Forum to discuss 'state of law' in India starting Feb 1

Difficult Dialogues: Forum to discuss 'state of law' in India starting Feb 14

Global experts, policymakers, community-level workers and leading thinkers will converge here from Friday for an engaging conversation on issues related to law and the legal framework.

The fifth edition of Difficult Dialogues, an annual forum examining issues of contemporary relevance in South Asia, will focus on the 'state of law' in India, the organisers said on Wednesday.

Key speakers at the three-day event at the International Centre Goa include Additional Solicitor General of India Pinky Anand, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, activist Farah Naqvi, Supreme Court advocate Geeta Luthra, Delhi High Court advocate Vrinda Grover, former Central Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu, Europaeum Secretary-General Paul Flather, and former circuit court judge Tom Mueller.

The excessive delay in the delivery of justice, high costs of litigation, a dearth of qualified lawyers and vacancy of judges in courts at all levels are some of the issues that will be looked at and debated during the conference.

"This year the task is to explore the state of the law in the country as the judiciary and the legal framework are important part of a diverse nation like India for providing justice, equality and prosperity to all its citizens," said Surina Narula, the founder of 'Difficult Dialogues'.

She said the endeavour of the summit is to provide a common platform and "bridge the gap between policy makers and civil society involved with the implementation".

Discussions will be held on a range of topics like 'Democracy and the Rule of Law'; 'After the Aadhar Judgement: Do people have the right to privacy?'; 'Gender, legal profession and the courts: Is there a backlash?'; and 'Reforms in the administration of justice: What can help?' among others, the organisers said.

To highlight the voice of students, the summit will also play host to an intensive college debate series wherein regional winners from Delhi, Shillong, Bengaluru, Goa, and Dehradun will battle it out at the grand finale in Goa. The topic for the final debate is 'Environment Protection: A Case for State Surveillance or Individual Discipline?'

In previous editions, the conference had addressed issues like challenges faced by India in the education sector, gender equality, health and global finance and civil society.

Over the last five years, the forum has partnered with several reputed international knowledge partners like the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), University College London (UCL) and the University of Oxford, for constructive debates and come up with strategic recommendations for various key themes relevant to India and the South Asian region.

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