The Big Fight: Appointment of Judges in India and Its Impact on the Legal Profession

Speaker Series
April 15, 2016
Harvard Law School, Lewis Hall 202
Speaker Series

This talk will discuss the legal and constitutional issues relating to the appointment of judges in India to the Supreme Court and the High Courts. In particular, it will examine the institutional framework that resulted in the establishment of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and the reasons for the Supreme Court declaring it as unconstitutional. It will critically examine the existing method of appointment of judges to the top most courts in India and how the new legislative intervention, the constitutional amendment and the decision of the Supreme Court of India are impacting the legal profession. The process of the appointment of judges is impacting the legal profession in numerous ways, including its ability to instill faith in the rule of law and ensuring access to justice. The debate relating to who should appoint the judges and how should they be appointed raises issues relating to transparency, accountability and procedural fairness – all of which are at the heart of constitutional governance.

About Prof. C. Raj Kumar:

Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar was appointed as the Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) in India at the age of 34 in 2009. Professor Kumar is the Dean of Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) and Director, International Institute for Higher Education Research & Capacity Building ( IIHEd). JGU has completed six years and has grown into a multidisciplinary and research-oriented university with five different schools relating to law, business, international affairs, public policy and liberal arts & humanities. Professor Kumar has academic qualifications from the University of Oxford, Harvard University, University of Hong Kong, University of Delhi and Loyola College. Professor Kumar is also a Member of the National Legal Knowledge Council (NLKC). He was a faculty member at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong, where he taught for many years. He was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, UK, where he obtained his Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) degree; a Landon Gammon Fellow at the Harvard Law School, USA, where he obtained his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree and a James Souverine Gallo Memorial Scholar at the Harvard University. He was awarded the Doctor of Legal Science (S.J.D.) by the University of Hong Kong. He also obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from the University of Delhi, India; and a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) degree from the Loyola College of the University of Madras, India. Professor Kumar’s areas of specialisation include, human rights and development, terrorism and national security, corruption and governance, law and disaster management, comparative constitutional law, legal education and higher education. He has over hundred and fifty publications to his credit and has published widely in peer reviewed journals and law reviews in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and USA