Workshop For Faculty
Theme: ‘Teaching, Practice and Enforcement of Law – Revisiting Conventions, Practices and Realities’
11th-13th of December 2019

A three-day faculty development workshop themed ‘Teaching, Practice and Enforcement of Law – Revisiting Conventions, Practices and Realities’ was conducted by the St. Joseph’s College of Law, from the 11th to the 13th of December 2019. The delegates to the workshop were legal academics from different law colleges and faculty members from other disciplines in Jesuit institutions across Bangalore.

A brief inaugural session marked the beginning of the workshop. Dr. Pratima Prabhakar, Principal of St. Joseph’s College of Law (SJCL), welcomed the audience. In his inaugural address, Fr. Swebert D’Silva SJ, Director of SJCL spoke about the Jesuit vocation to provide reflective teaching learning experiences and the need to become ‘people of depth’ in this ever connected but shallow world.

The keynote speakers for the inaugural day were Dr Shobha Raghuram, Prof. P Balaram and Dr. Olinda Timms. Dr. Shobha Raghuram, an independent researcher and developmental policy consultant specializing on public policy, governance and philosophy, set the tone for the workshop by locating India’s development concerns through paradigms of constitutionalism and social justice. Later in the day, Prof. Padmanabhan Balaram, eminent scientist and former Director of the Indian Institute of Science - Bengaluru engaged the delegates through his creative and insightful presentation. The presentation delved on the diverse aspects involved in positioning the moral compass at intersections of Science, Policy and Law in a technologically disruptive era. Dr Olinda Timms, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Health and Humanities at St. Johns Research Institute, Bangalore spoke on the receding levels of professional ethics expanding the scope of State through the regulatory and legal interventions. Dr Timms problematizes this approach looking at the peculiar nature of the healing profession with its inherent subjectivities and the fiduciary relationship involved.

The second day of the workshop commenced with a session by Hon’ble Mr Justice Dixit Krishna Shripad on the ‘Judiciary and Law’. Justice Dixit with his illustrious judicial career emphasized the critical importance of judiciary as an effective participant in governance. He highlighted the creation of an epistolary jurisdiction by the implosion of judicial activism via ‘social action litigation’ as a landmark moment in this regard. This session was followed by a presentation on the ‘Criminal Justice System and the Law’ by Dr. SV Joga Rao, Visiting Faculty at the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. Prof. Joga Rao, in his inimitable style, called attention to the pressing need to disincentivize inefficiency within the criminal justice system. Professor Sitharamam Kakarala, Professor of Public Policy and Governance at the Azim Premji University, concluded the day’s session with his lecture titled ‘Politics and Law’. Prof Sitharamam emphasized the embeddedness of law in the society and the necessity of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law.

The key facilitators for the concluding day of the workshop were Prof. Babu Mathew, Mr Abhayraj Naik and Dr Aditya Sondhi. Prof. Babu Mathew, senior founding faculty of the National Law School of India University, shared his thoughts on constitutionalism and focused on four analytical prisms that throw light on our understanding of the Indian Constitution – the Nehruvian, the Gandhian, the Ambedkarite and the Human Rights paradigms. A visiting faculty at the Azim Premji University, Mr Abhayraj Naik, shared his perspectives on ‘Justice Education’ and on the approaches to tailor teaching-learning techniques for the same. Mr Naik conceptualised justice as an upstream value from which downstream values like equality, freedom and fairness flow. The presentation focussed on the centrality of stories and narrative experiences in elevating the critical consciousness of the students to thus avail the transformative potential of education. The presentation was followed by hands on group activity creating a lesson plan and an evaluation methodology for assessing the learning outcomes. Dr Aditya Sondhi, Senior Advocate at the High Court of Karnataka and the former Additional Advocate General of Karnataka was the key speaker for the concluding session of the three-day workshop. Peppered with examples and anecdotes from his student days and from his illustrious career in both legal practice and academia, the talk highlighted the every-day lived realities of our justice system.

The workshop concluded with a brief valedictory ceremony. Rev Dr Manoj D’Souza SJ, Director of St Joseph’s Institute of Management was the chief guest for occasion and delivered the valedictory address. Fr Praveen Hrudayaraj, Vice Principal of St Joseph’s College of Law, proposed the vote of thanks. From the abstract and theoretical questions at the intersection of law, morality and science to the concrete everyday realities in the practice of law, the workshop nuanced our understanding of the nature and functioning of the Indian legal system.

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