regions.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted in 1948 was the first comprehensive and universal human rights instrument in the international arena. It is a milestone in mankind's struggle for freedom and human dignity. Since the adoption of the UDHR, a complex human rights system has been created at the international, regional and national levels, new treaties have been adopted, and new mechanisms for protection created. Furthermore, a large number of States have become, at least in formal terms, democratic. At the same time a number of challenges are facing the full realization of human rights. The vision of human rights as a "Northern and Western ideal" still persists along with other divisions among States, communities, groups and individuals regarding how to take a global human rights agenda forward.

This special issue will focus on the challenges ahead as a way to commemorate the adoption of the UDHR. We will therefore prioritize articles which, preferably but not exclusively, address the following topics about the future of the UDHR:

Human rights theory
§ The creation of the UDHR: How did the state of the world at the time of the adoption of the UDHR influence its development? What was the particular relevance of the UDHR to that time, and its continued relevance today.
§ UDHR as customary international law: Most authors agree that the prohibition of torture is one of the clauses of the UDHR that have become customary international law. Besides the right not to be tortured, would there be other rights recognized by the UDHR that have become customary international law? Why would it be relevant to recognize the UDHR as customary law?
§ Human rights in the private sphere: International human rights law developed after the adoption of the UDHR has had a preeminent focus on the relation between governments and individuals, often leaving the relation between individuals outside its realm. The feminist movement in particular has questioned this division, because, among other issues, it discriminates against women by accepting or reinforcing an unequal distribution of power. Are we facing an extension of international human rights law to private relations? What are the consequences of this change?
§ Human Rights and Poverty: Some authors maintain that poverty itself is a violation of numerous basic human rights; others consider poverty a cause and/or consequence of the violation of several human rights. Despite efforts to clarify this issue, there is still a lack of conceptual precision regarding poverty and human rights. What would be the consequences of considering poverty a human rights violation? Who would be the duty-bearers? How do human rights contribute to reduce inequality?
§ Multinational corporations: Much of the human rights debate was initially focused on the role of the State as the main violator and the main protector of human rights. However, the growing political and economic power of multinational corporations has changed such a focus. How will the human rights discourse adapt itself to the new role multinational corporations have nowadays?
§ Emerging issues: What human rights issues have emerged since the drafting of the UDHR (including collective rights discourse, responsibilities of non-state actors, etc.) and how is the UDHR relevant for addressing these issues.

International mechanisms
§ Human Rights Council: The creation of the Council aimed at improving the machinery of human rights protection. Is it possible to identify positive outcomes in the transition from the UN Human Rights Commission to the Council? How can the UDHR become more relevant to the work of the Council? The Council has established a new universal periodic review (UPR) mechanism that will review the human rights record of all UN member States. How do you evaluate the UPR so far?
§ Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR): The principle for the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights brings a special challenge for the evaluation of States' performance. The indivisibility and interrelatedness of human rights were reflected in the UDHR and recognized at the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights. How has the divisions in the human rights system between civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights affected the understanding of human rights as universal and indivisible. Will the adoption of the new Optional Protocol to the ICESCR bring greater coherence to the human rights system?
§ OHCHR: One of the most important outcomes of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights was the creation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, an Office that has received a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights. Has the role of the OHCHR changed since its creation? How? What are the main challenges faced by the Office today? What should be the role of the Office in the protection of human rights?

These issues are mere suggestions of some of the challenging issues related to the UDHR and to the international human rights system. Other innovative related questions and discussions will also be welcome.

Contributions should be sent in electronic form (MS Word format) to surjournal@surjournal.org and should follow these guidelines:
-Between 7,000 and 10,000 words.
-Concise footnotes. (Please find at the end of this text the rules for citation.)
-Short biography of author (maximum of 50 words).
-Abstract (no more than 150 words), including keywords for the required bibliographical classification.
-Date when the paper was written.

Only submissions received by June 15, 2008 will be considered for issue No. 9 (second semester 2008). Articles received after that date will be considered for subsequent issues.

Ideally, articles should be original and unpublished. Exceptionally, however, relevant contributions already published elsewhere may be accepted, provided that the required authorizations are granted. Please inform if, where and when the paper has been published before.
As the Journal is distributed free of charge, we are unfortunately unable to remunerate our contributors. Sur Journal uses Creative Commons license 2.5.


Rules of Citation/Regras de Citação/Reglas para notas al pie de página
Please include all references in footnotes. We do not publish bibliographies.
Habermas, J. Die neue Unübersichtlichkeit. Frankfurt: Editora Suhrkamp,120 p., 1985, p. 1.
Papers published in books/Artigos publicados em livros/Artículos publicados en libros:
Dalari Bucci, M. P. Buscando um conceito de políticas públicas para a concretização dos direitos humanos. In: Bucci et al (org.). Direitos humanos e políticas públicas. São Paulo: Pólis, 120 p., 2001, p. 5-13.
Howse, R. The legitimacy of the World Trade Organization. In: Coicaud, J. and Heiskanen, V. (org.). The legitimacy of international organizations. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 120 p., 2001, p. 355.
Papers published in journals/Artigos publicados em periódicos/Artículos publicados en revistas:
Piovesan, F. Direitos econômicos, sociais e culturais e direitos políticos. Sur: Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos, São Paulo, v. 1, n. 1, p. 21-47, 2005, p. 23.
Charnovitz, S. & Wickham, J. Non-governmental organizations and the original international trade regime. Journal of World Trade, v. 29, n. 5, p. 111-22, 1995, p. 115.
Eletronic resources/Documentos retirados da internet/Documentos extraídos de internet:
Dunoff, J. Mission impossible: resolving the WTO's trilemma, 2003, p. 3. Available at: <http://www.law.berkeley.edu>. Access on: 23 Jan. 2005.
Dunoff, J. Mission impossible: resolving the WTO's trilemma, 2003, p. 3. Disponível em: <http://www.law.berkeley.edu>. Acesso em: 23 de jan. de 2005.
Dunoff, J. Mission impossible: resolving the WTO's trilemma, 2003, p. 3. Disponible en: <http://www.law.berkeley.edu>. Acceso en: 23 de enero de 2005.
Governmental resources/Documentos governamentais/Documentos governamentales:
Brasil. Secretaria de Direitos Humanos. Relatório sobre Educação em Direitos Humanos. Brasília: SEFOR, 1995, p. 3.
United States of America. Bureau of African Affairs. Niger: Background notes. Available at: <http://www.state.gov/p/af/ci/ng/>. Access on: 23 Mar. 2006.
Ikawa, D. Concepção de ser humano e direito à redistribuição: O caso da ação afirmativa (Tese de Doutorado). São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo, 2006, 203 p.
Brasil. Constituição da República Federativa do Brasil de 5 de out. de 1988. São Paulo: Saraiva, 1990, art. 5º.
Brasil. Lei n. 7716, de 5 de jan.de 1989. Disponível em: <https://legislacao.planalto.gov.br>. Acesso em: 21 de mar. de 2006.
Brazil. Act n. 7716, 5 Jan. 1989. Available at: <https://legislacao.planalto.gov.br>. Access on: 21 Mar. 2006.
Judicial cases/decisões judiciais/Decisiones judiciales:
Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Velásquez Rodríguez v. Honduras. Sentence, 29 July 1998, par. 7.
Brasil. Superior Tribunal de Justiça, Acórdão em ação recisória n. 12. José Silva v. Estado de São Paulo. DJ, 20 de nov. de 2004, par. 10.
Schwartz, J. Big, maybe ugly, but their role heroic. New York Times, 23 Mar. 2006, National, p. 3.


Mitra Sharafi

Mitra Sharafi is a legal historian whose work focuses on colonial India. After completing a history degree in Canada (BA McGill, 1996) and studying law in the UK (BA Cambridge, 1998; BCL Oxford, 1999), Sharafi did a doctorate in history (PhD Princeton, 2006). She is currently working on a book project based upon her dissertation, "Bella's Case: Parsi Identity and the Law in Colonial Rangoon, Bombay and London, 1887-1925," which received the Canada-based South Asia Council’s 2007 Dissertation Award. Sharafi joined the UW Law School and Legal Studies program in July 2007, following a two-year research fellowship at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, and a short visiting fellowship at the Socio-Legal Research Center of Griffith University, Australia. She teaches courses on law and colonialism, legal pluralism, and contracts.