Through December 12, 2015
UChicago Center in Delhi
Azim Premji University, Bengaluru and the University of Chicago organized an International Conference to assess the efficacy of the Supreme Court of India in furthering the interests of the relatively disadvantaged.
The aim of this Conference was to examine the empirical effects of decisions of the Indian Supreme Court on the everyday lives of marginalised citizens. There was a widespread belief among Indian academics, political activists, and journalists that the Indian Supreme Court is not only an effective agent of politically progressive social change, but also, perhaps the only governmental institution capable of furthering the interests of the relatively disadvantaged. The conference was designed to explore this belief.
The Conference took its lead from the approach in The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? (2nd Ed., 2008), which empirically measures the impact of decisions of the United States Supreme Court purported to further the interests of the relatively disadvantaged. The focus of the conference was not on the question of whether decisions of the Indian Supreme Court have changed the law, nor on whether they have changed governmental policy. Rather, the Conference asks whether the interventions of the Indian Supreme Court have realized litigators’ hopes by actually increasing the access to and opportunity for marginalized social groups to live better lives.
The Conference was organized around a set of original research contributions, made available to all the participants prior to the Conference. Speakers at this stage include Marc Galanter, Sitharamam Kakarala, Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Gerald Rosenberg, Vinay Sitapati, and Arun Thiruvengadam.