From colleagues at Jindal Global Law School in India, this Call for Participation:
The Feminist Judgment Project India imagines the possibilities of collaborative writing of alternate judgments for several Indian cases across a broad range of legal issues having a significant bearing on women. At the heart of the project are a set of basic questions—can one formulate a distinctively feminist judicial practice? If so, what are the limitations to that approach? In what manner does this approach differ from the common law approach the court takes? Neither the practice of academic rewriting of judgment is new, nor is specifically the practice of feminist rewriting of judgments. The Feminist Judgment Project India borrows from the sister projects in Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and USA where feminist academics, lawyers, activists have written alternate versions of judgments originally authored by judges. * * *
The India project too will serve as a shadow judgment writing project by bridging the distance between feminist theory and practice where we will reimagine the role of the judge to adjudicate differently by maintaining fidelity to the same constitutional and legal rules that bind her. For example, what are the ways in which the Supreme Court of India could have reasoned in Tukaram v. State of Maharashtra (prosecutrix’ credibility in rape trial) or Githa Hariharan v. Reserve Bank of India (guardianship rights of a Hindu mother during the lifetime of the father) to advance a jurisprudence of gender justice? Could one imagine how a rewritten judgment in State of Bombay v. Narasu Appa Mali (holding that person law was immune from constitutional scrutiny) would look like if women were central to its reasoning? Indeed, could we reimagine and rewrite the judgments that uphold women’s interest; the so-called “good” judgments, like Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan (laying down guidelines to address sexual harassment at workplace) or Shayara Bano v. Union of India (invalidating instant triple talaq)? What are the feminist critiques that would inform and accompany such judgment rewriting process? These examples are just a few to probe the radical possibilities of this project.
We imagine that the ‘alternative judgments’ or ‘missing judgments’ or ‘dissenting opinions’ will reveal the extent to which cases could (and should) have been decided while remaining faithful to legal and constitutional limitations. We invite contributions from interested collaborators in two categories
- Judgments: Those who are interested to (re)write judgments (6000-8000 words), please submit a proposal of 300-500 words, indicating the name of the case you wish to write on, and briefly explaining how the case would benefit from a feminist analysis.
- Commentaries: Those who are interested to write commentaries (3000-4000 words), please indicate in a 200-300 worded proposal, the case for which you want to write the commentary explaining why you think such case merits a feminist analysis.
More information, including a list of cases for potential consideration and details on how to apply, is available here.
The deadline for applications is November 5, 2017.