Symbiosis Law School Pune (SLS-P), a constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University) (SIU) organized the Virtual 9th International Annual Research Conference on Rule of Law in Context: Indian and Global Perspectives (SYMROLIC) 2021, with special focus on post COVID challenges to Rule of Law & Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in association with Symbiosis Law School, Noida, Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad and Symbiosis Law School, Nagpur on 12th & 13th March, 2021. Over the course of two days, the Conference witnessed two plenary sessions, three workshops and paper presentations in six parallel tracks.
SYMROLIC is an interdisciplinary conference that emphasizes Law & Life Interface in Innovation, Science, Technology, Management, Human Behaviour, Global Policy and Governance. It began as a national conference in 2012 and soon reached global excellence and attained international status by 2015.
The conference was inaugurated on March 12, 2021. In her Welcome Address, Prof. (Dr.) Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, SLS-P, Dean, Faculty of Law, SIU addressed the unprecedented challenges faced by the countries especially on the economic and policy fronts. With respect to sustainability issues, she said that, “We should look at sustainable development goals as a vitalizing force to make good the gap caused by the pandemic.”
Subsequently, (Prof.) Dr. Rajani Gupte, Vice Chancellor, SIU spoke about Sustainable Development Goals and the challenges before achieving these goals. Following this, the Hon’ble Chief Guest, Prof. (Dr.) Maria Stoicheva, Vice Rector, Department of European Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, Sofia University released LEXET, the biannual newsletter of SLS-P and Abstract Compilation for the conference. Speaking on, ‘Why the Rule of Law in the (post-) COVID-19 context?’, Dr. Stoicheva highlighted the challenges faced by governments in the European Union with respect to rule of law in the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of upholding it even during times of emergency.
Day 1 of the Conference commenced with Plenary Session 1 with Prof.(Dr.) Shashikala Gurpur introducing the theme ‘Post COVID challenges to Rule of Law & SDGs’. Ithad Dr. Annette E. Clark, Dean and Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, Washington, US; Dr. Henrico Radley, Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, Department of Public Law & Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, South African and Dr. Siobhan Mullally, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially in Women and Children, Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway as resource persons.
Plenary I was followed by Workshop Session I on “Qualitative Data Management and Analysis” by Dr. Manisha Nitin Gore, Assistant Professor, Symbiosis Community Outreach Program Extension (SCOPE), SIU.
The knowledge safari further explored creation of new ideas through papers presentation in 6 Parallel Tracks. SLS, Pune is proud to announce that it received 64 abstracts.
Track 1 on “Law and Human Behaviour (Covid-19)” had Prof. (Dr.) Clemens Arzt, Director, Research Institute of Public and Private Security, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany; Prof. Ratna Kapur, Distinguished Visiting Professor, SLS-P; Mr. Anil Malhotra, Distinguished Visiting Professor, SLS-P; Prof. (Dr.) Sarfaraz Ahmed Khan, Director, SLS Hyderabad as resource persons.
Track 2 on “Business, Trade, Commerce, Management and Law (Vaccine & Medical Goods)” had Dr. S.K. Gupta, Distinguished Visiting Professor, SLS-P, CEO of Insolvency Professional Agency of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India and Dr. Sukhvinder Singh Dari, Associate Professor and Director, SLS Nagpur serving as resource persons.
Track 3 on “International Law, Policy and Governance (International Health, Climate Change, International Migration)” had Prof. (Dr.) T.R. Subramanya, Dean, School of Legal Studies, CMR University, Bangalore; Prof. Lakshmi Jambholkar, Distinguished Visiting Professor, SLS-P; Ambassador K.P. Fabian, Professor, Indian Society of International Law and Distinguished Visiting Professor, SLS-P and Dr. Przemyslaw Tacik, Asst. Professor, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, Director of the Nomos (Centre for International Research on Law, Culture and Power) as resource persons.
Track 4, on “EURASIA & European Studies in Law, Management, Humanities, Science, Trade and Economics (Human Rights & Health Law)” had Prof. (Dr.)Francesca Longo, President, Italian Political Science Association, Deputy Rector, International Relation Jean Monnet Professor of European Politics, Department of Political and Social Science, University of Catania; Dr. Agnieszka Sadecka, Asst. Professor, Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland and Prof. (Dr.) Maria Stoicheva, as resource persons.
Track 5 on “Innovation, Science, Technology and Law (AI, Data Science & Law Tech)” had Dr. Urvashi Rathod, Director, Symbiosis Centre for Research and Innovation, SIU and Prof. (Dr.) C.J. Rawandale, Director, SLS Noida as resource persons.
Track 6, on “Public Law, Society & Governance (Human Rights & Public Health, Labour Law, Farmers’ Rights)” hadDr. Alexander Christoph Fisher, Associate Professor and Director, PhD Programme and Executive Director, Centre on Public Law and Jurisprudence, Jindal Global Law School, OP Jindal University; Dr. Shrinivasrao S. Sohoni, Retd. IAS Officer, Distinguished Visiting Professor, SLS-P and Dr. Harish Shetty, Distinguished Visiting Professor, SLS-P as resource persons.
Plenary Session II on day 2 again addressed “Post Covid Challenges to Rule of Law and Sustainable Development Goals” with Dr. Sital Kalantry, Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, New York, US; Prof. (Dr.) Tara Sklar, Director, Health Law and Policy Programme; Prof. (Dr.) Megan Carpenter, Dean and Professor of Law, University of New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce School of Law, New Hampshire, US; Prof. (Dr.) Carla Pratt, Dean and Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Kansas, US and Prof. Tiffany M. Williams, Associate Director of Advocacy, Empowerment and Faith, Faculty Advisor, Women’s Legal Association, Caruso School of Law, US as resource persons.
The Plenary was followed by Workshop Session II on “Tools and Methods for Legal Research” by Prof. (Dr.) Subash C. Raina, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Global LEGAL Studies and Human Rights.
Workshop Session 3 on ‘Pedagogy in 21st Century: Primer for Teaching & Research (Interdisciplinary)’ was conducted by Prof. (Dr.) Katerina Plakitsi, Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, School of Education, University of Ioannina, Greece, Project Manager, 21st Teach Skills Erasmus+ CBHE KA2 Project of the EU.
Speaking on Valedictory, Dr. Gurpur termed the conference as, an intellectual feast with a variety of speakers from different nationalities revolving around sustainable development goals in the context of the rule of law. “Law is not born in a vacuum and it does not operate in a vacuum. It operates in the reality of human activities or the operation of life”, she said. Dr. Gurpur thanked the galaxy of speakers from diverse backgrounds including science, economist, business law, legal luminaries, lawyers and judges from Bulgaria to the United States, for exploring the Post-COVID challenge in the light of law.
The conference that lasted for two days, witnessed 36 paper presentations including 4 by foreign scholars.
One of the major attractions of the conference was the prize distribution ceremony at the valedictory declaring one paper in each track as the best paper. Prof. Dr. Bindu Ronald, Deputy Director (Academics), SLS-P declared the list of winners.
The list of participants winning best paper award track wise is as follows:
Track I: Ms. Ann Thania Alex, PhD Scholar, NALSAR, Hyderabad for the paper “Right to Health and Global Food Trade: A Rule of Law Perspective” and Ms. Baibhabi Tripathy, Ms. Aparna Tripathy, Students from Symbiosis Law School, Pune for the paper “Depletion and Diminution: The Hurdles of The Eastern Coast”.
Track II: Ms. Devika Radha, Ms. Manu Sharma, students and Prof. Abhijit Vasmatkar, Assistant Professor, Symbiosis Law School, Pune for the paper “Trade Restrictions in The Wake of Covid-19: A Human Rights Approach to GATT”.
Track III: Dr. Garima Tiwari, Assistant Professor, Bennett University, Noida for the paper “Supreme Court of India and Women’s Rights: Monism, Dualism and Domestication of International Law”.
Track IV: Dr. Nikolina Tsvetkova, Associate Professor, Sofia University, Bulgaria for the paper “The European Education Area and Language Education Policy in Bulgaria”. Special Mention for Mr. Martin Milanov, Sofia University, Bulgaria for the paper “Post Brexit European External Relations” and Prof. Garima Panwar, PhD Scholar, Prof. Dr. Bindu Ronald, Deputy Director and Prof. Dr. Rupal Rautdesai, Professor, Symbiosis Law School, Pune for the paper “Inventorship and Authorship under Intellectual Property and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence”.
Track V: Ms. Nidhi Sinha, PhD Scholar, NLSIU, Bangalore “Regulating Online Films: A Critical Analysis of Film Certification and Censorship in the Digital Age” and Mr. Sameer Avasarala, Associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Ms. Shreya Mukherjee, Student, Symbiosis Law School, Pune for the paper “Digital Surveillance Laws in Modern India: Alignment with Privacy and Business Consideration”.
Track VI: Prof. Sakshi Parashar, Assistant Professor, Amity University, Noida for the paper “Probing the legality and foundations of Anti- Conversion Laws in India” and Mr. Shashank Shekhar Pandey, Student, Prof. Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Director and Dr. Manika Kamthan, Assistant Professor, Symbiosis Law School, Pune for the paper “Effect of News Media on Democracy in India: An Empirical Study”.