Call For Papers: International Conference on The Supreme Court of India and Progressive Social Change


Submit Before : July 25th 2015

Azim Premji University, Bengaluru and the University of Chicago will organize an International Conference to assess the efficacy of the Supreme Court of India in furthering the interests of the relatively disadvantaged on December 11 and 12, 2015 at the University of Chicago Center, Delhi, India.

The aim of this Conference is to examine the empirical effects of decisions of the Indian Supreme Court on the everyday lives of marginalised citizens. There is a widespread belief among Indian academics, political activists, and journalists that the Indian Supreme Court is not only an effective agent of politically progressive social change, but also, perhaps the only governmental institution capable of furthering the interests of the relatively disadvantaged. The conference is designed to explore this belief.

The Conference will take its lead from the approach in The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? (2nd Ed., 2008), which empirically measures the impact of decisions of the United States Supreme Court purported to further the interests of the relatively disadvantaged. While papers are not expected to follow the exact framework of The Hollow Hope, they are required to undertake an empirical study of the effects of selected Indian Supreme Court decisions. The focus of the conference is not on the question of whether decisions of the Indian Supreme Court have changed the law, nor on whether they have changed governmental policy. Rather, the Conference asks whether the interventions of the Indian Supreme Court have realized litigators’ hopes by actually increasing the access to and opportunity for marginalized social groups to live better lives.

The Conference is organized around a set of original research contributions, made available to all the participants prior to the Conference. Confirmed speakers at this stage include Marc Galanter, Sitharamam Kakarala, Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Gerald Rosenberg, Vinay Sitapati, and Arun Thiruvengadam.

For this conference we invite contributions from scholars, graduate and post-graduate students, and practitioners in the law, humanities or social sciences, involved with studying the Indian Supreme Court and its decisions on one or more of the following themes:

  • Environment,
  • Social Welfare Rights,
  • Secularism & Conflict,
  • Gender,
  • Reservations,
  • Legal System Reforms,
  • Criminal Justice,
  • Corruption,
  • Labour and Civil Liberties

Please submit details of name, institution, email address, paper title and a 400 word abstract to [email protected] by July 25, 2015.

Selected paper presenters will be notified by August 15, 2015.

Final paper submissions are due by October 15, 2015. Final papers should be between 13 and 15 pages in length (single-spaced).

The authors of selected papers will be invited to attend the conference. The organisers will cover costs of domestic economy travel and accommodation for selected participants.

Last date for submission of abstract with details: July 25, 2015
Confirmation of acceptance papers: August 15, 2015
Last date for submission of full papers: October 15, 2015
Conference and presentation of papers: December 11 and 12, 2015