BLP301 | Law Poverty & Development

Course Information

  • 2023-24
  • BLP301
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
  • III
  • Nov 2023
  • Core Course


The Law, Poverty and Development course seeks to study, analyse and understand how the law- its structures and processes – at the international, national and local levels engages with the concepts of poverty and development theoretically as well as practically. After all, both the new international economic order (NIEO) and Indian constitutional framework aspire towards:

  • securing justice-social, economic and political;
  • promoting fraternity among citizens; and
  • assuring the dignity and respect of every human individual.

It is within this socio-economic and political realm that the interrelationship among law, poverty and development would be traced. At the same time, the course seeks to explore whose definitions of development are prioritised, what models are followed by policy makers and the role that the law plays in perpetuating these models.

It is a multidisciplinary course that substantially relies on knowledge gained from the fields of political philosophy, sociology, jurisprudence, ethics, human rights, history and economics. The course also stresses on ‘intersectionality’ as a method of ‘doing development right’ through law and policy such that it does not lead to impoverishment instead of empowerment of the people.

Some pertinent questions that would be looked at are:

  • What is ‘development’, and who is it for?
  • What kind of choices do law and policy makers make in the name of ‘development’?;
  • Do these choices actually empower the poor and the oppressed or further impoverish them?;
  • What kind of strategies and remedial measures may be adopted to alter the process of impoverishment?

The course has 5 modules. We would begin with studying how law is situated within the realms of ‘development’ and ‘political economy’. The course then proceeds to outline the construction, definition and measurement of ‘poverty’ and ‘development’ in the social sciences i.e. economics, political philosophy, jurisprudence, ethics, international human rights and Indian constitutional law. This would then be followed by studying the engagement of ‘poverty’ and ‘development’ with the law, focusing on specific illustrations, sociological data and field experiments from different countries of the world with a special focus on developing countries like India. Further, we would learn the jurisprudence of poverty and development and how law may lead to impoverishment instead of empowerment of the people by either overlooking or erasing questions of caste, ethnicity, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation and the like. Moving towards the concluding part of the course, we would delve into strategies of empowerment and poverty alleviation and try to reconcile seemingly contradictory interests to argue in favour of that version of development that necessarily includes the poor and the oppressed.

This is a mandatory, standalone course taught in the III year, although it is not mandated by the Bar Council or UGC. Teaching will be in-personand will be mainly based on lecture supplemented by in-classactivities. Students will be given reading material for the classes and will be instructed at the end of each lecture, the reading requirements for the next class.


Prerna Dhoop

Assistant Professor of Law

Dr. Arun K. Thiruvengadam

Professor of Law

Dr. Saurabh Bhattacharjee

Associate Professor of Law