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How academia came of age with 377: SC relied on these Indian journals, blawgs in pro-gay rights judgment

Indian law journals get some love from the SCIndian law journals get some love from the SC

As it had widely signposted, the Supreme Court has taken a tragically overdue but also eventually progressive step by decriminalising consensual sexual acts between persons of the same sex today, which had infamously been prohibited under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. It held Section 377 to be arbitrary, irrational and unconstitutional.

But the judgment is not just an overdue development for human rights and a victory for the many lawyers and activists who worked tirelessly for more than a decade on this: it could also be a major celebratory moment for Indian legal scholarship.

The Supreme Court’s judgment has referred to articles published in a special issue of the NUJS Law Review journal four times (as then reported on Legally India, the NUJS Law Review had in 2009 carried a special issue covering articles from several experts on the Naz Foundation judgment of the Delhi High Court, before it had been overturned by a short-sighted Supreme Court judge on his last day in office).

The Supreme Court also cited an article from the Jindal Global Law Review: Zaid Al Baset, “Section 377 and the Myth of Heterosexuality”, Jindal Global Law Review, Vol. 4 (2012).

Furthermore, the influential Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy blog by Gautam Bhatia has also been cited in the judgment (“The Unbearable Wrongness of Koushal vs Naz Foundation” from 2013), in addition to an article of his in the Indian Law Review (Equal moral membership: Naz Foundation and the refashioning of equality under a transformative constitution, Indian Law Review, Vol. 1 (2017), at pages 115-144, published by Routledge Taylor & Francis).

The following authors and articles from the NUJS Law Review had been cited:

  • Shamnad Basheer, Sroyon Mukherjee & Karthy Nair, “Section 377 and the ‘Order of Nature’: Nurturing ‘Indeterminacy’ in the Law”, Vol. 2(3) (2009) (here) (Cited in Para 28, Page 33 of Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud’s judgment)
  • Saptarshi Mandal, "’Right To Privacy’ In Naz Foundation: A Counter-Heteronormative Critique”, Vol. 2(3) (2009) (here) (Cited in Para 62, Page 76 of Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud’s judgment)
  • Tarunabh Khaitan, “Reading Swaraj into Article 15: A New Deal For All Minorities”, Vol. 2(3) (2009) (here) (Cited in Para 15.2, Page 23 of Justice Indu Malhotra’s judgment)
  • Dipika Jain & Kimberly Rhoten, “The Heteronormative State and the Right to Health in India”, Vol. 6(2) (2013) (Cited in here) (Cited in Para 68, Page 86 of Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud’s judgment)

Update: A sixth article from the NUJS Law Review had also been cited: Same-Sex Love and Indian Penal Code §377: An Important Human Rights Issue for India, written by Robert Wintemute.

Update: Furthermore, three articles from the Economics and Politics Weekly (EPW) were also cited, by Animesh Sharma in 2008, Alok Gupta in 2006, and Danish Sheikh in 2017.

Compared to the average Supreme Court judgment, there was an unusually high reliance on Indian legal resources in this judgment, perhaps reflecting the amount of interest in the case and the amount and quality of scholarship that had been produced.

The court therefore did not have to look at as much resources and literature from abroad, and this could mark the possible beginning of an era where Indian legal scholarship will attain more self-sufficiency.

Editor’s note: If you spot any other citations of Indian journals in the judgment, please let us know and we’ll update.

NUJS journal history: By MP Singh and students

NUJS’ special Naz Foundation issue was spearheaded by a team of editors who had worked during vacations and internships to churn out the issue under the guidance of editor-in-chief Prof MP Singh, the then vice chancellor of NUJS.

The editorial board was student-led, and comprised of Shekhar Sumit (now an MBA candidate at Yale School of Management who worked at Herbert Smith Freehills), Arindam Madhuryya, Associate at Carey Olsen, London, Mriganka Shekhar Datta (now Regional Counsel at Dimension Data), Deepak Raju (now Associate, International Trade & Dispute Resolution at Sidley Austin LLP in Geneva), Abhishek Tripathy, now an officer of the Indian Revenue Service (Indian Income Tax Department) and Abhyuday Agarwal, co-founder and COO of iPleaders and Lawsikho, Salonika Kataria, now at Herbert Smith Freehills, and Ushasi Das, now senior manager at ITC. All of them graduated from NUJS between 2009 to 2011.

Professor MP Singh, who had been an editor of VN Shukla’s Constitution of India and former dean of Delhi University’s law faculty and the then vice-chancellor of NUJS, had come up with the idea of starting a student-driven journal during his days in University of Columbia.

Madhuryya Arindam commented: “Professor MP Singh used to tell us how the US Supreme Court judges used to frequently rely on scholarly articles published in US journals when they faced with difficult questions of law which had broader implications for society. It was his dream to start a journal of this nature in India.”

There was also initial criticism when people heard that the editorial board was student-led with limited intervention of the editor-in-chief.

“The model has now been validated. The design, modelled on a Western format, was created with the vision that research-based journals can contribute to judgments and shaping policy. The articles published in the journal focus on issues and challenges faced in India,” said Arindam.

“Instead of big names, the journal valued content, editorial freedom and gave powers to students,” added Abhishek Tripathy. “At a time when social media was new, student involvement led to the journal interacting with the public through its Facebook and Twitter pages.”

“It is a quarterly journal - the high frequency of publication requires it to constantly generate a high volume of research and scholarship, which leads to significant development of Indian talent,” explained Abhyuday Agarwal. “Student-involvement has brought in a remarkable level of consistency. After more than a decade, this remains the only quarterly that is regular with its issues and is entirely student edited. The journal is now in its eleventh year.”

Its current editor-in-chief is Justice Amit Talukdar, current acting vice-chancellor of NUJS. It is published in physical form by the Eastern Book Company, and is also indexed in popular international legal research tools such as HeinOnline and Westlaw. Articles published in the journal’s previous 42 issues are available for accessed online for free here.

==Reference: Excerpted quotes from the NUJS Law Review

dc:Justice Indu Malhotra, noting the commonality between the grounds specified in Article 15, is based on the ideas of ‘immutable status’ and ‘fundamental choice’ by referring to the following quote by John Gardner (from John Gardner, On the Ground of Her Sex(uality), 18(2) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 167 (1998)) to provide context to the aforesaid commonality:

“Discrimination on the basis of our immutable status tends to deny us [an autonomous] life. Its result is that our further choices are constrained not mainly by our own choices, but by the choices of others. Because these choices of others are based on our immutable status, our own choices can make no difference to them. .... And discrimination on the ground of fundamental choices can be wrongful by the same token. To lead an autonomous life we need an adequate range of valuable options throughout that life.... there are some particular valuable options that each of us should have irrespective of our other choices. Where a particular choice is a choice between valuable options which ought to be available to people whatever else they may choose, it is a fundamental choice. Where there is discrimination against people based on their fundamental choices it tends to skew those choices by making one or more of the valuable options from which they must choose more painful or burdensome than others.”

(Para 15.2, Page 23 of Justice Indu Malhotra’s judgment, citing Tarunabh Khaitan, Reading Swaraj into Article 15: A New Deal For All Minorities, 2 NUJS Law Review, 419 (2009))

Justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud has referred to the following articles published in NUJS Law Review:

“At the very outset, we must understand the problem with the usage of the term ‘order of nature’. What is ‘natural’ and what is ‘unnatural’? And who decides the categorization into these two ostensibly distinct and water-tight compartments? Do we allow the state to draw the boundaries between permissible and impermissible intimacies between consenting adults? Homosexuality has been documented in almost 1500 species, who “unfortunately are not blessed with rational capabilities (and the propensity to ‘nurture’ same sex thoughts) as are found in mankind.

(Para 28, Page 33 of Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud’s judgment, citing Shamnad Basheer, Sroyon Mukherjee and Karthy Nair, Section 377 and the ‘Order of Nature’: Nurturing ‘Indeterminacy’ in the Law, NUJS Law Review, Vol, 2 (2009))

Thus, it is imperative that the protection granted for consensual acts in private must also be available in situations where sexual minorities are vulnerable in public spaces on account of their sexuality and appearance.”

(Para 62, Page 76 of Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud’s judgment, Saptarshi Mandal, Right To Privacy’ In Naz Foundation: A Counter-Heteronormative Critique, NUJS Law Review, Vol. 2 (2009), at page 533)

“In the evolution of its jurisprudence on the constitutional right to life under Article 21, this Court has consistently held that the right to life is meaningless unless accompanied by the guarantee of certain concomitant rights including, but not limited to, the right to health.”

(Para 68, Page 86 of Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud’s judgment, citing Dipika Jain and Kimberly Rhoten, The Heteronormative State and the Right to Health in India, NUJS Law Review, Vol. 6 (2013))

Read full SC section 377 judgment (PDF)

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Like +3 Object -8 Guest 06 Sep 18, 19:16
Hopefully NUJS Law Review's later articles will also get cited someday. So far I only see the earlier volumes getting cited. Over the past 2 years in particular, the standard has come down. Earlier some of volumes used to have scholarship of international standard.
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Like +8 Object -1 Proud Noojie! 06 Sep 18, 19:28  interesting
Hello, the NUJS Law Review has been cited 5 times. The fifth article is: Robert Wintemute, "Same-Sex Love and Indian Penal Code §377: An Important Human Rights Issue for India", Vol.4(1) (2011). nujslawreview.org/2016/12/04/same-sex-love-and-indian-penal-code-%C2%A7-377-an-important-human-rights-issue-for-india/ (cited in Justice Chandrachud's judgment, para 110, footnote 253)
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Like +5 Object -9 NLIU Ex-student 06 Sep 18, 19:42  controversial
Where is that GLC smartass who was arguing that Academic publications by law school students are meaningless?

Anyways, what a day! Congratulations everyone!
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3.1
Like +9 Object -4 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 00:39  interesting
The New york times by the way does agree that by and large law review is useless.

Read these articles for God sakes before foaming at the mouth:-

www.nytimes.com/2007/03/19/us/19bar.html {When Rendering Decisions, Judges Are Finding Law Reviews Irrelevant}

www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/us/law-scholarships-lackluster-reviews.html {The first sentence from the article- “Would you want The New England Journal of Medicine to be edited by medical students?”}

This great judgment was a long time coming. However don't kid yourself, law review run by students and authored by students alone is useless regardless of the college.

There is a wast trove of scientific evidence that proves that homosexuality is both natural and not harmful to society. There is a wealth of judicial opinion and legislation from the anglophone world that disproves any silly idiots who are against equal rights for all. All of the literature and scholarly writings mentioned above vastly trump articles written by students alone who are novices. Would you take medical advice from a physician or a med student ?

Anyway you still haven't answered my question, are you the Pythia ?

And how low is your self esteem and sense of self worth that you told me a complete stranger on the web this - "I got recruited by a Tier 1 law firm and did decently well for myself while I was in law school." ?

Please answer these two questions if you can. Also I'm touched that you still remember me ever so vividly.
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3.1.1
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Like +3 Object -9 Guest 07 Sep 18, 09:46
So, why exactly are we supposed to rely on the 'expert opinion' expressed in a newspaper article about why journal articles are useless? I mean, I am not opining whether they are or aren't, but this reliance on one set of source to erode the credibility of another source fails to make logical sense.
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3.1.1.1
Like +8 Object -1 Guest 1 3 07 Sep 18, 10:15  interesting
You are free to do whatever you want. And so are others. I never said the phrase expert opinion in my above comment so I don't know what you're quoting.


I read those two articles. I saw that their research about law review articles being being cited was pukka. Thus I agreed with the assertion. Also the NYT articles are quite comprehensive. So a diversity of sources is not exactly needed when presented with empirical data unless that data in and by itself incorrect.

If you have any refutation to NYT's claim and the research presented please state them.

Also I think that students barring a few are inferior to advocates and other learned persons when it comes to the law.


Also our jurisprudence wouldn't suffer just because students stop writing articles. Our courts ought to use the opinions of those learned in the law, advocates and scientists to adjudicate on matters.
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3.1.2
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Like +1 Object -8 Guest 07 Sep 18, 09:59
Neither knowledge nor wisdom is anyone's personal and exclusive bailiwick. By making such blanket statements about the 'uselessness' of law reviews, you are simply reflecting your close-mindedness more than anything else. I have seen many a time 'novice' law students coming up with interpretation or explanation of law far superior to that from senior lawyers or legal scholars, whereas many of the latter have turned out to be disappointments. Let us agree that there can be quality everywhere, regardless of lack of so-called worldly-experience? That doesn't mean all law review articles are good simply because NLU students write them. Many are indeed below standard or mere reproduction of existing scholarship. However, several others have turned out to be veritable treasure troves and just as good as those written by established scholars. Do remember some of these students grow up to make a name for themselves in legal academia.
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3.1.2.2
Like +7 Object -0 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 10:45  interesting
I buttressed my statement using the research provided by NYT. You're anecdotes are just that.

By not reading the NYT articles and pondering about the points made you infact come across as dogmatic. I changed my views when the 2013 article was published.

"Neither knowledge nor wisdom is anyone's personal and exclusive bailiwick"
Never said that what I don't know isn't knowledge. You're confusing me with Benjamin Jowett. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balliol_rhyme#Examples



Also I said by and large law review is useless. The fact that "SOME of these students grow up to make a name for themselves in legal academia" doesn't negate what I said.
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3.1.2.3
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Like +0 Object -0 Who this? 10 Sep 18, 23:47
HAP?????
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3.1.3
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Like +1 Object -0 Also GLC 07 Sep 18, 10:43
Look, GLC is a very good college, and you don't need to undermine NLU students' efforts to maintain the dignity of GLC. You do realise we have a pretty good law review as well. Perhaps if you get onto one of these committees, or contribute an article, you will appreciate the work needed to undertake something like this. You can intern simultaneously too ;-)

And if you did read one of the NYT articles, you will observe that it cites a law review article to highlight the irrelevance of law review articles. A bit ironic, no?

Also, as someone trained in the sciences (I am in the three year course), getting students to edit medical and scientific journals may not be a bad idea at all. It would definitely increase the quality of students. Why should students be incompetent? Ignorance too, can be overcome by research and guidance. Actually, the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai has started a student run peer review journal called "The Bombay Technologist". It is indexed on Google scholar, and efforts are underway to have it indexed on other scholarly databases as well.

Besides, 90% of research published in scientific (especially bio-medical) journals are rubbish anyway (non-replicable), as academics use them to perpetuate the publish or perish culture. Perhaps allowing students to edit these jounals, and bringing in double blind peer review may actually bring in more sound research.

Everyone knows that there is tremendous data that supports the decriminalization of homosexuality, including international precedents and the current ICD, which highlight society's progress beyond Victorian values. That the judgement cites an article from NUJS' law review is an indication that it is being readat the highest levels of the judiciary. It is something that they should be proud of, even if its inclusion may be the work of an NUJS judicial clerk. The fact that the Hon'ble justice allowed it's inclusion in the final text shows his approval and perhaps points to the impact that an academic review can have on India's top court.

Similarly, we can be proud that GLC's law review was cited in a New Zealand judgement.
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3.1.3.4
Like +8 Object -2 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 11:08  interesting
I find law review written by students of ANY college as useless by and large.

Look with respect I respect your personal opinions and one example doesn't matter. When science students pen the bulk of scientific articles and it becomes standard practice internationally then I'll surely change my mind.

Also if 90% of scientific research articles are " are rubbish anyway" "use them to perpetuate the publish or perish culture" one wonders what's the state of legal research published by scholars ?

"And if you did read one of the NYT articles, you will observe that it cites a law review article to highlight the irrelevance of law review articles. A bit ironic, no?"

It is, so what ? Has the way lr is conducted changed ? How does the fact that an Lrr article was pointed out bolster your point ?

So I respectfully dissent.
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3.1.3.4...
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Like +0 Object -0 Also GLC 07 Sep 18, 13:49
Replicability of research is not as important in law reviews as it is in biomedical science. Law reviews explore social and legal ideas and theory, not the effect of a particular drug on a given tissue (for example).

Actually, students do pen the bulk of research articles in science journals as well. Mostly graduate students, but most work is done by them. Their guides/mentors/PI act as co-authors. Most PhD students would have created their own problem (in the US or India), and would have done most of the research.

You cite a newspaper article that cites a law review (which in your opinion should have no impact anyway), to criticize law reviews in general. You don't see the problem here? You use an article whose source you discredit to support your point. Don't you in effect discredit your own point?

The very fact that the NYT is citing the article is a testament to HLR's reach. That judges no longer find them as valuable means that it's editorial team needs to make it more relevant, not that Law reviews are useless.

Besides, doesn't the citation of an NUJS' law review article in a landmark judgement point to its relevance?

NUJS' success is not GLC's failure or vice versa.

Let us agree to disagree, but my opinion on what is relevant in the world of litigation is more likely to be coloured by the opinion of the SC, rather than yours.
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3.1.3.4...
Like +8 Object -0 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 15:16  interesting
Pleasedon't compare school pass undergrads especially in case of 5 yr course with masters and PhD students.

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't peer review mean that peers i.e. equals review articles ? Is the New England Med journal written entirely by undergraduates i.e. pre med students or first year med students ?


Of course law review doesn't need to be replicated. Yet as the articles state and what has been my experience reading lr of Indian or foreign colleges, a lot of it is fluff.

Also again, I'm against entirely student written and run lr. Not legal research by scholars learned in the law.



Again even a stopped clock is right twice a day. The fact that NYT cited an LR article doesn't negate the basic premise of both the articles because nothing has changed. Thus as it stands LR is useless. The concept just isn't working.

Again I respectfully disagree with you. However it was nice to have a civilised conversation. Something quite rare 'round these parts.
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3.1.3.4...
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Like +0 Object -0 Also GLC 07 Sep 18, 16:48
Your previous comment (3.1.3.3) referred to articles penned by students, not reviewed by them. I pointed out that most articles in bio-medical journals (not New England Journal of Medicine in particular), are at least co-authored by students.

There are several differences in research standards and academic reporting expected from different fields:

In pure medicine, junior students don't see patients, so they can't comment about any cases with outstanding or unusual presentations, unless they are shadowing a senior, which is what is reported in such journals. Thus, the New England Journal of Medicine to an extent resembles All India Reporter more than a law review. It is a weekly journal on the unusual and the new. If one wants cutting edge research in biomedicine (or other areas of scientific endeavour), Science or Nature would be the place to read them.

This makes the New England journal more useful to doctors (like AIR/Manupatra is more useful to lawyers), but Science or Nature (like the law review), are infinitely more exciting and intellectually challenging.

At the basic science/translational level, which are more theoretical, and often more cutting edge (scientifically), student authorship is tremendous, though they do not for the most part undertake peer review. The peer review model in the sciences has been criticised tremendously.

As law reviews (as stated earlier) explore ideas, and with the likes of software like Manupatra, why should law reviews regurgitate what is at any researcher's fingertips? It makes more sense to push further, which obviously makes research more specialised and more esoteric.

Also, I don't see why one cannot have higher expectations from younger students. What makes an MSc or PhD student more qualified to think critically? Indeed, should not this skill be nurtured from the school level itself?

I agree that not all 17-22 year olds may be able write a great article, but that's what makes publishing in a law review an achievement or a matter of prestige. This is not to say that those who do not publish in law reviews are poor lawyers, or that other activities at law school are inferior.

Finally, I would like to point out that nearly all Law Reviews are neither entirely student run, nor are they entirely student written. Indeed, the article cited in the SC judgement is co-authored by Prof Basheer.

As I said, let's agree to disagree.
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3.1.3.4...
Like +4 Object -0 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 19:30
Also I used entirely when I should've said mostly student written and run LR. I apologise for the misunderstanding. However I wasn't wrong entirely. Here's why -

The LR mentioned in this article "is entirely student edited". And it is "After more than a decade, this remains the only quarterly that is regular with its issues ". So it seems a rather prominent LR is in fact student run entirely at least as far as editing is concerned. Which is no small part.

So whilst all lr in India might not be entirely student edited, the most regular quarterly is. I also wonder how much defacto control the students have over LR.

And that is not the only reason why I think it is useless.

It's the fluffy nature of the thing.

Again just wanted to clarify.
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3.1.3.4...
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Like +3 Object -0 Also GLC 07 Sep 18, 16:02
*"HLR's reach" should read 'Loyola Law Review's reach". Error is regretted.
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3.1.3.4...
Like +5 Object -0 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 16:23  interesting
No worries mate. Unlike certain erstwhile editors I don't think that your mistake deserves special mention.

We are all humans after all.
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3.1.3.4...
Like +5 Object -0 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 16:04  interesting
I wasn't trying to influence you in anyway. You replied to my comment. Feel free to think whatever you wish. It is after all a relatively free country.

You keep on fixating on the fact that NYT cited an Lr article. You haven't attempted to argue against what NYT a highly repected newspaper has stated in both arguments. Again argue against the thoughts expressed in both the articles. Do not just fixate on one part.

Also NYT cited an lr article in a negative article against lr. So yeah lr is widely known but you confuse infamy with virtue. Not saying all of lr is useless. Just by and large student run lr is.

However if you disgree with me that's fine.
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3.1.3.5
Like +6 Object -0 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 11:24  interesting
By the way I started commenting on LI because some NLU wallah was the first one to bitch and moan about a glc article.

The article in question -

www.legallyindia.com/lawschools/glc-mumbai-mumbai-uni-law-students-under-internal-assessment-net-now-20180821-9493

The first comment by the way.
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3.1.3.5...
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Like +2 Object -0 Also GLC 07 Sep 18, 13:51
Just because someone is being ridiculous, doesn't mean one must hate all NLU students. Presumably, most of them have brains.
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3.1.3.5...
Like +7 Object -0 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 15:03  interesting
People overuse the word hate. I have nothing against anyone. Just online I felt that I needed to speak out. And I did.
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3.1.3.6
Like +8 Object -0 Guest 1 3 07 Sep 18, 12:42  interesting
The anti homosexual attitude isn't Victorian. In England buggery was made a civil crime in the 1533 by Henry VIII and infact during the Victorian era it ceased being a capital crime in 1861.

Still a horrible law.
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3.1.3.6...
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Like +0 Object -0 Also GLC 07 Sep 18, 14:16
True, that
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3.1.3.7
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Like +0 Object -4 Guest 07 Sep 18, 19:34
Quote:
Look, GLC is a very good college,
Lost me there...
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3.1.3.7...
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Like +3 Object -0 Also GLC 09 Sep 18, 19:50


At least troll with panache. *Disappointed*
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3.1.4
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Like +0 Object -10 Noojie Editor 07 Sep 18, 14:07
"There is a wast trove of scientific evidence" - As a former editor of NUJS Law Review, might I point out that "vast" is spelled with a "v"?
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3.1.4.8
Like +10 Object -0 Guest 13 07 Sep 18, 15:19  interesting
Mea culpa. You may point out my error made because I'm a human on mobile.

However that mistake doesn't negate my point.

If that's all you have to add then... Thank you I guess.
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3.2
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Like +3 Object -3 Guest 07 Sep 18, 19:32
Make that 7 GLC smartasses who downvoted your comment because you just burst their bubble.
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Like +1 Object -3 Proud Noojie! 06 Sep 18, 19:45
.
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Like +7 Object -0 Guest 06 Sep 18, 21:29  interesting
Congratulations! Shubhankar Dam (NUJS grad, now teaching abroad was also cited).
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Like +7 Object -1 Nostalgia 06 Sep 18, 21:46  interesting
Those were good days at NUJS, with inspiring leadership, good faculty, and hard working students who genuinely cared about the institution.
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Like +6 Object -2 Guest 06 Sep 18, 21:55
The NUJS Law Review has churned out amazing issues over the past few years. The special issue on Koushal v Naz was the first issue I read in its entirety and I was amazed by the standard of scholarship. I am sure this judgment will give Indian legal academicians an impetus to write more.
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Like +9 Object -0 Noojie 06 Sep 18, 23:08  interesting
Search Committee of NUJS, Could you please bring back Prof. MP Singh to NUJS as Vice Chancellor.
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Like +0 Object -0 Search Committee. 07 Sep 18, 19:35
No, we'll bring some even better as VC. Rather particularly better, to be precise.
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Like +6 Object -5 NUJS will remain top n 06 Sep 18, 23:37  controversial
Thanks to the amazing students, and the fact that NUJS is:
1. Liberal,
2. Gives opportunities to students to initiate, learn, and grow (via the numerous societies and committes all of which are student run),
3. 'The' favorite among recruiters

...NUJS will continue setting benchmarks in legal education in India.

The recent (multiple) cases of corrupt administration is only a blip in the history of this legendary institution.

Am sure it will come through.

Also, congrats to all those who have been a part of the NUJS Law Review, easily the best law journal to emerge from India.
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Like +4 Object -2 Guest 07 Sep 18, 00:19
Kudos to those whose works were cited in this judgment. But, LI, what a rubbish article. You have no sense of history - of the SC engaging with PK Tripathi's work in Kesavananda Bharati, of the deep engagement with academic scholarship in Bachchan Singh, to name just a couple. Even recently, Chandrachud (or his law clerk) has had a habit of citing the works of Indian scholars. Look at the citation list in the privacy judgment or the euthanasia judgment. "Academia coming of age" - what a load of a-historical rubbish.
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Like +3 Object -0 kianganz 07 Sep 18, 08:58 LI subscriber
Not sure if this was maybe clear enough, but the idea of 'coming of age' in the headline is intended to apply in respect of Indian law journals (and therefore, domestic academia).

I'd assume Kesavananda wouldn't have cited any homegrown law journals.

In respect of privacy or euthanasia that might have included a few domestic journals, but I don't think it's as many as this one - will see if can dig out the full list from some of Chandrachud's judgments...
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Like +2 Object -0 Jiggle 07 Sep 18, 01:04
Saptarishi, Dipika Jain, and Kimberly are all associated with JGLS
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Like +2 Object -2 Guest 07 Sep 18, 09:48
Are you, too? Would probably explain how you couldn't bother to spell his name correctly.
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Like +15 Object -3 Beauty 07 Sep 18, 07:40  interesting  top rated
The beauty of NUJS Law Review is not that they published such well researched liberal articles, but that they are not afraid to publish conservative opinion as well. If we read the first article of the highly cited special issue (by Prof. MP Singh), the article is quite conservative and says that the obligation is on the legislature to remove Section 377 and not on the courts. It talks about separation of powers etc.

NUJS LR faced a lot of flak on global forums for publishing this (Yale and Harvard journals battered them). But they did it again in 2013, published an issue where there was an article with a conservative opinion.

Kudos to the Editors to keeping aside their personal opinions aside and publishing academic literature that takes into account the entire spectrum of opinions, whether conservative or liberal.
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest9 07 Sep 18, 08:47
Kahan gaye woh beete din. Now mins study only compile complaints against their own teachers.
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Like +0 Object -0 NLSIR oldie 07 Sep 18, 11:16
Congratulations to the NUJS Law Review from an old hand at NLSIR! Great to see journals from across law schools being cited. By my count, at least 3 student journals have been cited by the SC now (NLSIR, NUJS and Jindal)
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Like +0 Object -0 Noojie at heart 07 Sep 18, 15:53
The Journal of Indian Law and Society also from NUJS has been cited. Please update the article.
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Like +0 Object -0 Jils 07 Sep 18, 16:46
Oh yes. Nussbaum's article has been cited. But they got the citation wrong.

Also, JILS where are the new issues? Stuck in 2015!
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 07 Sep 18, 20:04
Stopped. The faculty in charge has even resigned in protest of atrocious student behaviour.
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Like +3 Object -0 Guest 14 07 Sep 18, 18:47
I thought med journals like NEJM are written by qualified chaps and not undergrads. Looks like I was right.

Also regardless of what science does in law atleast common law, law reports are the most essential elements. They report case law and they were used for precedent. I can't think of a more important publication in the law.

Case law along with opinions of legal scholars, advocates and in certain cases scientists trumps lr by and large.

Also you say that student publishing in thr sciences is tremendous. Is it as much or more undergrad authored than Lr ? Also do second and first year undergrads feature heavily in science journals. I'm curious because in your previous comment in seemed that the Chemical institute's undergrad journal was a novel thing.


Not that it matters because like you said expectations from different fields are different. Although LR does suffer from quite low expectations.

The peer review maybe criticised yet the public is still quite happy with qualified people being the reviewers. And is peer review going to go the lr route ?

Why are Msc and phd students better than undergrads ? Well that's a rather obvious question. Ask your profs why most research is conducted by these groups. I say this because you said -

" Actually, students do pen the bulk of research articles in science journals as well. Mostly graduate students, but most work is done by them. Their guides/mentors/PI act as co-authors. Most PhD students would have created their own problem (in the US or India), and would have done most of the research". So you admit that undergrads are not the ones who mostly publish in the science journals.

Also do you really believe that by and large undergrads are as /more skilled than their seniors ? Especially the 5yr course 12th pass chaps who haven't developed or fully developed the skill of critical thinking due to lack of a bachelor's degree. In the US where law school is only after one's BA lr is criticised.



Yes critical thinking ought to be developed in school. Reality is that in most nations and for most students that does not happen. Definitely not in India. Hell our colleges have failed us. Look at the degree hoarding goons from our ruling party.

The vast majority of lr is written by students who churn out fluffy/esoteric content. That is something that the NYT agrees with.


Just because all articles are not written by students doesn't convince me that by and large lr is not useless.



Lr is great for resume bulking. That's it. Other than that, useless by and large.

Our world would not be bereft if lr disappeared. That is what I think. However as you stated, let us agree to disagree.
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Like +0 Object -0 Also GLC 09 Sep 18, 19:49
Law reports and judgements are what define current boundaries, articles in law reviews often explore beyond, and are what may (perhaps at a later date) influence policy, and broaden the horizons of law. Take for example privacy law today: there are limited precedents, and limited law reports. None take into consideration the ever-expanding technologies that can affect people. Similarly, there is little practical regulation in AI or biomedicine, while there is plenty of impractical regulation in out-dated technologies related to this field, and the potential for a lot of poor regulations in this field as well. Here is a popular article that may be of interest to those who are interested in this area: www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ai-regulation-is-coming-heres-how-to-do-it-right_us_5a27461ce4b0650db4d40ba5

A more scholarly take is available here: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5161003/

To address your other points: journals in different areas of knowledge have different approaches. Medical journals like NEJM are predominantly authored and read by senior students, residents and doctors. That is not to say that other medical journals run student by students do not exist. Here is a review of many student run medical journals across the world (the article begins by acknowledging the work done by students since the 1600s):
www.educationforhealth.net/article.asp?issn=1357-6283;year=2016;volume=29;issue=2;spage=136;epage=141;aulast=Alamri

Why do you assume that students cannot be "qualified chaps"

Similarly, while the Harvard Law Review is predominantly student-run, The Cambridge Law Journal has an editorial team that consists of academics. The fact that HLR is read worldover, is a testament to its impact and the quality of work done by those who run it. Compare the impact factor of student run HLR (4.979), with faculty run Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (0.641 in 2014).

In the sciences too, while most work will be co-authored by graduate students, anyone, including school children may apply, and may be published if they pass peer review standards. There has been a call for removing bias towards established academics by encouraging double blind peer review and open review systems.

I will also answer my own (rhetorical) question on why MSc and PhD students do the bulk of research in science – it’s mostly because of oversupply. While many argue that it is the degree of specialisation needed in this field to undertake meaningful research, if one looks at the research output by non-academics, especially in areas like engineering which are as specialised, many non-grad students or engineers with Bachelor’s degrees do publish and pioneer breakthroughs.

To teach research methods and critical thinking only at the post-graduate levels is a waste of both time and talent, which creates a bunch of people with specialised degrees who could have achieved more at 25, than they have at 40, as evidenced by the glut of post-docs that slave at minimum wage, (see: www.economist.com/christmas-specials/2010/12/16/the-disposable-academic), while those who had the opportunity to pursue research at an earlier age often either lead academia or succeed in other ventures. Take for example Bill Gates, who got the opportunity to solve the pancake sorting problem as a Harvard undergraduate. His solution was published, and it held the record for the best solution to the problem for well over 20 years. While Gates is potentially exceptional, access to a research culture does boost a student’s chances to doing good work in the future.

The research culture at ICT has made it one of the most respected chemical technology/engineering schools world wide, and has produced some of the foremost academics and businesses in the world: RIL (Mukesh Ambani), Reddy’s Laboratories, Gharda Industries, Asian Paints, Pidilite, Ambuja Cements and Lupin Labs.

As far as the Bombay Technologist is concerned, most articles are contributed by undergraduates, though articles are contributed by graduate students as well as academics (some from abroad). For example this article was submitted by a professor from Japan: www.bombaytechnologist.org/index.php/bombaytechnologist/article/view/110948/77932

While this article is authored by second year students: www.bombaytechnologist.org/index.php/bombaytechnologist/article/view/110958/77944

And this (more recent one) was based on experiments conducted by a student whilst interning: www.bombaytechnologist.org/index.php/bombaytechnologist/article/view/109126/76734

The importance of student run journals is being appreciated the world over, including in medicine. Here are a few articles that support this:

The launch of the University of Michigan’s student run medical journal, the Michigan Journal of Medicine: wire.ama-assn.org/education/michigan-students-launch-peer-reviewed-medical-journal

Also of note is the Cambridge Medicine Journal, a student run medical journal since the 1970s, which can be accessed here: cambridgemedicine.org/

Harvard too has initiated a student run medical journal, the Harvard Medical Student Review: hmsreview.org/

Publishing as an undergraduate helps students develop their skills young. Law reviews matter for students because it helps develop critical thinking skills, inquisitiveness and writing ability, besides demonstrating that the reviewer/writer is enthusiastic and perhaps even imaginative. They can also potentially present impactful ideas. Why else would it be a CV booster?
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 13 09 Sep 18, 22:56
"Law reports and judgements are what define current boundaries, articles in law reviews often explore beyond"


Judgements answer and settle complex and new questions of law. Or overturn bad case law or correct something in common law [For eg see the decision of the UKSC regarding the doctrine of fraudulent devices in Versloot and for a criminal matter consult R v Jogee on the common law doctrine of joint enterprise]. Then they're used for precedent via the means of the law report. So I don't think the world would suffer at all if important issues of law were tackled by lawyers and legal scholars only instead of them along with undergrads or as NYT says US law students who NYT criticises.

Fact is in court practice LR according to the NYT articles is rarely cited. So by and large they're criticised.

Legal education in the states barring a few states is a Masters degree. Thus by and large unlike our undergrads American students are more mature and have been in college which hones their critical thinking and research skills.

"Similarly, while the Harvard Law Review is predominantly student-run, The Cambridge Law Journal has an editorial team that consists of academics. The fact that HLR is read worldover, is a testament to its impact and the quality of work done by those who run it. Compare the impact factor of student run HLR (4.979), with faculty run Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (0.641 in 2014)".

Lr being prized was an American phenomenon in origin. Also American LR in fact it was criticised in the late 1930s.

Why was it crticed by NYT in the 21st century ? Due to decline in citations even though US SC judgements have become more voluminous.


Also English Law and London are the heavyweights in commercial law. 12 independent nations voluntarily retain the Privy Council as a court of final appeal. So England doesn't really have a sub standard reputation as far as legal matters are concerned. It has a stellar reputation for it;s law and the lawyers. So I dont think it matters if Oxbridge LRs are cited fewer times than American LRs.

American LR's influence has declined a whole lot and is propped up disproportionately by liberal judges. All this according to NYT.

LR suffers from as per this quote - "Law reviews are not really meant to be read. They mostly exist as a way for law schools to evaluate law professors for promotion and tenure, based partly on what they have to say and partly on their success in placing articles in prestigious law reviews". And this American LR run by Msc level students.

Most of the student run journals in the Medicine are relatively new when compared to LR. Again just because medicine is appreciating undergraduate publishing doesn't mean student run especially undergrad LR by and large isn't useless. The NEJM model is great. Law just like medicine is a learned profession that one practices to perfect and advance after extensive learning.

LR can't be reformed because reform would molest the esoteric nature of LR which people Lr people love.

I still believe that our world won't be bereft if undergrad run LR suddenly vanished one day. As it is in India there is only one entirely student edited quarterly that is regular.

"Publishing as an undergraduate helps students develop their skills young. Law reviews matter for students because it helps develop critical thinking skills, inquisitiveness and writing ability, besides demonstrating that the reviewer/writer is enthusiastic and perhaps even imaginative. They can also potentially present impactful ideas. Why else would it be a CV booster ?"

When I say undergrad LR is useless I mean by and large useless when it comes to practical matters.

LR is great for resume bulking and that is because of the fact that since Corporate law has relatively recently boomed in India, majority of law students want Corp law jobs. Corp law is heavily American influenced. The transaction and corporate law firm staffed by qualified associates is itself a uniquely American institution. Eg the Cravath system which basically invented the Corp law firm model which emphasises LR.

If you lack writing skills and research skills LR is one way to hone them. The content by and large is dross.
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 13 09 Sep 18, 23:10
"Why do you assume that students cannot be "qualified chaps"


You cant practice law or medicine without by and large a degree as minimum {LLB}. Also sometimes a period learning and work experience such as taking articles or TC in the UK for sols and pupilage for the bar.

I know doctors in India have their course along with compulsory internship before becoming "real" doctors. And so does the US and the UK


Thus students who are still learning are unqualified to practice and they are unqualified chaps.
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 13 09 Sep 18, 23:35
I'm glad by the way that we're having this rather civilised exchange.

I'm glad you haven't turned outright hostile and are polite yet eloquent when expressing your views.
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 13 10 Sep 18, 20:35
"I will also answer my own (rhetorical) question on why MSc and PhD students do the bulk of research in science – it’s mostly because of oversupply. While many argue that it is the degree of specialisation needed in this field to undertake meaningful research, if one looks at the research output by non-academics, especially in areas like engineering which are as specialised, many non-grad students or engineers with Bachelor’s degrees do publish and pioneer breakthroughs".

Engineers with Btechs or BEng degrees aren't similar to our wet behind the ears undergrads in the 5 year course. Also I'm inclined to believe "the many" who believe a solid base of learning is necessary for meaningful research. By and large undergrads like Bill gates are not the norm. So despite open access most of the research in sciences and discoveries in the 21st century will/is being done by people who atleast have a bachelors. I however could be wrong.


Even you agree that most research in the sciences is not done by undergrads. However like you said "different areas of knowledge have different approaches" let's turn to medicine which is the field of science closest to law.

The student run medicine journals are relatively new compared to LR which is at least a century old and LR is criticised for being fluff and esoteric so as a model for law LR isn't useful/ working in it's current form. Others may disagree.

Medical students in the US are not undergrads. They finish a BA course which makes them by and large more mature and with greater critical thinking skills. Thus student run medical journals can't be compared to Indian LR.



However you will of course disagree so let us agree to disagree.
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Like +2 Object -2 Surprise 07 Sep 18, 19:31
Sorry, but the best article ever written in an NUJS journal was this one. Disappointed that the SC is yet to cite it.

docs.google.com/file/d/0B4XaA30casoDaWlRWXl3ak90QWs/edit
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Like +0 Object -2 Intervenor 09 Sep 18, 09:31
GLC morons dissing NLUs and law journals, please read this: www.nytimes.com/2018/09/07/technology/monopoly-antitrust-lina-khan-amazon.html?


You people have to attend class first to appreciate the value of legal scholarship.
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Like +3 Object -0 Guest 13 09 Sep 18, 11:20
I too have linked NYT articles in support of my view. 2 of them in fact. Read them.

No one was "dissing" anything.

The operative words are "by and large" student written lr is useless. I say that buttressing my opinion on the two NYT articles.



Of course there are precocious individuals but by and large Indian undergrads are not that talented, mature or knowledgeable when they begin writing. The article in question itself was written by Ms Khan a 28 year old pursuing a Master's level degree.


Indeed almost all American student lr is written by Masters students. Yet the NYT and other practitioners "diss" American LR.

I do believe legal scholarship conducted by scholars and professionals is necessary. If you read the article there is a vigorous debate and scholars and lawyers make up by and large the the greatest participants. Not undergrads. Not even law students.

In fact the relative youth of Ms Khan is astonishing and worth reporting about according to NYT. Thus by and large Ms Khan is the exception not the rule.
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Like +3 Object -0 Also GLC 09 Sep 18, 20:06
While I am offended by your use of the phrase "GLC morons" by a probable NLU narcissist, I thank you for sharing the article. I have just skimmed over Ms Khan's article in the Yale Law Journal. Amazing stuff, and something I intend to read in more detail.

FYI: I do appreciate the value of legal (and other) scholarship, indeed am a published author of a student run scholarly publication, and attend college minimally.
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Like +2 Object -0 Lawyer delhi 11 Sep 18, 00:57
So the best academic journals from Indian law schools are:

NUJS Law Review
Jindal Global Law Review
NLSIR Law Review
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