CLPR introduces Graduate Course “Transgender Identity and the Law in India”

September 7, 2017



The Centre for Law and Policy Research is offering an elective course this trimester at National Law School India University, Bangalore on Transgender Identity and the Law in India. In a society dominated by gender binaries, there is a need to study the interaction between transgender identity and the law. While the Supreme Court of India formally recognised transgender identity as the ‘third gender’, there remains many legal hurdles in the path to formal equality. This Course aims to understand gender and gender identity, and explore the prominent narratives regarding transgender identity. The Course is divided into seven sessions, with each session addressing a different topic. We first explore the understanding of gender, gender identity and transgender, around the world and specifically in India, with regard to the cultural and traditional histories of India. This is then placed within the Constitutional framework, and we look at the constitutional status of the transgender identity. Through our course, we also explore the interaction between the transgender identity and other legal frameworks. We study the criminialisation of transgender identity by the law, through either special laws enacted for their regulation, or through general legal provisions which are invariably used against the community. We also look at questions of formal equality, exploring discrimination at the workplace, in education, in legal documentation and civic representation. Students are introduced to the right to access to public health, gender reassignment surgeries, hormonal therapies and the legal and jurisprudential framework within which these operate. We explore the creation and development of transgender family law, within the oppressive and discriminatory legal frameworks, and the questions needed to be addressed. All of the above, is finally placed against the many movements related to transgender identity, and we explore its interaction, the path ahead, and the future for transgender identity within India.


The Course takes place Wednesdays and Fridays, 5-7.15 P.M. at National Law School India University, Bangalore between 30 August to 20 September, 2017. It is taught by Jayna Kothari, Executive Director, Centre for Law and Policy Research.


We will publish the Course Outline, Curriculum and Readings shortly.