PANAJI: Over the last three days, notable academics, eminent lawyers and international legal experts joined hands with members of civil society, policy makers, politicians, media, and NGOs to discuss the state of law in India.
Several engaging panels put together by the knowledge partners debated crucial aspects of the Indian judicial system and the legal framework to come up with action points for improving the state of the law in the country. International legal experts shared their insights and experiences so that the benefits of global best practices could be dovetailed into the proceedings.
This was the fifth edition of Difficult Dialogues and the theme of law was especially relevant as the country today is faced with various challenges to providing justice and equality to all its citizens in an effective manner.
Commenting at the conclusion of the three day summit, Surina Narula, Founder & CEO of Difficult Dialogues said, “In the fifth edition of Difficult Dialogues this year, we were able to discuss the state of law in the country, identify the various issues and problems that exist, and come up with action points that could help in the speedy and equitable dispensation of justice to all. I thank the knowledge partners for curating these thought provoking sessions which are so vital and relevant in today’s time, and am grateful to all the notable academics, eminent lawyers and international legal experts for sharing their thoughts and ideas at the forum.
As an outcome of the Difficult Dialogues 2020, we will be documenting all the recommendations that were tabled in the form of actionable white papers for the benefit of all.”
This year the knowledge partners for Difficult Dialogues include the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, (CSLS, Oxford), Bar Association of India (BAI), OP Jindal Global University, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University (CSLG, JNU), Goa University (GU), and the International Centre Goa (ICG).
The topics covered in the panel discussions included ‘Discrimination Law and Minorities’; ‘Gender, Legal Profession and the Courts’; ‘Reforms in the Administration of Justice’; ‘Free Speech, Censorship and Media’; and ‘Accountability vs. Independence of the Judiciary’. In addition, there were special panels on laws related to women and children, on technology and the environment, and laws around the right to privacy.
Difficult Dialogues 2020 concluded with daring debates which captured the voice of students through an intensive college debate series on the legal framework in India. The regional winners were invited for the grand finale where the topic was ‘Environment Protection: A Case for State Surveillance or Individual Discipline? ’ and the debate was moderated by wildlife filmmaker Malaika Vaz.
After the end of a keenly contested session Erenbeni Humtsoe of St Anthony’s College, Shillong was declared the winner, Manish Kumar Jha of IMS Law College, Delhi as the first runner-up and Sasha D'Souza of Dnyanprassarak Mandal's College and Research Center, Goa was the second runner-up.