- Apprentice Lawyer
The Journalists is a deeper look at the journals published by law schools around the country. In this edition, Campus Ambassador Gyanda Kakar speaks with Dr. Anjani Singh Tomar, the Editor in Chief of the GNLU Law Review.
GNLU Law Review is the flagship journal of Gujarat National Law University. Could you please enlighten us with a broader understanding of your journal and how have its objectives been instrumental in fostering academic research in all these years?
The journal was started in 2008 because we realized there was a need to give academicians, researchers and students a platform to share knowledge as well as their own analysis and opinions regarding legal developments and associated disciplines.
This would become a common asset. The GNLU Law Review has always aspired to start fruitful conversations about several contemporary legal issues, and I would like to think that it has been extremely successful in this regard.
As a person having various experiences in various fields of law and otherwise, what inspired you to contribute to this journal?
I have always believed that writing is the best medium of expressing one’s thoughts and opinions in a clear and concise way, and I decided to be a part of the GNLU Law Review because it gave me the opportunity to be a part of an initiative that fosters both learning and a healthy sharing of one’s viewpoints.
My students are my inspiration. I am always lucky to have very good student team supporting/inspiring me.
As we know running a journal and publishing it on time and meeting deadlines is a herculean task. Our readers who are mainly students of law, and have to juggle between different tasks would be delighted to learn from you as to how do you manage to contribute to this journal along with all of your teaching and other administrative commitments?
Time management, in my opinion, is an art, and I think it is a skill that is extremely crucial regardless of the field or profession you are in. I think the best way to manage one’s time well is through prioritization.
One can make to- do lists in order of urgency and importance, and try to adhere to the time and deadlines you allot to each task.
In addition to this, I myself have been able to manage several of my other commitments alongside the GNLU Law Review because I can trust and rely upon the student editorial board. They constantly keep me in the loop which allows everything to function smoothly.
Actually it is the team work that has made things easy & meeting the deadlines. Our editors are most active & diligent, they work 24*7 to get the goals.
How is GNLU Law Review different from most other journals of other law schools which cater to fostering academic legal research?
I think what puts the GNLU Law Review apart from other journals is the hard work put in by the entire editorial board, under the able guidance of our advisory panel.
It comprised eminent legal luminaries like Late Justice P.N. Bhagwati and Senior Advocate Mr. K.K. Venugopal. We also have a lot of support from our illustrious alumni advisory board as well, who are working on various posts, inter alia, in different departments of the government, practicing advocates and professionals in law firms.
How have the students from the PhD, LLM, Masters and Diploma programme responded to the creation of this journal? Has it fostered a greater interest in interdisciplinary research and topics among students, pursuing other courses in the university?
There has definitely been a great response from students pursuing their higher education. In recent years, there has indeed been an increase in interdisciplinary research. In the past volumes of the GNLU Law review, we have had articles bringing together science and law to discuss the implications of CRISPR on law and policy.
Further, law and economics have been juxtaposed in articles regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain based currency. So, I definitely think there has been a rise in thinking beyond the contours of the legal field, and there is a recognition of the interplay of law with other fields.
Nonetheless students are very informative these days, they are focused & hardworking. Our editorial team always encourages the publication from young budding writers.
As we know, that running a journal of such high repute often means delivering extremely high-quality content. How does the journal respond to the authors whose manuscripts are not selected, unfortunately?
Having to turn down articles is never an easy decision. There have been some excellent manuscripts we have been unable to select for some reason or the other. Rejection is a part of life but it becomes an important learning experience for the individual.
Similarly, if we find that an article is not meeting the requisite standard, we give reasons and feedback as to how the article can be improved upon so that the author can not only better the current article but can also, in the future, incorporate that advice while writing other articles.
Authors also contact us after the information sent to them, and our editors’ team explains & elaborate to them their mistakes/strengths so that they can improve next time.
What is your advice to our writers so that they can improve their writing skills?
In my opinion, reading is the most effective tool for anyone trying to hone their writing skills, whether in the legal field or otherwise. You must read the newspaper so that you are always abreast with the current events. This is the most important thing for any law student. It is important to know what is going on in the world because law is a very dynamic field.
Law in itself is not static or rigid, and with the changes in society there is always a new perspective and new problems which arise in society and in the laws, which can be addressed through the medium of writing.
It is also important that they read articles by other students and eminent luminaries in the field of law. This will help one learn many facets of law they may be previously unaware of, as well as understand how to analyze the law and put forth their arguments in a coherent manner that flows logically and also provides a recourse and suggestions or alternatives.
Writing is very important tool to a good thinking, which in turn require good learning. A writer can learn from good reading, good teacher, his surroundings, observation along with being sensitive to his thoughts.
Lastly, I want to add that writing articles should not be seen as only something to add to a CV, it should be treated as a proper contribution to the field of law.