Nov 2013

CLPR Occasional Talks #6 | Chitra Balakrishnan on Understanding Gender and Judging through Residence Orders in Karnataka trial courts

Time 5 PM

Venue Centre for Law and Policy Research

CLPR invites you to the Monthly Talk on


                                                                          By Chitra Balakrishnan


Time: 5pm

Date: Friday, 8th November, 2013

Venue: CLPR Lecture Hall



Existing literature on gender related judgments have tended to focus on higher court decisions and appeals. However, there have not been many attempts to study the phenomenon of judging from the standpoint of women at the trial court level in the Indian context. One of the important civil remedies afforded to an aggrieved woman under The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act passed in 2005 is that of residence in the “shared household” whereby she should not be dispossessed from her residence, natal or marital.  Her work employs the tool of discourse analysis of residence orders passed by Magistrates Courts in Karnataka using the framework developed by Rosemary Hunter to determine if a judgment is feminist.


Her work argues that despite the inherent limitations of trial court judging in India to be adequately feminist, currently there is considerable value in using Hunter’s framework to push the boundaries of feminist judging and to render judging more gender responsive.  Her work also recommends that greater attention be paid to the dangers inherent in referring domestic violence cases to mechanisms of alternative dispute resolution and to addressing how rules of evidence may be made more responsive to women’s lived realities and condition.


About the Speaker:  Chitra Balakrishnan has been working with Gender and Law issues for about 20 years now, both as trainer, litigator and researcher. She was a part of the founding member group of ALF. In 2002 she was awarded A Women In Security Conflict Management and Peace Fellowship.  She obtained her Masters degree from the Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Spain awarded by the University of the Basque Country and the University of Milan.


As always, the event is open to all !

Time 5 PM

Venue Centre for Law and Policy Research