National Constitution Society Convention, 2018 | Agenda

November 9, 2018 | Jai Brunner

National Constitution Society Convention

at the Indian Institution of Human Settlements, Bangalore

23rd November 2018



08.15 am – 09.00 am: Breakfast


09.00 am – 09.15 am: Welcome and Introduction


09.15 am – 10.15 am: Session I – Why Does Indian Constitutional & Political History Matter?

The Constitution of India, 1950 was shaped by several legal and political processes through the 19th/20th century. This session will assess how an awareness of this long history of the Constitution is critical for a rigorous understanding of our contemporary moment. 


Sucheta Mahajan, Professor and Chairperson, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University


Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Discussant), Managing Trustee, Centre for Law and Policy Research; Professor, Azim Premji University


10.15 am – 11.15 am: Session II – Supreme Court’s Push for Equality

2018 has been the year where equality cases have come the fore in the Supreme Court. This panel will explore the role of social movements and civil society actors who have initiated some key cases and assess how the Court has addressed their concerns. 


Hasina Khan, Founder Member, Bebaak Collective


Akkai Padmashali, Founder, Ondede; Transgender Rights Activist


Jayna Kothari (Moderator), Executive Director, Centre for Law and Policy Research; Senior Advocate, Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court of India.


11.15 am – 11.30 am: Tea


11.30 pm – 12.30 pm: Session III – Gender and Sexuality in the Supreme Court

In 2018 the Supreme Court has contended with the tension between the individual right to equality and the rights of religious denominations to manage their religious affairs. This tension was at the core of India’s founding moment and has once again become politically dominant. This panel will explore if the Court has reconciled these tensions appropriately.


Flavia Agnes, Co-Founder, MAJLIS; Women’s Rights Lawyer


Arvind Narrain, Founding Member, Alternative Law Forum; Human Rights Lawyer and Activist


Arun Thiruvengadam (Moderator), Professor, Azim Premji University


12.30pm – 01.30 pm: Session IV – The 21st Century Indian Constitution

The Indian constitution has successfully endured the hurly burly of Indian politics for 7 decades. However, it faces significant challenges from the core and the margins of Indian political life. This panel will explore why a vital and inclusive constitutional culture is essential for the Constitution to survive the 21st Century.


Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director, Human Rights Alert


Sanjay Jain, Associate Professor, ILS Law College


Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Moderator)


01.30 pm – 02.15 pm: Lunch


02.15 pm – 03.15 pm: Session V – A National Constitution Society for India: The Need for Student Action

Across the world students have been at the forefront of political movements for justice and progressive social change. The Constitution will need to engage young minds and aspirations to endure the 21st Century. This Panel will explore the role of a student culture in deepening the values of liberal constitutionalism in India.


Babu Mathew, Visiting Professor, National Law School of India University; Trade Union Activist


Badrinarayan Seetharaman (Discussant), Co-Founder, Gathr


03:15 pm – 03:45 pm: Tea


03.45 pm – 05.00 pm: Session VI – Organizing a National Constitutional Society: Structure and Agenda

While there have been several initiatives to create student activity to advance constitutional understanding at various academic institutions, there has been no national organization in this field. This panel will explore the relevance of a ‘National Constitutional Society’ and different models of organizational structure and potential agendas for such a society.


Vineeth Krishna, Centre for Law and Policy Research


Kruthika R, Centre for Law and Policy Research


Sidharth Chauhan, Assistant Professor, NALSAR University of Law


05.00 pm – 05.15 pm: Final Remarks and Vote of Thanks


5.15 pm – 5.45 pm: High Tea


05.45 pm – 06.45 pm: Student Delegates Plenary Session


07.15 pm – 09.00 pm: Convention Dinner

Jai Brunner


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