Press Report

Two Days Symposium on National Security Laws:
Leveraging Rule of Law for a More Secure India

Symbiosis Law School, Pune


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A two day Symposium on ‘National Security Laws: Leveraging Rule of Law for a More Secure India’ was successfully inaugurated on 19 th October, 2016 in Symbiosis Law School, Pune. The aim of the event is to contribute towards knowledge generation, dissemination, faculty capacity building and foster the spirit of national development.

Prof. Dr. James Kraska, Howard S. Levie Professor and Acting Director, Stockton Centre for Study of International Law, U.S. Naval War College was the chief guest for the ceremony with Brig. Rajiv Divekar (Retd.), Director, Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, SIU gracing as the Guest of Honour.

The ceremony began with the lighting of lamp by Hon’ble Chief Guest, Prof. Dr. James Kraska, Guest of Honour, Brig. Rajiv Divekar (Retd.), Prof. Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, SLS, Pune, Dean, Faculty of Law, SIU; Prof. Dr. T.R. Subramanya, NUJS Kolkata, Former VC, Karnataka State Law University; Dr. Gary Lilienthal, Associate Professor, SLS, Pune; Dr. P. Puneeth, Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Lt. Gen. V.M. Patil (Retd.), Vice President, Forum for Integrated National Security and Adv. Y.G. Shinde, President, Pune Bar Association.

Post short film on the evolution of Symbiosis International University, Dr. Shashikala Gurpur welcomed the audience and stated how Dr. Mujumdar’s idea of freedom of thought and learning has cascaded itself onto the stakeholders of SLS, Pune and also this event is a by-product of such an idea. She stressed upon the significance of Maritime Law. She said that the Law schools play an important role in enhancing & upholding the Rule of Law & access to justice. She concluded by saying that every citizen should contribute in ensuring national security in whatever way they can.

‘If you don’t follow the law, law will follow you,’ said Brig. Divekar. He insisted that national security is of paramount importance for every country and each country must be prepared to safeguard itself. He explained that threats could be from non-state actors, state- sponsored or foreign. He stressed on the importance of not only enforcement agencies but laws that can be leveraged for a safe and secure India.

Speaking on ‘National Security Law’, Chief Guest Prof. Dr. Kraska said that a combination of National and International Law made the practice of National Security Law in every country unique. “India and the U.S.A. both follow the Rule of Law and incorporate dualist legal systems which is very positive despite the challenges the two countries face”, he said. The Rule of Law can be used as a tool to pursue national security which is something that is not available to authoritarian states such as China. “However, in the face of threats such as nuclear proliferation, power has been pushed towards the executive, since it can make faster decisions than the legislature”, he said. “There is always a conflict between the application of Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. It is believed that in the case of armed conflicts, Human Rights Law ceases to apply and International Humanitarian Law takes over,” he said. Elaborating on the types of conflicts, he said that the conflicts today are not restricted to international and non-international armed conflicts but also include transnational armed conflicts as seen in the conflict between Jordan and Syria.

Dr. Shashikala Gurpur spoke about ‘ Human right to Security in a Globalizing World and Center-Staging Rule of Law’. She explained globalization as trans-border flow of people, goods and even information. She emphasized the importance of right to life as a sacrosanct right and that the conflict between liberty and security was putting this right in jeopardy. Proposing a law course with regard to comparative national security laws, Dr. Gurpur spoke about human rights, security law and comparative national security law. Prof. Sanjeet Ruhal, Assistant Professor, SLS, Pune further added by addressing contemporary challenges to the national security such as the recent surgical strikes and terrorism.

Prof. (Dr.) T.R. Subramanya spoke on ‘Concept of War and War Crimes’. Tracing the history of law of war to international criminal law, war crimes, to the establishment of Charter of the United Nations in 1945, he deduced that the war was futile and helped achieve no ends. Quoting L. Oppenheim, he said that war is a contention between two or more States through their armed forces, for the purpose of overpowering each other and imposing such conditions of peace as the victor pleases. He expressed concern that there was a major threat to the four freedoms every human being must enjoy, as stated by Franklin D. Roosevelt, i.e., freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Dr. Lilienthal dwelt on ‘The China Perspective on the South China Sea Arbitration’. In a histo-graphic & linguistic analysis he observed that while being absent, China presented a position paper highlighting its perspective, sovereignty. This idea of sovereignty is based on three facets- right of lordship, dominion and right to wield the symbols of supreme authority and power.

In the post lunch session, Prof. (Dr.) James Kraska spoke on ‘Maritime Security Law and Major Challenges to Freedom of Navigation’. The day -1 of symposia ended with the question-answer session.

The day -2 on 20 th October will carry the baton further with academic discussions on various facets of national security of USA and India by Professor (Dr.) James Kraska, Lt. Gen. V M Patil, PVSM, AVSM and Dr. P Puneeth, Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.