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Gender Justice and Criminal Law Schedule Detail


Gender Justice and Criminal Law Reform Conference

Draft Minute to Minute Programme

Friday, July 12
*Programme is developing and subject to change

5:15  – 6:00 pm

High Tea

6:00 – 6:10 pm

Tribute to Justice J.S. Verma by Chief Guests:  

Gopal Subramanian, Former Solicitor-General of  India, Member, JS Verma Committee;

Justice (Retd.) Leila Seth, Former Chief Justice of  Himachal Pradesh, Member JS Verma Committee

6:10 – 6:30 pm

Opening Remarks: Jacqueline BhabhaProfessor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Director of Research FXB Center

6:30 – 6:50  p.m.

Address by Chief Guest: Justice (Retd.) Leila Seth, Former Chief Justice of  Himachal Pradesh, Member JS Verma Committee

6:50 p.m. – 7:10 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Soli J.  SorabjeeFormer Attorney General of India

7:10 –  8:25  pm

I. Law and Law Enforcement

While public pressure over highly visible cases often spurs new laws the question of enforcement of such laws needs to be addressed at the outset. Despite the creation of numerous new offences in the Criminal Laws Amendment Act, 2013 and certain consequential amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the epidemic of rape sweeping across India rages unabated.  It is well-accepted that one of the core problems in India is implementation of the law. This raises the question of what procedural forms are required to improve implementation of the law as recently amended.  We hope to engage in substantive dialogue regarding civil rights approaches to addressing sexual violence to supplement the criminal justice procedures and laws already in place. We hope to work with colleagues in India to consider what new legislation might be considered to achieve sex equality in India.

Flavia Agnes, Co-Founder, MAJLIS
Ved Marwah, Chairman of  Panel, Former Commissioner of Police, Delhi; Former Director General of the National Security Guard, Former Governor of Manipur as well as Mizoram and Jharkand
Shazia Ilmi,  Social Activist and  Candidate Aam Admi Party
Colin Gonsalves, Senior Advocate, Human Rights Law Network
Diane RosenfeldLecturer on Law and Director of the Gender Violence Program, Harvard Law School

Moderator: Aparna Viswanathan, Viswanathan & Co. Advocates

Saturday, July 13
*Schedule is developing and subject to change

10 – 10:30 am

Tea and Registration

10:30 – 10:50 am

Welcome and Introduction: Diane RosenfeldLecturer on Law, and Director, Gender Violence Program, Harvard Law School

10:50 – 11:10 am

Address by Chief Guest: Gopal SubramanianFormer Solicitor General of India; Member, JS Verma Committee

11:10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Key Note Address:  Mamta Sharma, Chairperson, National Commission for Women

11:30 – 12:45 pm

II. Building Good Practices 

Our discussion will highlight programs which demonstrably work to fast forward reform.  The goal is to explore creative policy making and practice as a prelude to collaborating with sister organizations already actively encouraging innovation in this area.  The study will include preventative programs strengthening adolescent girls’ life options, supportive programs supplying legal, medical and psycho-social assistance to survivors of rape, incest and other forms of sexual violence, medium and long term mentoring and accompanying activities targeted at victims of violence. We also plan to include initiatives that strengthen criminal justice institutions from a rights perspective, including police training, interventions with law makers and judicial entities, with emergency physicians, primary health care workers and other responders to gender violence.  For instance, we will discuss proposed legislation such as the Model Police Act 2006 which would meet the challenges of policing and fulfilling the democratic aspirations of Indian citizens. The work of community organizations developing a zero tolerance approach, and interrogating prevailing notions of masculinity in the public sphere, including in the media, in educational institutions, in employment contexts will also be relevant.

Ruchira Gupta, Founder and President of Apne Aap Women Worldwide
Naina Kapur, Advocate & Equality Consultant
Smriti Minocha,Human Rights Law Network
Rebecca Tavares, Representative UN Women Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka
Moderator: Kalpana Sharma, Journalist, Columnist, and Independent Media Consultant


12:45 – 2:00 pm



2:00 – 3:15 pm

III. Curricular Innovation 

With a view to contributing to ongoing discussion about the importance of relevant teaching and mentorship in school, we plan to document good practice examples of curricular innovation related to sex education and other relevant topics.  We hope to build upon the Verma Committee recommendation that children’s experiences should not be structured by patriarchal gender norms and that sex education (including discussion of sexuality and contraception,) should be included as part of the standard school curriculum. We also hope to collaborate with others to build a network of teacher organizations, education experts and relevant community stakeholders.  This network will, we hope, be engaged in developing a program of curricular reform that includes enhanced adolescent participation in the design of curriculum, new teaching materials and techniques, new topics for secondary school class discussion, and new perspectives challenging stereotypical notions of male and female roles. Subjects such as menstruation and menstrual hygiene, homosexuality, HIV/AIDS and others that are currently taboo will be included in the discussion.

Dr. Jaya, Program Officer, United Nations Population Fund
Elizabeth Mehta, Founder, Director, Muktangan
Saroj Yadav, Professor and Head, DESS, NCERT
Moderator: Jacqueline BhabhaProfessor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Director of Research FXB Center


3:15 – 3:25 pm

Closing Remarks: Aparna Viswanathan, Viswanathan & Co. Advocates