Symbiosis Law School, Pune, constituent of Symbiosis International University (SIU) inaugurated its two-day ‘Sixth Annual International Research Conference on Contemporary Legal Scholarship cum Legal Research Skills Training Workshop’, on 16th September, 2017. Aim of the conference was to bring students together to foster scholarly exchange of ideas and promote & cultivate scholarship.
Programme commenced with the lighting of lamp by the dignitaries including, Chief Guest, Prof. Robert Ahdieh, Vice-Dean & K. H. Gyr, Prof. of Pvt. Int. Law, Director, Center on Federalism &Intersystemic Governance, Emory Law School, Atlanta, Georgia;Prof.Dr. T. R. Subramanya, Former Vice Chancellor, Karnataka State Law University, Research Fellow, Center for Regulatory Studies, Governance and Public Policy, NUJS, Kolkata, Prof.Dr. G. S. Bajpai, Professor and Registrar, National Law University, Delhi and Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Dean, Faculty of Law, SIU, Director, SLS Pune.
Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Director, SLS Pune, Dean, Faculty of Law, SIU, in her welcome address dwelt upon the importance of this conference in making research more contemporary. She drew attention to the accomplishment achieved by the conference in scaling newer heights over the course of the last six years; having expanded its horizons from a national level to international level. “Ideas are tools to transform the society and research must hence, never end; the act of hanging one’s coat should not be an option, as it goes against the very grain of learning,” she said. After felicitation of the guests by Dr.Gurpur, the house witnessed the release of the Bi-Annual Newsletter “LEXET” by the dignitaries on the dais.
This was followed by plenary session on Emerging Trends in Legal Research: National & International with Prof. Robert Ahdieh, Prof. (Dr.) T. R. Subramanya and Prof. (Dr.) G. S. Bajpai as the resource persons.
Speaking on Applications of Game Theory in Legal Scholarship, Prof. Robert Ahdieh, Vice-Dean & K. H. Gyr, Prof. of Pvt. Int. Law, Director, Center on Federalism &Intersystemic Governance, Emory Law School, Atlanta, Georgia, explained how the Game Theory, a branch of mathematics, introduced by John von Neumann, in its essence, seeks to move away from neo-classical approach to various disciplines. According to him, the theory is extensively used in the fields of economics, political science, psychology and also Law and is thus potentially relevant to every activity one engages in and to every field of knowledge.
“The application of Game Theory is to understand how expectations are shaped and emphasize the need to coordinate the behavior and responses of multiple individuals”, he said.
Speaking on Emerging Trends in Legal Research: National & International, Prof. (Dr.) T. R. Subramanya, Former Vice Chancellor, Karnataka State Law University, Research Fellow, Center for Regulatory Studies, Governance and Public Policy, NUJS, Kolkata, remarked that research is translating knowledge into action and the same should have adequate contemporary relevance. The speaker opined that the scholars who pursue research must be the conscience keepers of the society and they must possess and inculcate high moral values. Prof. (Dr.) Subramanya analyzed the impact of various legal provisions and their poor permeation to the grass-root levels of Indian villages. “Basic Structure Theory, Right to Privacy and Right to Life are highly relevant areas in which doctrinal as well as empirical research can be conducted”, he said.
“Best way to learn research methodologies is to do research,” said Prof. Dr. G. S. Bajpai, Professor and Registrar, National Law University, Delhi speaking on Emerging Trends in Empirical Research. He elaborated on empirical legal research and its importance in the legal field. He mentioned that even Kelson- the pioneer of empirical data collection always studied legal norm together with the social context. “Empirical research encompasses two things: observation and measurement”, he said. He stressed on the importance of generating data for original research and further added that every law is supposed to have an impact on the targeted beneficiary. The session came to a close with the concluding remarks made by Dr. Gurpur.
Two workshops on various dimensions of Research Methodologies conducted in the post lunch session had Prof. (Dr.) G. S. Bajpai, Prof. (Dr.) Sairam Bhat, Professor of Law & Coordinator for Centre for Environmental Law Education, Research and Advocacy and the Environmental Law Clinic, National Law School, Bangalore, Prof. (Dr.) Arvind Tiwari, Dean, School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Dr. Manas Pradhan, Assistant Professor, International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai, as the resource persons.
Day 2 began with next part of workshop on research methodology by two international legal experts, the Chief Guest, Prof. Robert Ahdieh, Prof. Kris Gledhill and Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, followed by paper presentations.
Papers were presented in four parallel tracks including International Law and Human Rights, chaired by Prof. Kris Gledhill and co-chaired by Prof. Robert Ahdieh; Public Law and Governance chaired by Prof. (Dr.) Arvind Tiwari and co-chaired by Advocate Sampath Bulusu, General Manager, Legal and Head, Legal at Shell Hazira LNG & Prof. (Dr.) Shashikant Hajare, SLS-P; Business Laws chaired by Mr. Sunder Ram Korivi, Dean, School for Securities Education & School for Securities Information & Research, Mumbai and co-chaired by Prof. (Dr.) Bindu Ronald, Deputy Director SLS-P and IPR, Technology and Innovation Laws chaired by Ms. Swapna Sundar, Patent Attorney, CEO, IP Dome, Chennai and co-chaired by Dr. Rupal Rautdesai, Associate Professor, SLS-P. Two papers in the International Law and Human Rights track were from Ulster University, UK and Vanderbilt University Law School, USA.
In his concluding remarks, Prof. Kris Gledhill, Professor, Director of Post Graduate Programmes, Director of Clinical Legal Education, AUT Law School, Auckland, New Zealand, commended the participants on their research endeavours. Commenting on the importance of universities he said, “When you think about the purpose of a university, it includes being the critique and conscience of the society.” He also said, “Law is a mechanism by which betterment can be facilitated.” He concluded by stating that the Rule of Law includes promotion of Human Rights standards and emphasised the role of solid research in bringing about long lasting improvements in the same.
Prof. (Dr.) Arvind Tiwari, Dean, School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance, TISS appreciated the quality of research presentations and exhorted researchers to select well defined research areas. He stressed on the need for clinical legal education and heralded the importance of social sciences and social justice in consonance with law.
Dr. Sunder Ram Korivi, Dean, School for Securities Education & School for Securities Information & Research, Mumbai, lauded the diversity and variety of papers and their contemporary relevance. He also spoke about the importance of doctrinal and empirical research.
Ms. Swapna Sundar, Patent Attorney, CEO, IP Dome, Chennai talked about the challenging and evolving field of Intellectual Property Rights and related laws. She spoke about the methods of protecting research by using IP.
Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, in her valedictory address thanked the participants and the resource persons for their contributions. “The participative quality and quantity of the Conference cum Workshop has increased, and is increasing from strength to strength with every passing year”, she said. She suggested that the research workshops be linked to the curriculum so that it occupied a more prominent part in the learning process.
Finally the much awaited results for the conference were announced. Lauren Rogal’s (Assistant Clinical Professor, Vanderbilt Law School) paper titled ‘Reforming Executive Compensation in the Charitable Sector’ won the first prize. Neelima Sawarkar’s (Symbiosis International University), paper titled “Conservation Induce Relocation and its Impact on Adivasis: A Case Study of Melghat Tiger Reserve, Maharasthra” won the second prize. The third prize was shared by Tanmay Agarwal (Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar) & Rushit Thakkar (SLS-P). Titles of their papers were “Cross-Border Insolvency: A Call for Immediate Action” and “Fair Use under the Copyright Regime: Still Trailing IP Laws in India - Du Photocopy Case” respectively.
At the end, Dr. Bindu Ronald, proposed the vote of thanks.