7th International Annual Research Conference on Rule of Law on Context

Symbiosis Law School, Pune organized the 7th International Annual Research Conference on Rule of Law in Context: Indian and Global Perspectives from  27th to 29th September 2018.

Rule of Law in Context (ROLIC) represents the point of arrival of Faculty of Law, Symbiosis International (Deemed University) at maturity with its own imprint in the world of legal research. The journey which began by showcasing in-house research, building on research excellence within and as avenue for developing new ideas as well as updating research ideas with skills in 2012 as a national conference; grew into international participation by 2015. This provides added impetus to the thrust areas, excellence centres and innovations of Symbiosis International (Deemed University).

ROLIC is in keeping with lead research trends, addressing the need for own legal reality of India to be reflecting the need for narrowing the gap between the idea and reality of a rule of society. It is hoped that such discovery and rethinking will bring the legal community closer to serious soul searching to build a stronger rule of law in India, for, a great research must affirm life. It must measure the march of rule of law behaviour of a society and hence indicate the march of civilisation.

It is an inter-disciplinary conference which emphasizes Law & Life Interface in the spheres of Innovation, Science, Technology, Human Behaviour, Global Policy and Governance. The conference over the years has endowed a strong platform to discuss, collaborate and explore diverse issues in the field of legal studies. It invites some of the great minds from within and outside India to share and discuss their ideas on contemporary research.

The following tracks have been identified for paper presentations:

  1. Law and Human Behavior
  2. Business, Trade, Commerce, Management and Law
  3. International Law, Policy and Governance
  4. European Studies in Law, Humanities, Science, Trade and Economics
  5. Innovation, Science, Technology and Law
  6. Public Law, Society and Governance

The first session on ‘Law and Human Behaviour’ was organised in the Moot Court Hall on 28th September 2018 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Track I: Law and Human Behavior

The session was chaired and co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Clemens Arzt, Director of Research Institute of Public and Private Security, Berlin School of economics and Law, Germany and Prof PramodDamle, Professor and Head, (Research and Consulting) Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management respectively. Speaking on Rule of Law and Police, Prof Clemens threw light upon the realities of police culture or cop culture in Germany and emphasized upon the importance of correlating law with justice. He also discussed his findings of a survey he conducted among students of the Department of Police which dealt with various aspects of the law and the police. Moved by his address, Prof. PramodDamle remarked how the presentation took him back to his experiences of an academy he had been a part of, which was engaged in training IAS and IPS officers. In his address, Prof Damle discussed Gandhian principles of ahimsa and satya as well as other concepts like brahmacharya and aparigraha, and emphasized upon their relevance in today’s legal scenario.

The first paper of the session was presented by Prof Yophika Grace Thabah and Dr. Garima Pal on ‘The Impact of Social Structure on Deviant Behaviour: The Study of Rape Against Khasi Women of Meghalaya’. The presenters had conducted an empirical study to test whether a link between the matrilineal system followed by the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya and rape committed by men of the tribe exists. The assumption was that the men of the tribe felt rejected and committed the crime out of resentment. After studying various socio-economic factors, it was found that there is no link between the system and the crime committed. There does exist various negative characteristics which arise out of the system however it does not have any direct or indirect impact upon the tendency to commit rape.

The second paper was presented by RamadeviGudamela on ‘Legal Regime Regulating Inter-Country Adoption in India’ which highlighted the relevant aspects of both private international and public international law. She spoke about the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption along with adoption guidelines by CARA. Through the paper, she explained how NRI and inter-country adoption guidelines in India are not comprehensive enough and an attempt must be made to properly implement the true intent of the existing law i.e. the Juvenile Justice Act.

The final paper of the session was presented by Pooja Kannan R. Her paper was titled ‘Child Abuse-Protection of the Child Witness’ in which she highlighted the need for protection of child witnesses which has increased with an increasing rate of child abuse. She explained the POCSO Act with respect to witness protection and suggested a creation of a more accessible structure, creation of child-friendly courts as well as training prosecutors for the same. For this purpose, the paper suggested an implementation by both the judiciary as well as the government.

All the papers were very well received by the audience as well as the speakers and the session was extremely thought-provoking and enlightening for one and all present.

Track II:  Business, Trade, Commerce, Management & Law

The Paper Presentations in Track II relating to Business, Trade, Commerce, Management& Law was conducted in the Professional Development and Continuing Legal Education (PDCLE) Hall at 10:30 A.M. The Panelists for Track II included Prof. Lindsay Gordon Simpson Trotman, Professor, Massey Business School, Massey University, New Zealand as the Chair and Dr. Bindu Ronald Deputy Director (Academics), Symbiosis Law School, Pune as the Co-Chair.

Professor Trotman commenced the session by discussing how the Company Constitution of New Zealand lacks a Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. He spoke about how Companies have to create their own Constitution. He also spoke about the Trichotomy into Presumption, Optional and Mandatory Provisions. He went on to define the Constitution as “A body of fundamental principles by which a nation, society or organization is governed.” He concluded by saying that the purpose of this Track was to forge a link between Rule of Law and Business, Trade and Management.

The first presenter in Track II was Hannah Tulip, whose topic of presentation was Burying the Memorandum of Association: A Comparative Study. Hannah initially spoke in the context of the United Kingdom where there was a Deed of Settlement at first and later on the concept of Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association came up. She then looked into the laws in Australia which decided to create Company Constitution in 1999, and all Companies formed before 1999 were allowed to retain their Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association as they were seen in the eyes of law as Company Constitution. Finally, coming to India it was realized that they had both a Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association following a similar system as United Kingdom. Hannah said that while United Kingdom progressed with legislations and removed the Memorandum of Association, India did not change their stance and that they should consider doing so or adopt a stance similar to that of Singapore which merged the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association.

The next to present was Jaya Mitra on the topic of Rethinking Corporate Governance in the Wake of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. She spoke about how cases related to insolvency and bankruptcy is being solved in a span of 180 to 270 days from a prior period of 4.5 years. Jaya also emphasized on the need for corporate governance in creating a link of accountability. She explained how the management being different from the ownership forms the basis for Corporate Governance. While concluding, she mentioned how the IDBI regulations are not sufficient and that there are lots of grey areas which need to be resolved.

Aditya Bishen and HimanshuOjha then presented their paper on the topic Corporate Governance and Creative Accounting in India- An Analysis of the Aftermath of Satyam Computers. They started off by comparing the Satyam scandal in India to the Enron case in the United States of America. Further, they highlighted on the need to analyze corporate governance practice to avoid scams like Satyam in the future which involved fake invoices and manipulated balance sheets. Interestingly, while concluding they brought to the attention of the panel how Satyam bought its own shell company with the name of Maytas which is nothing but Satyam in reverse and no one noticed.

The fourth presenter in Track II was Tanvi Sharma who chose the topic, Resale Price Maintenance in India: With Special Emphasis on Hyundai Motors Case. She started off by dividing resale price maintenance into two categories of Maximum price maintenance and Minimum price maintenance. Tanvi explained how Minimum Price Maintenance has a higher impact and eventually leads to higher prices and less accessibility of customers to such products. Relating this to Rule of Law, she said it does not follow Anti-Competition Laws. In reference to the Hyundai case, Tanvi mentioned the discount control mechanism exercised by them.

The last presenter for the Track was TruptiRathi who presented on the topic of Whistle Blower Protection: A Critical Analysis of Laws in India. She started off by discussing how in olden days caged canaries acted as whistleblowers as they were able to recognize toxic gases harmful to human being and hence, protected coal miners. Similarly, she said, in this day and age of globalization some officers and officials are acting as whistleblowers against misconduct. She focused on the need for protection of whistleblowers from practices such as victimization, physical violation and deprivation of promotion. She also mentioned the Whistleblower Protection Act, 2014 and Whistleblower Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 created for the same. On a concluding note she said,” Caged canaries deserved better and so do todays whistleblowers.”

Finally, a vote of thanks followed thanking all the panelists and presenters for their efforts in the session.

Track III: International Law, Policy and Governance

It was conducted on 28th September 2018, in the Conference Hall of Symbiosis Law School, Pune. The theme of the track was, ‘International law, Policy and Governance’. The panellists of the track wereProf. (Dr.) T. R. Subramanya, Dean, School of Legal Studies, CMR University and Prof. (Dr.) Arvind Jasrotia, Director, The Law School, University of Jammu.

The Track began by Dr. Shireshi, Assistant Professor, Symbiosis Law School welcoming all the participants to the Track 3, further he went on to introduce the topic to the audience and then the panellists.

Dr. T. S. Subramanya was next to take the stage, where he spoke about the importance to address International Law as a separate discipline from Environmental Law and Human Rights Law and the need to understand its importance despite it being a soft law. He also spoke about how the faculty at law schools should address the intricacies of International Law, including concepts like sovereignty of nations, and principle of no harm among others.

The panellists were then felicitated by Prof. (Dr.) Shashikala Gurpur, Director, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Fulbright Scholar.

Next, Dr. Arvind Jasrotia spoke to the audience, where he primarily presented on the topic of ‘Challenge of Climate Change’. He initially stressed upon the need to value nature, and then spoke about the various issues causing its degradation like, biodiversity issues, ozone depletion. He further elaborated on the impacts of climate change, and then led on to discuss the theory of climate justice, including concepts like the egalitarian approach, principle of historical responsibility and the grandfathered approach.

After his speech was concluded, the paper presentations of the Track 3 began.

The first paper was presented on the topic of “Status of children in armed conflict zones” and was presented by Dakshita Khanna and Yogesh Sharma. They began their presentation by talking about the need and urgency to address this issue ona global level. They further went on to prove this through a case study based on the MENA region. They also gave an analysis on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. They concluded by presenting some of their suggestions to cater to the problems, these included, involving them in law making for their needs, providing skilled education and creating safe spaces for them.

The second paper was presented on the topic, “Corporate Environmental Crime- Responsibility and Liability in a Gloablising World” and was presented by RiniJincy Paul and Yophika Grace Thabah. Their presentation primarily dealt with the increase of white-collar crimes in the form of environmental crimes. They gave a criminological perspective to these environmental harms being caused largely dealing with green criminology. They also gave the case study of Bhopal Gas Tragedy and through which they established that the biggest problem in these cases is that of jurisdiction. They also gave their suggestions for the same, i.e., through the doctrine of reciprocity and commity in the international sphere.

The last paper presented was on the topic, “Disney Fox Deal- Too early to be a merger?” and was presented by Teesha Mukherjee and DeepshikaSaha. Their presentation addressed the issue of breach of Anti-trust principles in the Disney and Fox merger, something that was not taken cognizance of by the Anti-Trust division of the State Department. They talked about the harms of this horizontal merger and how it was completely against the Sherman Antitrust Act of US as it substantially affected competition between firms. They also have a comparative analysis of this deal with the AT&T and Time Warner deal.

The Track 3 was concluded by a vote of thanks being delivered by the student resresentative from Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

Track IV: European Studies in Law, Humanities, Science, Trade and Economics

Symbiosis Law School, Pune, as part of their 7th Annual Research Conference on Rule of Law in Context- Indian and Global Perspectives, conducted a panel discussion on ‘Common Challenges & Converging Perspectives in Europe and Asia’ on the 29th of September, 2018 in the Professional Development and Continuing Legal Education Hall. The panelists included the Chair, Prof. (Dr.) Rajendra Jain, Centre for European Studies, School of International Studies, JNU, Delhi and the Co-Chairs, Prof. Galina Rousseva-Sokoloca, Dr. Daniel Irrera, Dr. NatazaStyczynska as well as Prof. Clemens Azrt. After a brief introduction of the panelists, the discussion was opened.

 

Prof. Galina, Rousseva-Sokoloca, Associate Professor, Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology commenced the panel discussion by discussing the underlying objective and vision behind the Eurasia Project of which Symbiosis Law School is a participant. She stated that the idea of the project is to enhance the visibility of European Concepts in Asian Academia. She mentioned that as a part of this it would be necessary to make one cultural universe understandable and work for the benefit of another. Prof. Galina emphasized, “The inherent purpose herein is to strength the dialogue between Europe and Asia and encourage collaboration through academia.”

Dr. Rajendra Jain followed in the line of panelists, delivering his address on ‘European Studies in India.’ He explained that Europe, in light of various crises, is re-evaluating the way it looks at itself and the world, thereby also changing the way India looks at Europe. The financial crises, immigration problems and terrorist attacks have left in their wake a more aggressive, nationalist Europe that stands averse to globalization. Dr. Jain subsequently spoke about the effects of such a Europe on the world at large-analyzing the two world powers, China and the USA in this perspective- and India in particular. He drew attention to the fact that in light of its new foreign policy, the changing policy of the States and the contrasting policies of China, the European Union would now look towards a like-minded partner like India, with similar values, with a similar international outlook, similar commitment to international law and which is compatible with Europe’s own interests and perspectives. Dr. Jain thus concluded on a note of hope regarding better and more extensive relations between the European Union and India, bearing in mind these recent changes.

The next panelist, Dr. Daniel Irrera, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Catania, Italy and President of the European Peace Research Association, spoke about the ‘Impact of Informal Actors in the EU anticorruption policies: The case of Western Balkans.’ Herein Dr. Irrera stressed on the importance of the role played by informal actors by discussing the needs of good governance and the principles of a rule of law system in this context.

Dr. NatazaStyczynska, Assistant Professor, European Studies; and Chair of Culture and Society in Europe Jagiellonian University, Poland, the next panelist speaker, discussed the ‘Contestation of the EU Enlargement Policy in the European Parliament.’ She elaborated on the same by analyzing the criteria to become to member of the EU and the principles followed for the same. She also discussed role of rule of law in the current context.

The final panelist, Prof. (Dr.) Clemens Arzt, Director of Research Institute of Public and Private Security, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany, presented a discussion on ‘Rule of Law and Police- India, Namibia, Germany and the USA: A Comparative Perspective.’ The panelist, through such comparative study, emphasized the differences prevalent in the police forces of the respective countries and the fundamental principles that cause the same. He further stressed on the role of the Constitution, the respective Criminal Codes, and the legal system in giving rise to these differences.

At the end of the Panel Discussion, two papers were presented. S. BindySravya and ShivaniTrichnopoly Ravi Kanth presented a paper on ‘Comparison of Indian and European Mergers and Acquisitions under Competition Law’. The objective of this study was to law down the similarities and differences between the two systems of Competition Law and to analyze their subsequent effects on the two economies. A final paper was presented by Murielle Rodrigues on ‘A Comparison between Indian and European Laws on “Free to Air” Broadcasting Policy in Sports Events.’ Through this paper, the key features of the Broadcasting Policies of the two countries were studied and contrasted.

Finally, the vote of thanks was delivered and thus the panel discussion drew to a successful end.

Track V: Innovation, Science, Technology and Law

Speaking on Innovation, Science, Technology and Law Dr. Urvashi Rathod, Director, Symbiosis Centre for Research and Innovation, SIDU, remarked that technology is dominating Rule of Law and leading to profound social change. She further stated that it is the duty of the government to protect the rights of the investors, consumers and citizens in general in the form of legislations and other incentives. While forming a link between law and technology, Dr. Rathod explained how pre-existing legal categories may no longer apply to the new law and technology disputes. She also emphasized on the importance of legal decision makers being mindful to avoid letting the marvels of new technology distort their analysis.

Track VI: Public Law, Society and Governance

Symbiosis Law School, Pune organised the 7th International Annual Research Conference on Rule of Law on Context- Indian and Global Perspectives in Symbiosis Law School, Pune from 27th September 2018 to 29th September 2018. The session on ‘Public Law, Society and Governance’ was organised in the Moot Court Hall on 29th September 2018 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

The session was chaired and co-chaired by Prof. Rebecca Todd, University Counsel, Antioch University, United States and Dr. Tara Prasad Sapkota, Dean, Faculty of Law and Member of Executive Council, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal; Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of Nepal respectively. In his address, Prof Sapkota compared Rule of Law between 2 continents of Europe and Asia. He discussed about various ancient Indian philosophers like Chanakya and Kautilya and ancient Western philosophers like Aristotle and argued how their ideologies have helped shape ideas about law and good governance. He opined that the principle of VasudhevKutumbakam and the concept of Global Village can help in bringing about social welfare. This was followed by an address by Prof. Rebecca Todd, wherein she enlisted the plethora of genres which were going to be dealt with by the presentations throughout the day and looked forward to hearing the views of the various participants presenting their papers.

The first paper for the session was presented by Prof. J.S. Maan titled ‘Where is Rule of Law in the Governance of Law Universities’. He spoke about the need for bringing about Rule of Law in practice especially with respect to appointment of Vice Chancellors (VC) in Law institutes in terms of their qualifications. Appointment of retired judges as VCs. is a strict violation of the procedure. To curb the same, his paper focussed on the need for creating a Central Monitoring Agency.

The next paper was titled ‘Women: Disadvantaged or Pseudo Advantaged’ and was presented by Ankita Das and Mehak Agarwal. They began with an explanation of what a disadvantaged group really is and linked it to the rise of feminist movements across the world. They then shifted the focus on various provisions under the Hindu Succession Act and the Indian Penal Code and questioned the need for such gender-biased law. The paper suggested the need for creation of more gender neutral laws in the society.

This was followed by a presentation titled ‘Need for a Specialised Legislation for Governing Sports in India’ which was presented by VishwajitVala and KhanjanSomaiya. The paper focussed on the fact that there existed no central law or legislation to look after sports bodies like BCCI or SAI in India. The objective of the paper was to suggest the creation of a new and uniform legislation for the same with respect to their governance and administration. The paper also suggested the promotion of sports at the primary education level and give an equal importance to it for the purpose of holistic development.

The next paper was presented by Ann Clara Tommy and was titled ‘The Ever Ruling Rule of Law’. She gave a study of how rule of law has sustained in different philosophical theories and focussed on how such a concept to oppose arbitrary law has existed since a long time. In her paper, she quoted various theorists like Thomas Hobbes and HLA Hart and also argued how rule of law has very well been enshrined in the KesavanandaBharati case as well.

The next paper was presented by R. Maxwin and Jeevan Justin titled ‘Legal Future of Linguistic Inequality in India’ which focussed on the lack of presence of linguistic equality in the Indian Constitution. The paper highlighted the importance of language especially with respect to Human Rights law. It is a problem of inequality that needs to be dealt with. The paper also highlighted the fact, in such a scenario, political protection is much more beneficial than an assimilationist approach.

This was followed by a paper titled ‘Political Parties Veil and RTI’ which was presented by ShikharAdholia. The paper critiqued the Act and its exclusion of political parties as they did not come under the definition of public authority. It argued how for a healthy democracy it is important political parties be held accountable by bringing them into the purview of the Act through an amendment to the same.

The next paper was presented by Vidhi Mahajan titled ‘Pride Parade: A March towards Constitutional Validity of LGBTQ Rights’ emphasising upon the autonomy of an individual. The paper focussed on gender, the definition of gender itself, section 377 and homosexuality. The paper emphasised upon the fact that the problem of non-acceptance which has to be tended to.

The next paper was titled ‘Child Soldiers in India: Victims or Perpetrators’ and was presented by Aditi Suresh Mane. The paper began with a definition of who child soldiers really are and how it is not a new practice. It dates back to WWII. The recruitment is both voluntary and involuntary. The paper raised the question of whether these children have to be criminalised or considered victims.

The next paper was presented by Sanyam Mittal, Parth Dixit and Nitin Kumar and was titled ‘Reasonability of Reasonable Classification: A Case of Dissents and the New Doctrine’. It focussed on Article 14 and through various cases established the Judicial Conscience Test. The paper welcomed the era of legal realism and established how it will lead to judicial discipline.

This was followed by a paper on ‘Tackling Money Laundering done through Virtual Currency in India’ presented by Aditya Kedari. It focused upon various aspects of virtual currency and aimed to understand how it is being used for money laundering. It elaborated upon the international response to the problem and gave suggestions to tackle money laundering.

The final paper of the day was titled ‘A Critical Analysis of Minority Rights in India’ and was presented by MihirInamdar. It traced the lineage from nomads where there was homogeneity and talked about the caste system and how the powerful group came to dominate the group in minority. The objective was, thus, to understand the concept of minority. It spoke about the lack of definition of minority in the Constitution and analysed various cases in that respect.

All the papers were very well received by the audience as well as the speakers and the session was extremely thought-provoking and enlightening for one and all present.

Workshop – Day 3 – SPSS, Data Analysis ad Ti Table

Symbiosis Law School, a constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University) hosted a workshop on “SPSS, Data Analysis ad Ti Table” on the 29th of September, 2018 at 02:00 P.M. by Dr. Manisha Gore, Director, Symbiosis Centre for Health Sciences, at the Professional Development and Continuing Legal Education Hall, as a part of the events scheduled on the third day of 7th International Annual Research Conference on Rule of Law in Context: Indian and Global Perspectives (SYMROLIC).

Dr. Gore stressed on the importance of the authenticity of the sample collected and cited several methods in which it can be put together. She stated that in order to produce a robust statistical analysis, one needs to prepare an appropriate representative sample. She emphasized the relevance of the software of SPSS (which stands for Statistical Package for social sciences) and how integral it is while conducted any research analysis. She enlightened the audience on how to operate that said software and mentioned the several benefits it provides to researchers while tabulating the data collected.

Dr. Gore mentioned to the audience about the relevance of the option in the software called “split file,” which is given in the “data” menu, which assists researchers who are performing comparative studies. She also stated the innovative technique called missing value analysis that helps in filling in the missing blanks in order to create better models to estimate the data, providing the user with procedures for data management and preparation.

This was followed by an interactive session with the audience gather, with the educative conference coming to a conclusion with a Vote of Thanks.

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