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The Jurists, a registered, non-profit legal research organization which was started due to an initiative by students from the various National Law Universities is foraying into its maiden event this December. The work of the organization is aimed at encouraging and assisting, by way of resources and expert inputs, research on contemporary legal issues.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Siddharth Nayak, Executive Manager of the Jurists says, “The divorce and gap between the academia and what transpires on ground is large and wide; and a majority of the critique that scholarly work attracts sources its legitimacy from this gap. At present a lot of organizations and research centers already exist that seek to bridge this gap by way of a more inclusionary process of legal research that aims at surviving the rigors of practical implementation, but there is a very conspicuous lack of student participation in these processes. Further, a lot of student potential in terms of research skills is neglected as legal research traditionally has been seen as a prerogative of the academia.”
The lack of consonance between the academia and the field is solved by creating a forum whereby the players who engage in the implementation of policies at a practical level such as governmental agencies, practitioners, law firms, etc and academicians may meet and the research output is such as would be harmonious to the needs of everyone.
The student potential would be resolved by using the latent research potential of law students (and with time this would be widened to include other students as to foster inter disciplinary scholarship) from across the country to aid research undertaken by the academia. Students in batches of 20- 30 would work on a particular project for a period of 4-6 months which would be guided by expert inputs both from the academia and the industry.
To mark the maiden event of the Jurists, a joint international socio-legal convention between India and Pakistan is scheduled from December 22, 2010 to December 27, 2010. A seven member panel has been invited by the South Asian Partnership, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Jaag Welfare Movement.
The Advisory Panel for this event includes esteemed figures of the field from both sides of the border like Asma Jahangir, Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Shabnam Ishaque, Dean, Pakistan College of Law, Lahore, Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani, Federal Minister for Human Rights on Hindu Laws and Blasphemy Laws, Senior Counsel Colin Gonzalvez among others.
The convention is also looking to sign MoUs between law schools and legal organizations of both the nations for organizing various events such as socio-legal debates, moots, and internship exchange programmes.