On January 20, 2016, the South Asia Institute sponsored a seminar on South Asian Constitutionalism in New Delhi. The event was organized with the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, and celebrated the publication of Unstable Constitutionalism: Law and Politics in South Asia (Cambridge University Press 2015).
The event featured leading legal scholars and political scientists reflecting upon South Asia Constitutionalism in three ways. First, there were methodological discussions on the field of comparative constitutional law and the ways in which South Asia could be integrated into more global discussions. Second, there were discussions on specific legal developments in the different jurisdictions in South Asia, from the recent constitutional crisis in Nepal to the post-Chaudhry court experience in Pakistan. Thirdly, there were reflections upon the theme of Unstable Constitutionalism — its meaning and significance — and whether or not South Asian countries do indeed represent a form of constitutional instability.
The two sessions were moderated by Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School, and Madhav Khosla, Harvard University. Participants included Upendra Baxi, University of Warwick, Niraja Gopal Jayal, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Gilles Verniers, Ashoka University, Osama Siddique, Law and Policy Research Network, Lahore, Prashant Jha, The Hindustan Times, Arun K. Thiruvengadam, Azim Premji University, Bangalore, and Aparna Chandra, National Law University, Delhi. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Centre for Policy Research, delivered the closing remarks.
Overall, the conference and interventions helped toward thinking more deeply about the possibility of legal scholarship across South Asia, and the form that such scholarship might take.