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Legal Rhodes scholars 2012: Nalsar ICC fan Arushi Garg & NLSIU’s Anupama Kumar


NLSIU-Nalsar alumni network grows in Oxon
NLSIU-Nalsar alumni network grows in Oxon
Exclusive: Two lawyers – Arushi Garg from Nalsar Hyderabad and Anupama Kumar from NLSIU Bangalore - have won the prestigious Rhodes scholarship alongside three non-lawyers.

Garg, who was notified of the award yesterday, told Legally India that the feeling of having won the Rhodes was “still sinking in”.

“It takes a while to get used to being a Rhodes scholar,” she mused. “Right now the tentative plan is to come back and teach international criminal law at some point [in India].”

She added that she would hope to complete D.Phil. at Oxford after her BCL and M.Phil., which would take three years, followed by some time practising international criminal law in the field.

Having studied the subject while on exchange at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois, Garg said she was “thrilled” about the area of law and having the opportunity to study it further at Oxford.

“Both the US and India have very strong objections to the International Criminal Court but their objections are motivated by different paradigms. “I feel is that the Security Council has been given a disproportionate amount of power - I am not in complete agreement with that objection, although the balance is slightly skewed in favour of the Security Council.

“But it’s very easy to sit and crib that the system is politicised; the better thing is to see what you can do as a lawyer to minimise that. I feel that the focus should be in coming up with constructive solutions.”

Investigative procedures by the state in India often do not deliver results, she said, citing the post-Godhra riot investigations. “People feel that justice has been delayed to the point that it’s been denied.”

In such cases, where a domestic justice system has proved itself unable to successfully prosecute the wrongdoers, she explained, the ICC would step in and assist without being subject to the same political pressures.

Garg noted that she was a strong proponent of India signing up to the ICC’s jurisdiction.

Garg confirmed that Kumar was the only other lawyer who was awarded the scholarship yesterday, but was not reachable for comment at the time of going to press.

Garg said that three other students were also selected for Rhodes scholarships in India: one arts student, one energy systems scholar, and one economist.

The Rhodes scholarship entitles recipients to study a subject of their choice at Oxford University for at least one year.

Last year NLSIU Bangalore student Vrinda Bhandari was the only Indian law student to have won the Rhodes. In the three years before that two lawyers were selected for the scholarship in each round, with 2009 and 2010 again seeing one student each from NLSIU and Nalsar get the nod.


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