Fifth Annual National Conference on Contemporary Legal Scholarship – 2016
Symbiosis Law School, Pune

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Symbiosis Law School, Pune, a constituent of Symbiosis International University, successfully hosted the fifth Annual National Conference on 10th September, 2016 in its campus at Viman Nagar, Pune. Organized in the backdrop of SLS Pune’s flagship Journal SCLJ and the student journal SSLR published with LexisNexis, the conference served as an inspiring platform to the budding law scholars and researchers to showcase their research and share ideas.

The inaugural ceremony was graced by Chief Guest Prof. (Dr.) Vijender Kumar, Vice- Chancellor, MNLU, Nagpur along with Guests of Honour, Prof. Kris Gledhill, Associate Professor, AUT Law School, Auckland, New Zealand, Prof. Dr. Anjani Kumar Varma, Dean, School Chemical Sciences and Dean (Research and Academic Affairs) Central University of Haryana and Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, SLS, Pune and Dean, Faculty of Law, SIU.

The event began with auspicious lighting of the lamp by dignitaries on the dais. Dr. Shashikala Gurpur in her welcome address apprised the audience that the unwavering focus on the creation of new knowledge in the legal field and its determined march towards development of critical thinking is SLS, Pune’s success mantra making it one of the best law schools in the country. She continued to showcase the importance of good quality research whilst touching upon various anecdotes. She apprised the audience of the evolution of Symbiosis International University. She concluded by expressing her pride on the exponential growth of the conference in a short span proven by the registration of over 150 research papers for the reputed fifth edition of the Annual National Conference this year.

This was followed by the release of Lexet, the biannual newsletter of SLS, Pune and the conference abstract compilation, by the dignitaries on the dais.

Dr. Anjani Kumar Varma provided the audience with an illuminating path of thought, by showcasing how pure science could synergise with law to make a useful piece of legislation. He focussed on sustainability as a recurring global theme and one with vast potential for budding lawyers. Mentioning IPR as an emerging field of law, he stated how lawyers should strive to create rights for people who have ideas, but are unable to protect them. He implored the bright young minds of today to discover the myriad possibilities and avenues to revolutionise the way in which the law is framed.

In his address, Chief Guest, Prof. (Dr.) Vijender Kumar emphasized on how this conference was designed to provide a platform for budding scholars from different regions to deliberate on various themes ranging from public governance to business law. He discussed the challenges faced by the higher education system in India and the need to include more and more young minds to enable the expansion of the same. Dr. Kumar also focused on the necessity of a critical examination of India’s higher education system to ensure that it retains its cutting edge. He commended Symbiosis on taking the initiative to stimulate intellectual enquiry and excellence by establishing the aforementioned platform for discussion. Further, he highlighted that with the advent of globalisation, the need of the hour was to introspect and consequently realize the importance of exploring new avenues with reverse osmosis of best practices.

Thereafter, a plenary address on “Transnational Collaboration in Research: Significance & Opportunities” took place wherein Prof. Kris Gledhill elaborated on recent examples of transnational research from Criminal Law and Human Rights Law, the need for understanding of subsidiary principles and sensitivity to values and the practicality of establishing a transnational human rights clinic. He discussed numerous cases explaining the importance of transnational collaboration, one of which was a common law problem in criminal law, wherein a large number of people were convicted of serious offences merely on account of their secondary involvement with the principal wrong doer. He commended on the global significance of article 21 of Indian Constitution and dwelt on the immense value and necessity of the establishment of a transnational human rights clinic.

In her concluding remarks, Dr. Gurpur delved into the various common definitions of the term ‘globalization’ and how it accommodated various economic, socio-economic and cultural aspects. However, she stressed on the paucity of Indian research on the relationship between globalization and justice, and the vast impact of globalization on the justice system in the past 20 years. Her final submission was to encourage students to embark upon academic research in the field of the investigative aspect of Human Rights Law coupled with the constitutionality of the same in a comparative and transnational manner.

The conference subsequently witnessed paper presentations in four parallel tracks covering diverse spheres of Law including International Law and Human Rights; Public Law and Governance; Business Laws; and IPR, Technology & Innovation Laws respectively. These were chaired by Prof. Kris Gledhill, Dr. Vijender Kumar, Adv. Vivekananda Paniyala, Paniyala & Associates, Corporate Law Firm, Mangalore and Dr. Anirban Mazumdar, Associate Professor, National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata respectively. The conference hosted presenters ranging from Under Graduates and Post Graduates to Ph.D. Research Scholars coming together from various Law schools across the country.

Adv. Sampat Bulusu, General Manager, Legal, Hazira LNG Pvt. Ltd., Ahmadabad described the subject of law as an ocean and urged students to give equal importance to every subject. While offering the suggestion of critical analysis of the principle of law being analyzed, he highly commended the quality of academic papers presented in SLS, Pune.

Dr. Sunder Ram Korivi, Dean, NISM, Mumbai encouraged students to use empirical research methods to provide better data to the research community and consequently help shape the policies and laws of the nation.

Then came the much awaited moment - the prize distribution! First and second prize were won by Hannah Shekinah, SLS, Pune and Jaisy Varghese, SLS, Pune respectively. Third prize was shared by Saumay Kapoor, SLS, Pune and Neethu Alphonsa, SLS, Pune.

Researchers from Central European University, Hungary; South Asian University; NLSIU Bangalore, MNLU Mumbai and Christ College Bangalore were among the honourable mentions.

The fifth edition of Annual National Conference came to an end with the vote of thanks by Dr. Bindu Ronald.