Aims of the committee are very fundamental to the pursuit of the interdisciplinary B.A.,L.LB. degree at NLSIU, combining studies in law with a bachelor of arts. Our broad mandate spans the socio-legal analysis of contemporary national and international events – to foster awareness and appreciation of law and policy in a more real and tangible sense. We aim at bringing social aspects including gender, caste, class into the study of law and attempt to explore the causal relation between law and society. Recently, the committee has broadened its mandate to include mental health and disability issue as we strive towards making the community better and more inclusive. Pursuant to the mandate, the Committee conducts and maintains reading groups, film screenings, talks, workshops, seminars and conferences as a means of academic engagement with such issues.
The Law and Society Committee started out as an informal group of students interested in critical legal thinking. In 2002-’03, it was constituted as an Activity-Based Committee under the Constitution of the Student Bar Association. The committee has been engaged in many voluntary, pro-bono activities not just in the university but in Bangalore. It has strived towards realizing its goal of making society count in the field of law by collaborating with NGOs in Bangalore, research centers in NLSIU and other such facilitative bodies. The Committee is keen to give ‘law and society’ an expansive interpretation, thereby keeping its basic criteria for contributions simply that of high academic merit, as long as there is a perceivable link.
During past few years, we have had the opportunity and good fortune of inviting several academicians, scholars and luminaries in law policy and academia such as Ms. Indira Jaising, Mr. P. Sainath, Ms. Usha Ramanathan and Mr. Gautam Bhatia among others to speak on a number of topical issues (CAA-NRC protests, Transformative Constitutionalism, Domestic Violence during COVID, etc.) We also organized a country wide essay writing completion on domestic abuse during pandemic in collaboration with Centre for women and law at NLSIU. Further we conducted single credit courses on interaction law and society, organized talks by personas who are known for voicing their opinions for social issues including India’s tribal issues, international issue of Tibet and China etc. We also organized flagship annual event of conference on transformative constitutionalism where many academicians presented their papers. We are also responsible for selecting the university team for the internationally well known Jean-Pictet Competition.
For first year students of BA.LLB and LLM the post of Junior Co-opts is available. The committee consists of 7 members including the Convener and Joint Convener. Apart from them, there are senior Co-opts and Junior Co-opts. Final number of co-opts would depend upon the applications and selection process. The new students thus can join the committee as Co-opts and such selection is dependent on objective criteria which includes organization experience, interview, social awareness etc.