Event Information

Law and Liberty Conference, 2019

Event Date: 19 Aug To 20 Aug 2019; Time: 10:00 AM onwards
Venue: Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics

About the Program

Each year, the Law and Liberty Conference highlights emerging concerns in the domain of individual liberty, and the legal and regulatory frameworks which enable the flourishing of a liberal society.

Centre for Civil Society hosted its first Law and Liberty Conference in partnership with the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies in 2015 and held its second edition in 2017. The conferences aim to provide a platform for liberal perspectives on legal concerns, develop a liberal critique of the extant juridical discourse and to build a network of legal practitioners, scholars and students to promote the cause of liberty.

This year, the LLC is based on the overarching theme of 'Legal Foundations of a Free Society'. The conference aims to explore the importance of government regulations in enabling societal growth and progress, and the importance of economic freedom in creating a free society.

Program Highlights:

  • Four panels covering spheres economic, civil, and personal liberties
  • Expert speakers providing a variety of perspectives, from academia, governance, and legal practice.
  • Join over 70 of the best law students in the country in a constructive legal discourse

Hosted by the Centre for Civil Society in association with Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

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Shruti Rajagopalan (Keynote Speaker)

Shruti Rajagopalan is an Assistant Professor of Economics at State University of New York, Purchase College and a Fellow at the Classical Liberal Institute at the New York University School of Law.

She earned her Ph.D. in economics in 2013 from George Mason University. She has a BA (Hons) Economics and LL.B. from University of Delhi; and an LL.M. from the European Masters in Law and Economics Program at University of Hamburg, Ghent University, and University of Bologna.

Shruti's broad area of interest is the economic analysis of comparative legal and political systems. Her research interests specifically include law and economics, public choice theory, and constitutional economics. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, law reviews, and books. She also enjoys writing in the popular press and has a fortnightly column called The Impartial Spectator in the Indian financial paper Mint and has also published opinion editorials on Indian political economy in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Wire, The Hindu: Business Line, and The Indian Express.

Panel 1 - Competition Law and IP: Welfare, but for Whom?

Dr. Geeta Gouri

Dr. Geeta Gouri, former Member of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), is an economist with 15 years of experience working as a Regulatory Economist. She served as Member (Economics) at the CCI for 5 years and prior to that as Director (Tariffs) at the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission. This unique experience gives her the privilege of being perhaps the only economist in India to be associated with the premiering of the two commissions, which ushered competition and markets reforms in the economy. Dr. Gouri has published extensively and delivered lectures on a wide range of subjects; "Pricing for Welfare; Petroleum Products in India"; "Privatization and Public Enterprise: The Asia-Pacific Experience" (edited); "Towards Equity: New Economic Policy and Equity" (edited).

Dr. Rahul Singh

Rahul Singh is currently (senior) Associate Professor of Law & Director of the Institute of Competition Law and Economics at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU). Professor Singh teaches competition law-and-economics, regulation, WTO and jurisprudence. As a visiting professor, he has lectured at Harvard Law School (USA), University of California at Berkeley (USA), University of Florida Levin College of Law (USA), University of Oxford (UK), Deakin University (Australia) and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (India).

Professor Singh has been nominated by the Chief Justice of the Singapore Supreme Court to serve as a member of the governing board of the Asian Business Law Institute, Singapore Academy of Law. He is a member of the Competition Commission of India's Advisory Committee on Regulation. Professor Singh's law review articles on competition law are available on Westlaw and have been cited by the Chief Justice of the Australian apex court. He is also a consultant for several law firms, state owned entities and corporate houses.

Prof. Sajid Sheikh

Sajid Sheikh is an Assistant Professor (Law) and Assistant Registrar (Academic) at the Mumbai National Law University. He obtained his LL.M. (Hons.) specializing in Intellectual Property Rights from National Law University, Jodhpur and is pursuing his Ph.D. from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. He has numerous contributions to various domestic and international law journals on various aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. He has also conducted workshops on Intellectual Property Rights at various institutions including but not limited to the Department of Science & Technology, Jammu & Kashmir Government, and NLSIU Bangalore.

Panel 2 - Society in the Internet age: Balancing Security vis-a-vis Privacy Rights

Nikhil Pahwa

Nikhil Pahwa is the Founder and Editor of MediaNama, a leading publication chronicling the growth of India's digital ecosystem. He is a TED Fellow, and co-founded the Savetheinternet.in campaign for Net Neutrality in India, which was the largest grassroots campaign in the history of India, with over a million people participating. He was also the co-founder and Chairman of the Internet Freedom Foundation, which focuses on advocacy for an open Internet in India. Nikhil has been a part of initiatives which helped declare unconstitutional, Section 66A of India's IT Act, which had led to people being jailed for what comments on Facebook; and the watering down of Section 79A, which had led to censorship of speech online.

At present, Nikhil is a part of initiatives to fix Aadhaar, the world's largest biometric identity database, covering over 1.19 billion Indians, in a manner that protects privacy and agency for Indians. He is also working on initiatives that help simplify complex tech policy discussions for citizens, and believes that active citizen participation is necessary for driving meaningful and inclusive change.

Semanti Choudhury

Professor Choudhury had completed her graduation in B.A. LLB. (Hons.) from West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata in 2009. Between 2009 and 2013, she had worked at two leading law firms at their Mumbai office, where she was involved in the regulatory practice team as well as project finance transactions during the brief stint at the firms.

In 2013, she shifted gears with an inclination to join academics. She had completed her LLM with specialization in Corporate and Commercial Laws from National Law University Odisha, Cuttack in 2014, and was the gold medalist of her batch. After clearing UGC- NET in 2014, Professor Choudhury joined as Assistant Professor at Symbiosis Law School, Pune from March, 2015. At Symbiosis, Professor Choudhury teaches various subjects including Jurisprudence, Contract Law, International Trade Law, Corporate Law, Investment Law to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. In addition, her areas of research include international trade, consumer protection, competition law, securities law and health law. Professor Choudhury was also instrumental in drafting the application for empanelment of SLS, Pune under the CCI Advocacy programme for which she had analyzed the effect of certain provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 on competition in the relevant market.

Apar Gupta

Mr. Apar Gupta, is a lawyer and the executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF). He completed his post-graduate studies from the Columbia University School of Law and has practised for more than a decade. From 2015, he has been working extensively on public interest issues which include strategic litigation and organisation of campaigns and collectives. In courts, his work as a lawyer includes key digital rights cases on privacy and censorship. Beyond court work he has worked extensively with activists and government institutions in public campaigns to advance net neutrality, reform defamation laws, fight against internet shutdowns and introduce a strong privacy statute.

Murali Neelakantan

Mr. Murali Neelakantan is a dual qualified (English solicitor and Indian advocate) with over 2 decades of experience in advising on international transactions in a wide variety of sectors. He was previously a senior equity partner at Ashurst in London and subsequently a senior partner at Khaitan & Co. He joined Cipla in 2013 as its first Global General Counsel and subsequently was Executive Director and Global General Counsel at Glenmark. He is currently Principal at Amicus where he provides legal and policy advice, and an independent director on the board of TTK Prestige, India's largest kitchen appliances company. He has recently written series of articles on the national health Stack, DNA Bill and healthcare policy for BloombergQuint.

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Application Fees: 1,000/- (which shall cover food and course materials for the entire duration of the program.) [Limited merit-based scholarships are avaliable]
Application Deadline: 21st July 2019
Conference Dates: 19-20 August, 2019

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For details contact: Utkarsh Khare (utkarsh@ccs.in) or Sourya Banerjee (sourya@ccs.in) | 91 8174901422/ 91 9848281402.