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JINDAL

GLOBAL
LAW
SCHOOL

CPLJ
CENTRE ON PUBLIC LAW & JURISPRUDENCE
Centre on Public Law & Jurisprudence CPLJ

December 1, 2009

Dear Professor,

As Research Director of THE CENTRE ON PUBLIC LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE (CPLJ) at JINDAL GLOBAL LAW SCHOOL
(JGLS), I INVITE YOU TO JOIN OUR INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS. The CPLJ approaches the disciplines of
public law and interdisciplinary jurisprudence as windows onto larger questions of culture and society. Since a truly
Global Law School must traverse the hemispheres of thought and not only those drawn on maps, the CPLJ has been
established at the newly-built OP JINDAL GLOBAL UNIVERSITY (JGU) in the National Capital Region of India as a
resource and destination for world-renowned scholars and public Intellectuals. JGU and JGLS are non-profit initiatives
without precedent in Asian higher education. Established through a unique philanthropic vision, they are world-class
research institutions in service to the public interest. The CPLJ will fulfill its public mission while promoting
collaboration for the development of a multi-disciplinary JGU in the coming years. The Centre includes within its
mandate the mission to solve urgent problems and meditate on long-term solutions for contemporary jurisprudence
and the practice of public law.

In our first two months, we have built the support of an International Board of Advisors without parallel in India,
formed a Research Committee of young international scholars, gathered a Facebook “fan-base” of 200 individual
supporters, and hosted a dozen of the highest quality speakers at JGLS (including jurisprudence legends Parmanand
Singh, Hilary Charlesworth, and M.P. Singh and board members B.S. Chimni and Anne Orford). We have also been
attending issue-oriented national conferences, including the National Consultation on Pendency and Delays and the
Congress of Jat Organizations (addressing honor killings and local justice). In its first two years, the Centre will focus
upon three inter-related problems of public law in India: (1) the Structural Crisis of Delayed Justice, (2) Legal Pluralism
and Centralism, and (3) Varieties of Informal Dispute Resolution, as well as the jurisprudential Area (4) Boundaries of
Public Law. These Research Areas combine concrete engagement and normative reflection on concepts of public law.

We invite you to our Board in recognition of the rare scholar combining specific expertise in these areas with a more
expansive interdisciplinary vision.

Prof. VIK KANWAR (1) , NEW DELHI and NCR, INDIA

1
Assistant Professor and Director, Center On Public Law And Jurisprudence, Jindal Global Law School
(JGLS), O.P Jindal Global University, India; Editor-In-Chief, Jindal Global Law Review; Member of New York
Bar.

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Centre on Public Law & Jurisprudence CPLJ

RESEARCH AREAS

1. The Normative Dimension of India’s Crisis of Delayed Justice

The most salient problem for the administration of Justice in India is the delay and backlog in criminal and
civil cases at every level from lower courts to the Supreme Court. This problem has been the subject of
numerous reform efforts and proposals including increasing judicial strength (though e.g., centralism,
increased numbers or improved technology), changes in procedure (e.g., plea bargaining), and
experiments in informal justice (alternative dispute resolution, the Lok Adalat movement, village
arbitration). What has received almost no attention within India or outside is the crucial normative
dimension, a framework for understanding the duties of public entities that should guide any range of
options. Should legitimacy be assessed against the ends (substantive outcomes)? Should the expectation
that litigants are provided “adequate and timely relief” be understood as a subjective right or a duty of
public entities? How do the obligations of the State guide the assessment of solutions? How should apex
courts and legislatures conceive of or ensure their legitimacy as ultimate arbiters of even those options
that fall outside of the public law framework? What guidance has the Supreme Court given to date on the
issue? The CPLJ will convene lectures, workshops, and working groups to evolve a common framework to
assess the systemic crisis as well as legal and policy alternatives that have been attempted or may be
formulated.

2. Techne vs. Metis: Legal Pluralism and Centralism

A concern that partially overlaps the research area above is the proliferation and fragmentation of
dispute-resolution across a range of formal and informal alternatives. One project within this second Area
is a focus on choices between increasing centralism (Techne: hierarchy and coordination) or increasing
pluralism (Metis: “local knowledge” devolution and localism). The Supreme Court has recently warded off
suggestions by Parliament that it should divide into multiple separate benches and panels. Is this a victory
for the integrity of the Court’s jurisprudence, or an invitation to fragmentation along other lines? Is
computerization, linking subordinate and higher courts a substantive achievement or a superficial one?
The CPLJ will research and publish findings in this Area, and also convene lectures, workshops, and
working groups.

3. Formal and Informal Justice: Normative Critiques

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Centre on Public Law & Jurisprudence CPLJ

Finally, arising from the other Areas is research on the sources of normative legitimacy of formal and
informal justice. The CPLJ will apply broader, interdisciplinary expertise on questions of justice, violence,
accountability, and coercion by focusing a section of its research on varieties of informal justice (e.g., non-
state, traditional, customary, religious, political, and ad hoc systems). Against the backdrop of
development organizations funneling aid to informal justice systems, it becomes urgent to understand the
promises and perils of various systems. Are these systems more relevant and accessible for poor people
than state institutions, therefore enjoying empirical legitimacy? Or do they reinforce local power
inequities, patterns of social exclusion and human rights violations, therefore violating normative
legitimacy? In our own neighborhood of rural Haryana, “honor killings” are understood in some
communities as a species of community justice. Are these sanctions hyper-public (sovereign) or hyper-
private (household) privileges or justifications for the use of lethal force. Must we understand adherence
to these norms in the context of legal sources and doctrines legitimizing or limiting the use of lethal force,
or the public power to punish? Is it instead a survival of a kind of law of patria potestas, whereby the
taking of life within a family is shielded by privacy? In what sense can understood as a “sovereign” but
arbitrary deprivation of life? It is therefore important that we gather research and formulate views on the
relationships between informal justice and public power. The CPLJ will convene meetings and publish
findings of social scientists, theorists, and legal practitioners who have studied dimensions of state
coercion and informal justice, communal violence, gender, ethnicity, and experiments in accountability.

4. The Boundaries of Public Law

Finally, beyond the formal definition of public law we encounter issues that are nonetheless crucial as
counter-points, outsides, and opposites: privacy, politics, ethics, violence, and passion. What role do these
play as constitutive or excluded elements? What space is created for non-public and extra-legal values
such as vengeance and forgiveness within the space of public law? What cannot or should not be
articulated within the spaces called “public” and “law”? Can public law accommodate non-Western
notions of justice such as nyaya and dharma? How does public law cope with political imperatives; does
public law disintegrate in spaces of international or inter-public relations; are the contours of states of
exception and emergency defined by public law, or do they blot out any meaningful concept of public
law? These questions will help frame a larger research area in interdisciplinary jurisprudence.

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CPLJ Centre on Public Law & Jurisprudence

INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS FACULTY AND STAFF

Aziza Ahmed (Harvard Public Health) ±


Antony Anghie (Utah) ASSISTANT DIRECTOR AND RESEARCH
Nathaniel Berman (Brown) COORDINATOR
B.S. Chimni (JNU) Vik Kanwar
Bibek Debroy (Ctr. Policy Research) Assistant Professor of Law (JGLS)
Dolores Donovan (U. San Francisco)
Marc Galanter (Wisconsin) ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Janet Halley (Harvard Law) Abhayraj Naik
David Kennedy (Harvard Law) Assistant Professor of Law (JGLS)
Karl Klare (Northeastern)
Martti Koskenniemi (Helsinki/NYU) RESEARCH ASSOCIATES and CONSULTANTS
Jayanth K. Krishnan (William Mitchell) ± Amit Bindal (JGLS/ILI)
C. Raj Kumar (JGU) Deepaloke Chatterjee (NUJS)
Jaclyn Neo (NUS) ± Nick Robinson (Yale)
Anne Orford (Melbourne) Aditya Singh (NALSAR)
Tamara Relis (LSE/Tuoro) ±
Ruti Teitel (NYLS) RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Arun K. Thiruvengadam (NUS) ± Karthik Raghavan (JGLS)
Katharine G. Young (ANU) ± Neelam Singh (JGLS)

±= Research Steering Committee 2010

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CPLJ Centre on Public Law & Jurisprudence

ASSISTANT DIRECTORS

VIVEK (VIK) KANWAR


Vik Kanwar is Assistant Professor of Law at JGLS and Assistant Director of the Centre on Public Law and Jurisprudence (CPLJ). Prof.
Kanwar’s published and ongoing writings concern “the legal sources of lethal force” and resources for regulating coercion in public
and private law. His expertise encompasses public law aspects of International, national, and local law, international humanitarian
law and national security law. His writings also draw insights from contemporary philosophy, intellectual history, social theory and
the humanities. With the CPLJ, he is pursuing the concept of public law through detailed case studies involving legal pluralism and
normative-coercive systems. Ongoing projects include work on the concepts of “necessity” and "salus populi" in various legal
systems, and a project on “post-human humanitarian law.” He holds a B.A. in Social and Critical Theory from New College, a JD from
Northeastern in 2000 and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law (2001). Prof. Kanwar remained in New York between
2001 and 2006, holding posts at the Hauser Global Law School Program, the Center on International Cooperation, and the Institute
for International Law and Justice. He also pursued post-graduate research in the History and Theory of International Law under
Martti Koskenniemi and Benedict Kingsbury and studied legal philosophy under diverse thinkers from the Anglo-American and
Continental traditions, including Ronald Dworkin, Jurgen Habermas, Ernesto Laclau and the late Jacques Derrida.

ABHAYRAJ NAIK
Abhayraj Naik is Assistant Professor Jindal Global Law School B.A.LL.B. Hons. (NLSIU Bangalore), LL.M. (Yale) Prof. Naik’s research
interests include legal theory, law and society, philosophy of law, law and language, and the fundamentals of tort and contract law.
His current research projects focus on interdisciplinary studies of privacy and forgiveness. He is also interested in traditional Asian
systems of thought and jurisprudential and ethical issues involving science and technology.