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Jerome Merchant + Partners

Jerome Merchant + Partners, formerly known as P&C Legal, was started by Vishnu Jerome.
03 September 2010

Mr.Henpecked Humblepie was in the middle of a tiresome day at work, when  he started musing over his Lady Love…"it’s been a while since she called me…why is that? …surely , I can’t have wronged her?…I would’ve known - …the ritual hurling of  kettles and rolling pins wasn’t there this morning"…then , it struck…it had been a year to the day he tied the knot - the realization brought with it a tidal wave of fear-one that threatened to render him motionless for the rest of the day.An hour later , having recovered from the very potent  bout of trepidation, he wrote a letter.His Lawyerly Love , he hoped, would abate the storm that was to follow once he reached home…and writing a letter was just the right  thing to do…for, it spares one the possibility of a  verbal assault, that could , ever-so-often , turn violent.Once at home (read battleground) , he sensed the palpable wrath - so much so , that he could’ve knifed through it.With not so much as a squeal , he handed out the letter -quivering with rage , she read  it :   


                                                                          A P O L O G I A

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”- Mark Twain.

"Before I  proceed to elaborate on the “whys” and the “wherefores” of  my  criminal lapse, dated the 10th of June 2009, I implore you to condone the same. The realization struck me while I was at work ; the aftermath of this realization, coupled with the gravity of my crime, took its toll; - it included , inter alia , an inability to muster the courage required to call you. My guilt-ridden conscience was reeling even as I tried to cope with what was arguably a most appalling memory lapse - my penchant for memory lapses notwithstanding. My understanding of your course of action, in the light of my apology , allows me to afford a presumption ; - that of absolution ; - which leaves us with the million dollar, nay, the gazillion dollar question - why did it happen?. The reasons for the crime include, but isn’t limited to :

1.An all-consuming  work ethic.

2.A not-so-pleasant job profile.

3.Lack of an optimal sleep ethic.

4.Fallibility ; - temerarious as it sounds, my birth right as a human being.

I hope this answers most, if not all, of your queries insofar as my oversight is concerned. Once again, I beseech you to forgive me.”





She then stared at him - for what seemed like eternity - and her face gradually broke into a smile.The letter had its desired effect.Priding himself on the wordsmith that he was, our hero gently clasped her hand - and took her out for dinner.










02 September 2010

The QLTS (UK) Regulations (2010) were unveiled yesterday. It sets out a list of Jurisdictions from which lawyers are permitted to take the transfer test.


Surprisingly, India has been omitted from that list.  It appears that this, in  effect restricts Indian lawyers from qualifying in UK via the transfer test route.

Would like to hear on this issue opinions from other members .

01 September 2010

1st September, 2010

A total of 83 unique public votes are in. Most of them are Legal Poet's friends. Napster didn't join the PARTY so the votes are less. 

But for the bloggers the PARTY is about to begin because Legally Bindia doles the moolah to the blogger with the funniest post, the most helpful post and the best written post under his/her BELT.

Well, it seems that as we speak only Nandii Reywal is wearing a BELT, sitting somewhere in his ergonomically designed chair. Folly Nariman is 'not male' and belts are a bit too uncool for her. Legal Poet is out, playing a day-night cricket match in pyjamas. No belts for him either. SSS (with trishul as his symbol) is a worshipper of lord Shiva and prefers a leopard skin around his waist, specially during this time of day.

Congratulations to the clear run-away winner in each of the categories.

Judges ignored reader comments and the popular vote. A special technology was used where just as a judge was about to sneek into the comments or the votes section his computer would shut down. It was hard work (and annoying too). But an LPO owner and a law firm partner should be used to it by now.

Here are the results:

The Funniest Post Weekly Round-up: BARELYLEGALINDIA. COM/ ISSUE 1 Nandii Reywal.

Most Helpful Post
Puppy Training: The ABCs Of a National Law University: Part I- Adjusting Legal Poet.

Best Written Post
Positive Interaction and my Observations Folly Nariman.

29 August 2010



30th August 2010.


It has been exactly 45 days, when I entered the Law arena.. To be precise when I came into the breezes of Law school.

Though it is not my dream school, but now I realize it is no less than any other.

For sure this one and a half month has not given me the true ‘taste’ of a “burdened, pressurized Law grad” but I’d be lying if  don’t confess that our faculties have not tried their best to do so.

Breaking these 45 days into Experiences, I’d say there were:

a)    Good experiences, and

b)    Not so good experiences.


A) Good Experiences:

·       First of all the joy of finally landing to the platform where you always wished to be.


·       Second: The Crowd

Doesn’t it feel good of being surrounded with people, where majority of them are “your type” thinkers? i.e. those who almost think in the same lines as yours.


·       Third: The joyousness of feeling “Grownups”

I have never slogged up till three in the morning for the sake of   completing some assignment. Incredible of me..

I guess “True Maturity” is breaking through.


·       Fourth: Again “The Crowd”- But this time it’s the awesome, blossom feminine crowd.

If not all, but most of them are like WOW..

Very few of them would not catch your attention, and the ones who do “God Save You” are the words.

(Ps: No Exaggeration.)


B) Not So good Experiences

·       Though the college by any means is not less than my Dream College, but it ultimately is Not My Dream One.

It is not the one which, on every other moment of my CLAT preparing days, lingered over my head and I being lost in its fantasies..

Somewhere deep down it Hurts..

And, it Hurts Hard.


·       You are Alone.

In this huge campus of 110 acre, and among 240 unknown faces your condition is as similar to that of Alice In the wonderland.

Formal HI’s, Hellos and smiles to every next person drives you nuts..


·       Beginning of the “Big Boys Games”

It is Heart throbbing to hear that- Cigarettes, Drinks, Pills, Weeds and other similar toxics will be accompanying you along the journey.

(I have personal friends experiencing this, though would not apply to everybody.)


Overall the experience in these 45 days brings me to a conclusion that-

We have two choices:

a)    The campus will give us with 100 opportunities to “Make Our self” and

b)    110 to “Break Our Selves”.


Hence Grand Mama’s Golden words still shine: “The Choice Is Yours”















26 August 2010
Khaitan & Co and US firm Vinson & Elkins advised Reliance Industries (RIL) in its $1.7bn acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in Pennsylvania-based Atlas Energy in a joint venture for the development of 300,000-acres of natural gas deposits.   
20 August 2010

New Delhi

In a recent study conducted by KuttaLaw Group, the researches have found that 98% of dogs owned by law firm partners are overweight and underworked. 

“For example Mr. Ahuja who is a partner at Ahuja & Sons law firm owns Mutt, an English Mastiff, a breed which normally weighs at 80-120 kilograms. But Mutt weighs at an astonishing 150 kilograms”, said Billi Gupta, lead researcher at the KuttaLaw Group.

“I believe since 98% of law firm partners are themselves overweight and underworked and they treat their dogs in a similar manner leading to the dogs being overweight”, Billi added.

Mr. X, the law firm partner himself weighs 135 kilograms, as per our last measurement.

Prem Chand Premi a dog lover said, “I think dogs have feelings of empathy and are trying to remain in the overweight and unhealthy state that their owners possess. They are loyal animals”.

We contacted Kutta Kennel’s trainer Mr. Sher Khan, “I have had many law firm partners as client for pedigree, exotic breeds. Interacting with them I have found that they hardly work themselves and dump all their work to the associates”.
“I feel a similar treatment is being meted to the dogs who get less exercise and are thus bulky”, he adds.

Our animal conversation specialist spoke to Gruffy, a 75 kg Alsation owned by Mr. Y, a partner at Y and family law firm, “Wuf. Wuf. It is LegallyIndia’s recent associate survey to be blamed. We saw the pics and that how fat the law firm partners were; how greatly they earned and how successful they looked”.

“The dog community too wanted to show off and thus decided to look and eat like them and grow fat”, added Gruffy wagging its tail.

Gruffy refused to be weighed and growled threatingly at our reporters when goaded to do so. Gruffy is a huge animal and our reporter a slight man, so he decided not to take measurement.
Mr. Y, Gruffy’s owner refused to step on the weighing machine which according to his maid broke the last time he stood upon it.

PETO- animals ko mat peeto, an animal rights activist organisation informed us that they are actively pursuing this matter.

“The partners can destroy their lives by being overweight; we are more concerned about the dogs. Dogs can’t be allowed to go to the dogs”, said a PETO volunteer.

Bike Rider, a serial legal entrepreneur informed us that he is soon planning to launch a range of services including dog food, books and exercising mats for dogs in the legal community. This is his 137th entrepreneurial venture.

20 August 2010

All India Bar Examination

     It is brought to your notice that the Bar Council of India is conducting an All India Bar Examination (AIBE) on December 5th, 2010 and the said exam shall be mandatory for all the law students graduating from academic year 2009-2010 and onwards and enrolled as advocates under Section 24 of the Advocates Act, 1961. It is further clarified that the AIBE is mandatory in order to practice law in India.

     The registration period for the AIBE is from July 15, 2010 to September 30, 2010. It may be noted that the forms are available in the respective State Bar Councils. Filled in application forms should be sent by candidates directly to the Bar Council of India, New Delhi along with a demand draft of Rs 1,300/- for the fees as well as proof of enrolment with the State Bar Council. The said application forms should not be folded or stapled and the forms should be carefully filled in accordance with the instructions in the form. On receipt of the application form the Bar Council of India shall provide preparatory materials (in the language chosen by the candidate) to candidates appearing for the AIBE.

     The exam will be of 3.30 Hours duration and will consist of 100 objective questions on various different legal subjects both substantive and procedural laws, that are taught to law students by law schools in accordance with Bar Council of India Rules. The AIBE shall be an ‘open book’ exam and the candidates are allowed to carry the preparatory materials, books or any materials they wish except for electronic devices like pagers, cell phones etc.

     The AIBE will be conducted in nine languages, and the preparatory materials sent to each candidate will be in the same language as the one they choose to write the AIBE. The AIBE shall be conducted at 27 cities across India- in a major city in most states in India. Upon successful clearing the AIBE, an advocate will be permitted to practice law in India and will receive a “Certificate of Practice” from the Bar Council of India.

     All details on AIBE are available on the following link http://www.barcouncilofindia.org/about/first-all-india-bar-examination/. For any further queries/clarification on the AIBE, candidates may call dedicated helpline number 011-49225022 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              011-49225022      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (English) or 011-49225023 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              011-49225023      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Hindi) or email . All details, including a large number of Frequently Asked Questions, have also been uploaded on the Bar Council of India website- www.barcouncilofindia.org. The above details may be uploaded on your website with a hyperlink to http://www.barcouncilofindia.org/about/first-all-india-bar-examination/.


20 August 2010

Next time visit a prostitute, but only to fight their cause


Prostitution, does the word ring a bell for you? If it does, then wouldn’t you just stand up and say loudly, it’s a burning issue and we need to do something about it. And I would laugh at you and say, here we go again. 


The media loves the sensationalism in it. The scandals, the rackets and the child traffickers make a good story. The politicians often involve themselves for such good cause or rather inter course. The activists have a running agenda and running cash-cow with such issues and its ‘ill’ effects on children, society and blah blah. What’s important, the terrorists also never target them at all. And, for people like you and I, we just do a sneak preview of the stories that runs in the newspapers with gushing erotic details and skip the issues (read: burning issues) surrounding it.      


So to bore you now, let’s understand the issues. Ah! I so much love the word ‘issues’, who doesn’t now-a-days.    


To begin with, when a call girl comes at your place, gives you a great massage and does stuffs (spare the details, it’s not an Adult blog) and in exchange, you pay her some money. That’s prostitution and it is legal. But consider this - You go to a brothel house and visit a beautiful prostitute, have a massage, do stuffs with her and pay her some money, that’s again prostitution but it is illegal.


So what is the real difference between the two? It is not because the prostitute did not give you a good massage than a call girl, so hell she is charged with criminal conduct. The difference in both is, in providing service, one coming at your place and other servicing you from her place.  


If one runs a brothel house and does sex trade along with several others then that by Indian laws is considered immoral. But if the same girl goes to a private place and establishes, that there is no sex trade taking place, just love blossoming between the two, then she is off the police records.


The laws are pretty ancient and dated. It never thought then, that prostitution would take place in hotel rooms, pent houses or private cabins. The laws just considered that prostitution is confined within a brothel house or a brothel street (eg. Khetwadi in Bombay or Sona Gachi in Calcutta) where flesh trade would take place.


So it’s actually the difference between a private place and a public place where law differentiates and possibly believes that prostitution should well be served underground or at yours and mine private farm-houses than displayed outside with a huge board ‘Sex, at your service, Sir’.


Moreover, the goof-up with the law is such, that your pretty call girl will never be put behind bars because as soon as she is confronted by the police, she will smartly say that the client and she were lovers etc. However, the prostitute would see herself behind bars because she would be running a brothel house which is not allowed under Indian laws.


So I think I have fought enough for the cause of our dearest prostitutes and their continuous discrimination at the hands of the call girls. But I have squarely spared both of their common ‘Clients’ who are off the hook always, if you note.


Well, because the burning issue here was Prostitution and not immoral society, dissatisfied husbands, sex starved boy friends or male empowerment even.


That calls for another write up, on male empowerment.   


19 August 2010

The title of this blog has been taken from a blog by GABE ACEVEDO published on an American legal tabloid, Above the Law. In the blog, the columnist talks about how Indian LPOs have been marketing the growth and benefits of outsourcing in American media and “trampling all over the US legal system”. Acevedo argues that the current tide in favor of Legal Process Outsourcing can be turned in two ways – by using social media and by offering a legitimate alternative.

Unfortunately, Acevedo doesn’t really see the real picture of Indian Legal Process Outsourcing companies that have been thriving and making news in the United States. Most of the leading LPOs, who are attracting serious business from the US are owned/ managed by Americans in India.

Pangea3 is one of the most talked about LPOs in India and abroad. The Chairman and Director of Pangea3 is Larry Graev who has served as Of Counsel to King & Spalding, LLP, a global law firm with approximately 800 lawyers across offices in Atlanta, London, New York, Washington, D.C. and Houston, representing a significant portion of Fortune 500 companies and was also a partner of O’Sullivan Graev & Karabell, LLP, a national law firm specializing in venture capital, private equity, strategic M&A and corporate finance. He led the firm’s growth from five attorneys to approximately 130 attorneys, becoming one of the leading law firms in these practice areas. He also served as Managing Partner and Chairman of the firm from 1977 to 1999. Out of the 6 people on the Board of Directors, only 2 are Indians.

Similarly, SDD Global is an LPO that’s run by Russell Smith who is also the founder of SmithDehn LLP, a law firm based in New York. In this firm also, the management is controlled by American lawyers. Mindcrest, India’s best LPO as per the Black Book of Outsourcing 2009 rankings, also has only 2 Indians in their 5-member board of directors.

The point I am trying to make is most of the LPOs who are doing considerable business in India are being managed by US attorneys and businessmen and the profits are staying in the U.S. economy. And the balance of convenience is in favor of outsourcing can be understood in terms of the simplest principle of economics – demand and supply. In this era of globalization and technology, the supply of lawyers has increased manifold and firms now have access to the global talent pool. Outsourcing comes as a natural choice in these circumstances. Clifford Chance has set up its knowledge center in India and the center is doing so well that attorneys have been promoted to the London Office.

Contract Attorneys

In his article, Acevedo talks about Wilmer Hale opening a facility in Ohio for contract lawyer services. This is again based on the simple demand-supply principle where Hale is trying to offer cheaper services. Outsourcing is not a question of principles or ethics but is a pure business decision. It has allowed many firms to retain clients at lower costs during the recession and more jobs would have been lost without outsourcing due to clients not being able/ willing to pay $250 an hour and above in legal fees. Contract attorneys will be able to replace outsourcing only if they’re willing to compete with the present rates at which LPOs are working. And it’s not that the alleged fears of outsourcing are not attached with contract attorneys. In an earlier article written by Acevedo, he spoke about firms already finding themselves in situations of crisis due to outsourcing work. However, when you click on the link to the story Acevedo is talking about, you see that the mistake in the trial of McAfee’s former General Counsel was made by contract lawyers at Howrey who had marked two critical emails as “not relevant”.

I am not arguing that lawyers from one country are better than others. This mistake could have been made by any regular associate and pin-pointing that outsourcing could lead to a higher chance of such errors would be wrong. As long as law firms are not just sending their work to any random LPO without knowing the credentials of the lawyers who would be actually working on their assignments, the risks of outsourcing is the same as giving the work to another associate at the law firm and not supervising it yourself.

Use of Technology

I am not arguing that there should be no protest in the US against outsourcing and this is a malicious agenda that certain lawyers are propagating. But the arguments against outsourcing somehow do not convince me. One such argument taken by Acevedo is the use of technology to curb outsourcing where he used the example of Fulbright transforming its document review system. Let’s break down the facts of this example. Fulbright came across a document review project for which using American lawyers in the traditional way would have been very expensive. They came across a technology that helped them reduce the cost and they did not end up outsourcing the project to India or any other offshore location. Instead of outsourcing, this technology helped them to do the work within their budget – in-house. How did this set up generate a single job opportunity in the US? The man hours were less – approximately the same or a little more than what US attorneys would spend supervising when the project would have been sent offshore.

Today, the argument against outsourcing is that it is taking away jobs such as document review; and other assignments that were usually done by first year associates is now being sent to India. Tomorrow, when technology improves and the same work is automated, it will be sent to machines instead of India! Will it be prudent to campaign against technology then? How many people with a good business sense would agree to that? That would be saying e-mail killed the post card, so let’s campaign against the use of email. During the industrial revolution, a lot of workers protested against the use of machines, as they feared job losses. Did machines not make the world a better place?

Even Indian LPOs are in favor of improved technology and cutting down man hours. Integreon recently announced the availability of its Seek & Collect™ service, which quickly and efficiently captures electronically stored information (ESI) in a forensically sound manner without the need for physical collection by forensic experts. Does that mean Integreon is against outsourcing by using technology and reducing man hours? This is again just a simple demand-supply business decision that they have made.

Competition is healthy so is technology and outsourcing. LPOs are not stealing jobs but ensuring that those paying legal fees have better options to manage their money in the market. If legal spending in the US can be reduced due to outsourcing, it will do more good than harm. The economy will get a boost with better savings for the litigants and overall, more jobs will be created than lost.


Written by Ashish Arun, Managing Partner at Offshore Research Partners | Ashish can be reached at 

14 August 2010

The Department of Political Science of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law,Punjab is organising a two day Multi Disciplinary Congress on Political Science and Global Governance in collaboration with Indian council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) on 26-27 March,2011.

The State is a plural body; a system of systems. The International Relations are carried out beyond the influence of the powerful nations with strong structures. The world today is a multi-centric world. New concepts like International Community, Globalism etc. are more frequently used and practiced. Another aspect of this ‘Globalised World’ is the intellectual merger, therefore, it is hard to separate the effect of one activity from the other. Therefore, the research and study of one discipline has more than one dimensions to it. Hence, we chose the first word of this Congress to be ‘Multidisciplinary’. As mentioned above the nature of Politics has seen a lot of change in recent years, therefore, it was felt to highlight the subject of Political Science in this Congress. Since we wanted to address the emerging global trends of politics we added the term Global Governance. We look forward to overwhelming response from professionals and students of different disciplines to this Congress.
Themes and sub themes can be seen on the website of the event which is mentioned below.

First Session: Relevance of Political Science to Other Social Sciences
Social Sciences

1. Interaction between Political Science and other Social Disciplines (Economics, History, Law, Literature, Psychology, Public Administration, Religion, Sociology, etc.)

2. Political Science in Retrospect and Prospect: Redefining various Concepts in the Face of Growing Globalization of Governance

3. Relevance of Political Thought to the Study of International Relations

4. The Development of Political Science from the Greek ‘Polis’ to the ‘United Nations’ 

Literature, Psychology, Public Administration,
Religion, Sociology, etc.)
Social Disciplines (Economics, History, Law,
Literature, Psychology, Public Administration,
Religion, Sociology, etc.)
2. Political Science in Retrospect and Prospect:
Redefining various Concepts in the Face of Growing
Globalization of Governance
3. Relevance of Political Thought to the Study of
International Relations
4. The Development of Political Science from the Greek
‘Polis’ to the ‘United Nations’

Second Session: Relevance of Political Science to International Law

1. Forgotten Concept of ‘We, the Peoples of the United Nations’ vis-à-vis the Concept of National Interest/National Power

2. UN Security Council and the Deficit of Collective Security

3. The International Court of Justice and the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes

4. Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

5. Protection of the Environment and Global Governance

6. Corporate Governance and International Organisations

7. The Problem of Terrorism and Anti-Terrorist Measures 

Third Session: Emerging Trends in Multidisciplinary Research Methodology

1. Multidisciplinary Research: From Singular Research to Holistic Research Methodology

2. Human Dignity and the Overlapping Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural Aspects of Research

3. The Relevance of Human Rights as a Core Doctrinal Analysis to all Social Research

4. The Role of the Education and the Educationists vis-à-vis the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations and Aims and Objectives of the UNESCO 

Fourth Session: Global Governance: Contributions by Regional Governance

1. Comprehensive Regional Initiatives to support Global Governance (European, American, Asian and African)

2. Regional Security Organizations in the Framework of the United Nations Charter and Global Governance

3. Regional Prosperity in the Frameworks of the New International Economic Order

4. The Future Development of the SAARC as the Youngest Regional Organization


Last date for abstract submission is: 20 February,2011
Last date for full paper submission is: 16 March, 2011



Dr. S.R.S. Bedi,

Former Head of the Archives Division,International Court of Justice, The Hague, Former Head of Department of Information, Embassy of Japan, The Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL, Patiala

Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,
Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,
Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,
of Department of Information, Embassy of Japan, the
Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,
International Court of Justice, the Hague, Former Head
of Department of Information, Embassy of Japan, the
Hague, Professor of International Law, RGNUL,

The Resource Persons


1. Dr. Eckert Klein,
Professor University of Potsdam,
Germany, J ad-hoc, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France, Former member of the UN Human Rights Committee (New York, Geneva)
2. Dr. Phillipe Cullet,
Professor of International and Environment Law,
University of London, SOAS, England
3. Dr. Manoj Kumar Sinha,
Former Director, Indian Society of International Law, New Delhi, Professor
of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, WB
National University of Judicial Sciences, Kolkata.
4. Dr. Golukesh Sharma,
Law Secretary, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh
5. Dr. Sanjeev Sharma,
Professor, Department of Political Science, C.C.S. University, Meerut
6. Dr. Surinder Shukla,
Professor, Department of University School of Open Learning, Panjab
University, Chandigarh
7. Dr. Uttara Shastrabuddhe,
Professor, Department of Civics and Politics, University of Bombay,Mumbai
8. Dr. Ajay Kumar Dubey,
Centre for African Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
9. Dr. R.S. Ghuman,
Professor, Department of Economics, Punjabi University, Patiala
10. Dr. Rajesh Gill,
Professor, Department of Sociology, Panjab University, Chandigarh



for more details, please visit:

12 August 2010

Hello to all, this blog which comes after along gap is the result of requests from some of my juniors to write a blog on sources of International Law (and this could be probably because those little lazy mutts might not want to make the notes of the topic themselves). So here have tried to make brief notes on sources of International Law, which could come handy for a quick revision, and also for interesting reading.  These notes are made after a sincere reading, apart from other works, from ‘A Modern Introduction to International Law’ by Michael Akehurst, therefore, the incidents of similarity in expressions are high.

So, there we go.

Sources of International Law

Determination of sources of IL has attracted wide debates and discussions, and this is probably because of absence of any universal law making authority analogous to national legislation. Art. 38 of Statute of International Court of Justice solves this problem to some extent by laying down the basis on which it is to decide the International disputes submitted to it. The list, so given in Art. 38, is the most widely accepted list on the sources of international law. Though some authors point out that the list is inadequate and does not include all the sources of international law, but none of the other lists ever provided have generated the kind of wide acceptance which has been accorded to Art. 38. It must be observed that Art. 38 nowhere contains the word ‘sources’ but the it has been taken since 1920 as stating the relevant sources.

Here an important discussion pertains to the question whether the sources given in Art. 38 are ‘formal’ sources of int’l law or are the ‘material’ sources of int’l law. According to Salmond,  the distinction between formal sources and material sources is, ‘A formal source is that from which a rule derives its force and validity. The material sources are those from which is derived the matter, and it supplies the substance of the rule to which the formal source gives the force and nature of law’. A far more simpler distinction, which is stated to be derived from constitutional law, is that formal source constitute what law is, while material sources identify where the law may be found. Brownlie, however, argues that such distinctions derived from constitutional law are not appropriate, given the nature of international society. Some authors question if the differences of nomenclature are so important as ICJ has not devoted any attention to the controversy.

Treaties as a Source of International Law

Coming to the first source of International Law as provided by Art. 38 (1), ‘international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting States.’ Conventions mean treaties, and the expression ‘treaty’ comprises a large number of instruments that may use different names, such as agreement, pace, protocol, covenant, declaration etc.  but, as Akehurst, points out that some of these words have alternate meaning which can mean something other that treaties, thus making the problem of terminology even more confusing. The best way I could think of coming out of this confusion is to look for the definition of ‘Treaties’ in Article 2(1) of Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties.

Treaties are the maids of all work in International law. They are considered to be major sources of law as treaties arise from the express consent of a State. Being based on consent the general principle is that only the parties to a treaty are bound by its terms (but there are exceptions to this principle where the states not parties to the treaties are also bound by it, examples are, a) when treaties codify customary law; and b) distinctive category of ‘depositive treaties’ that create an objective legal regime binding upon third states).

Law Making Treaties and Treaty Contracts

Treaties are generally divided into law making treaties, known as, ‘traits-lois’; and treaty contracts, known as, ‘traits-contrats’. Some writers argue that only law making treaties should be regarded as source of law as treaty contracts are not sources of law, but merely legal transactions. But Akehurst points out that most of the treaties are on a border line case and it becomes hard to classify, though the classification is not entirely useless, but the better view is to regard all treaties as a source of International Law. Personally, I do not see any reason as to why contractual treaties should not be considered as a source of int’l law, as, the contractual terms which lay down rights and duties can be a source of law in absence of other laws of nature similar to that of the rights and duties so drawn under the contract.

Treaties when Codify Customary Law

Importance of treaties escalate when they codify customary law, as then they would not only be binding on the states parties to it, but also to the non party states. As the non parties may not be bound under the treaty per se, but they would be bound under obligations arising in customary international law, which the given treaty so codifies. Thus, a State can enforce an obligation on another State by showing that the treaty codifies customary law. In cases where treat is an amalgamation of customary law and provisions that seek to further the progressive development of the law, then the non parties will be bound only by those provisions that may be said to constitute customary international law.


Note- I hope this might be of some help to people who have just been introduced to Public International Law. Though on request of my few juniors I intend to write whole series on all the sources of International Law, but that would also depend on the feedback from the readers. So if this writing has been useful to you in any manner and you would like to read on other sources of International Law through this blog space, please do leave a comment or ‘like’ it on facebook.

12 August 2010

Hmmm. The million dollar question. What is an LPO exactly?!!!!. No one know that, some tell that its an outsourcing of legal work from western countries, some call it as global law firm which does paralegal work apart from the litigation... Folks i will tell u what it is :-). Its nothing but a center of over ambitious people trying to show that they have a niche hand over the laws of all countries and over all areas of trade which even the business tycoons might be scared to try out. They themselves are struggling to gain profits but they claim clients to get a million dollars in a short span of time. But the whites.."word used for the clients when they don't clear the bill on the time" show that they are far more advanced, not only in terms of development but also in terms of thinking process. They use all these LPO'S like their clerks which are paid minimal. The big LPO's are doing well because they are the part of US or UK law firms or else they are owned by corporate giants who don't have liquidity crunch. But the real sufferers are the small players who dream of going big. Even if the Legal Outsourcing market is blooming, most of the small LPO's are struggling to sustain.... What is the reason?????. Recession... na.....Less litigation abroad.. na... Its nothing but recognizing the type of work they have to do, which is not so niche but will fetch u million dollars. Thats why the companies doing Document Review projects are not suffering as compared to small companies giving Legal support to the big clients(whites:-)). A fresh law graduate joins a company thinking that he will make big but ends up managing the life with delayed salaries and mental trauma. But still they want to work hard because they have to meet their ends and support their families. So big players KOUDOS... and small fish just get out of the ocean , there are ponds for u... NO OFFENCE

05 August 2010

Scene: A hard-fought, electrifying, marathon litigation bout with drummers playing to the full volume to add to the drama.  The drummers stop when mediation begins. The litigators too are disappointed.

And well, a request: When ‘tak da gidh da, tak da gidh da’ comes in the poem, please don’t skip it; sing it.


The drums are beating aloud

Oh! See them pronounce:

That the two litigators are about

To argue a much awaited bout.

Tak da Gidh da Tak da Gidh da (2).

(The drums’ sound).


The two shake hands and smile a lot.

Like two pehelwans testing the

Strength of the arms and the jaws

Of the nervous compatriot.

Tak da gidh dha tak da gid dha (2).


The argument begins

The judge signals- his gavel smacks!

Another smile- Ah! The tension

Of the lips about to attack.

Tak da gidh dha tak da gid dha (2).


Ah! It is a great sight-

Alpha males- their horns strike.

Sparks. Harks. Darts. And Marks.

Like a river the words flow, flow

The words of spite, of might.

Words mean, very mean.

A counsel is wounded

And with envy green.

Tak da gid dha, tak da gid dha (2).


He groans! He gets up

Charges and hits (with words)

Arggh! The other budges, badly struck.

Oh! No! Cries the judge.

Tak da gid dha tak da gid dha (2).


People are watching, eyes wide,

Mouths open, awed and surprised.

Their heads move like in a tennis match,

Following arguments like tennis balls

Being ferociously dispatched

Tak da gid dha tak da gid dha (2).


Judging is difficult, the battle is gory,

The two rams, fighting for victory,

Forgetting the law, they hurl abuses.

The fight goes on for decades,

Newspapers cover it now and again,

The ink won’t dry, the words won’t stop.

Gains. Disdain. Pain. And Vain.

(What a taint that brothers are slayed).

Tak da gid dha tak da gid dha (2).


[Change of music]


The two Rams have fought for victory

Fought hard, and then a sorry.

“Let us mediate over chai and kachori”

(Though its boring, tastes bad and is staid)

(Litigation is red Mirchi, Teekhi and well paid).


Tak da gid...doom. doom. doom.

The drum membrane isn’t tight

A non playing drum, it ends the fight,

It doesn’t make a sound (somebody will mend),

By then the spectacle comes to an end.

And till the drums can become alive again

Alas! The rams don’t get their prize

Mark the disdain, in that voice.




[Mediation Begins]

No one to see the mediation match.

Its a lonely affair, so sad.

Not exciting as tennis, but still clad

In a short skirt and t-shirt which reads

“Dispose the case. Do hell with justice”.


PS- I was recently researching on Lok Adalat. The finding was this: while Lok Adalats lead to quick disposal of cases, they hardly do justice. With rigorous fact finding etc missing, Lok Adalats are incapable of justice and run on a judge’s whims and fancies.

And hence this last para.

03 August 2010


Two associates of Indi Law Firm, Karan Johari and Yogesh Yadav  have entered the Guiness book of world records. Karan now holds the record for drinking the largest number of coffee cups in one day, while Yogesh has himself in the record books for maintaining a position of yogic trance for the longest time.

“I have at least 120-150 cups of coffee on an average day at my law firm. When on a deal the number may rise to 200 too. So I decided to give it a shot”.

Karan drank 450 cups of coffee for his record. On being asked how he managed a substantial rise in the number he said, “I think the excitement of doing something novel other than the boring drafting and document review got me going”.

“Also the coffee machine at our firm is obsolete, dysfunctional, pretty much like the firm. I guess the machine puts twice the amount of coffee than a functional machine would put. So the firm’s coffee is twice as strong too”, he adds.

Yogesh maintained the yogic trance for 72 hours. “I do this day in and day out”, explained Yogesh “pretending to sit before the computer, back straight, eyes glued to the screen and open despite the sleep, absolutely lost, appearance attentive and doing nothing”.

“To lose the human body and soul into nothingness is yoga”, said Baba Ramadeva in an interview with some other newspaper. Yogesh, thus claims to be practicing Yoga in its perfect form.

“I have no formal Yoga training”, told Yogesh “but am grateful to my firm for inculcating this mindless meditation or is it mindful, whatever; for inculcating this meditation habit, willingly or unwillingly, I don’t know”, said Yogesh looking utterly lost, as if still in Yogic trance.

“This is a perfect example how amidst all the hard work and long hours, people at our law firms have the freedom to take their hobbies forward”, said a visibly proud gentleman, claiming to be the partner. We did a name check and it appears by his sur-name that he could be a partner.

Karan Johar and Baba Ramadeva have flown in to congratulate the two lawyers.

01 August 2010
It is a huge idea
And we need someone to capture it all in a neat logo.


The IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education) is a project which has taken off. We are receiving immense help and support from various National Law Schools, lawyers, law firms, media and other stakeholders.

Now we are looking for a logo for IDIA; something which tells the 10,000 words of our concept note in a few strokes of pen. The gist of the concept note is this: NLUs are getting increasingly elitist. To combat this IDIA will go all out in helping students from economically poor families, from rural areas and from other disadvantaged sections acquire admission into the top NLUs.

IDIA’s Logo Designing Competition
invites entries from all the creative individuals out there. Entries by law students and lawyers are especially welcome.

There are no eligibility conditions and anyone can send his/her entry. The winner whose logo gets selected will be given Rupees 5000/- as a prize. The copyrights of the logo will be transferred to IDIA.

The last date for submission has been extended to August 10, 2010. We’ll accept logos in any kind of format provided the logo is clear and legible.

You can email your entries to Prof. Shamnad Basheer at 
Or post it to this address:

Shamnad Basheer, Ministry of HRD Professor in IP Law
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WB NUJS)
NUJS Bhavan, 12 LB BLOCK, Salt Lake City, Sector III
Kolkata ? 700098, India.

Please do send in the following details along with your entry:
Email ID:
Name of the school /college/ place of work:

The announcement was first made on the IDIA blog.

Are you a part of IDIA? Does your college have an IDIA' chapter? Learn how you can launch a chapter at your law college. 

Our facebook page is here.
31 July 2010

Disclaimer: This is my final post. Disclaimer stays the same. No offence is intended to anything living, alive or metaphysical. Read in peace.

Law firm ‘X’ recently had one of their recruitment drives in a college not so well renowned. I attempt to decipher how and why one man dared to tell them ‘No’ despite having all the possible credentials to make it.

My friend, the ‘Godfather’ (refer earlier posts to find his mention), has a good batch rank He did not apply to law firm ‘X’ even though it was offering a very lucrative package and neither did he ever want anything to do with it.


The Godfather and I hail from the more recently established pedigree of law schools having a national tag. Our perceptions have changed from time to time. At the time we joined law school, the senior most batch comprised only of the third years and people didn’t expect much to happen in terms of recruitments and future prospects. Levels of hope ranged from the outright practical (expecting a degree to come at the very least) to the plain absurd (Law firm ‘X’ coming down to recruit). People’s perception changed and the institution grew along with us. Batch by batch, year by year, we started getting our due outside and being appreciated for our competency. Firm ‘X’ picked very few people from the first batch; picked fewer people from the second batch and this year picked the most number of people. The Godfather didn’t apply to firm ‘X’ and was clear cut in his choice, stating that he wanted to enter litigation. The reason I have given this background is that from a position of no hope, the institution and its people have grown to a position of choosing an alternate option as their career instead of immediately taking whatever comes by them. The Godfather made this decision despite knowing that he did not belong to one of the elite (NLS, NALSAR or NUJS). He did so because he wanted to do it and he knowingly opted for a path less trodden despite knowing what adversities he might have to face in that given path.


The Godfather was ever encouraging of people who applied for the job and was happy for all of them getting these massive packages which can set their lives for years to come. But yet, the Godfather had a simple question to ask few people including me, ‘Where do you see yourself two years down the line?’. This question didn’t really generate any concrete response from anyone. He simply stated that if 14 lakh Rupees was to be the benchmark to gauge the growth of a law school and how good its students are, then we’ve reached this stage as an institution. Weighing out a long term perspective compared to a short term perspective is what needs to be looked at. But, a long term perspective in terms of growing within an organization or growing in the profession is something which nobody could concretely ascertain since people just thought about the package and nothing more.


1)      Firm ‘X’ continues to remain and will always be a brilliant place to work and it has made lives for many people.

2)      Second generation law colleges have arrived and have arrived for a reason. Having faced deprivation and ignominy for years on end, talent is being recognized purely for the good work that students from these colleges do, since more often then not they are left with limited options.

3)     Probably, the Godfather has taken a big risk by refusing a sure shot offer but yet, even Firm ‘X’, acknowledged the fact that students in this batch and in this law school have values instilled in them and do not simply run behind money. The institution has grown and will continue to grow as firms come by and firms go but it is the people who make up the institute who make it as acclaimed as it is.

4)   Choices made by graduating law students are mostly clear cut for decisions influencing their lives in the near future. But, at the same time balancing choices from a short term or long term perspective is something which very few people can do while passing out.


1) Kian, Thanks for this excellent platform. You have given bloggers like me the most ideal space to bring up issues ranging from the extremely simplistic to the outrageously bizarre.

2) To all other bloggers- Nandi, Poet, Folly, False News, John. It’s been a great competition and full marks to all of you for making it a tough race to the finish.

3) People have often asked me why I have a pitchfork as my symbol. It actually represents the ‘Trishul’, the weapon used to vanquish evil and also my ideology, to a certain extent.





31 July 2010

Commonwealth games, the event that people have awaited since past couple of years with a strong belief that it will make India a stunning representative in the sphere of cultural togetherness and bonding through the combination and play of various sports with players coming from throughout the world. The Commonwealth is primarily an organization in which countries with diverse economic backgrounds have an opportunity for close and equal interaction. The primary focus of the Commonwealth is to create an atmosphere of economic co-operation between its member nations, as well as to promote democracy, human rights, and good governance in those nations.

But can anyone in the country justify the common wealth games because in the glitz of this event we have forgot that the host of such a powerful event is the country of India with such a high rate of food inflation having almost fifty percent of the population under the poverty line?

An expenditure of 20000 crore on the commonwealth games in a country where half the population is unable to consume a meal a day is what creates a question mark on this event and asks the government for justification for a lot of matters. The Commonwealth Games to be hosted by India in 2010 is going to have 5000 athletes participating from 53 countries. But sadly, one fears if we are ready for them. A lot of money has already been spent and much more is going to be lost in the whirlpool of corruption this time around.

As far as the legitimacy of the issue is concerned, it is indubitably required if India is to match the global standards. But the fundamental question that stands up is whether all the expenditure is affordable given the instability of the national and global economy. A few examples would help to draw a consensus. The commonwealth games fame will be hailed as one of the most marvelous feats of achievements in the league of stadiums and will serve unforgettable experiences throughout the duration of the game. Audiences across the world will remember it for its grandeur and aesthetic magnificence. But weeks after the games, the colossus will stand haunted by silence and disinterest. The Indian population themselves will forget the road to the stadium, let alone the world. Instead what it may leave is a bruising memento of national expense in scales never seen before. Though it is a perfect site for the games but its future remains questionable as no other game can possibly be held in it without reconstructions. It cannot expect to have audiences to fill the seats for local games of any nature, and the maintenance costs would always soar above the earnings from the tickets and other revenues. All the work will have to be re-thought of, and something concrete would have to be built out of it in order that it may not perish with time. So what’s all the spending for, in the first place? It creates negative impressions about the future aspects and situations.


India is a developing country. Focus on the word developing as India is not yet developed. Ironically, India is a country which is, on one hand struggling with the problem of poverty since the time of independence while on the other hand is spending millions on the commonwealth games.

Climatic change like global warming is causing an agricultural crisis for the peasants all over the country, worsening their conditions which, in turn, is leading to inflation in the economy, energy resources are getting depleted, unskilled and poor people are forced to get involved in unorganized employment with least possible wages and let’s not forget the skilled and literate unemployed…but who really cares? India is too busy with Commonwealth Games.

India’s present goal should be the development of human resources, dealing with poverty and creating a healthy, wealthy and literate India. I believe that as a result of the approaching Commonwealth Games, India, especially Delhi is undergoing a complete makeover where the infrastructure is concerned. Lavish five-star hotels, better flyovers, etc, are being constructed. Better buses can be seen running on the roads of Delhi. All this is Just to show that India is on its way to become a developed nation soon.

But can it hide those shabby and disguised slums behind the shimmering and glamorous construction? Can it suppress the cries of those million hungry stomachs? Can it? Unfortunately not! And can anyone explain how modern infrastructure helps those million unemployed men who have to support half a dozen of their family members without any source of income?

I won’t deny the fact that may be these games will have an international impact and benefit a particular section of the society temporarily. But this is where the most significant question arises that if the games will benefit a certain strata of the society which is already rich and powerful then what happens to those strata of the Indian population which is below the poverty line? Who bears the responsibility of their welfare?

I also agree that the Commonwealth Games will usher in a certain amount of employment but it will not provide employment to millions of those who are unemployed and even if it does, it is only for a temporary period of time and then back to square one. Thus, a country like India wearing poverty in the form of national shame cannot afford to conduct such games at the cost of its poverty stricken citizens. Therefore India should first win the race against poverty and then think of going international through such ventures.

Hence India’s poverty and the hosting of Commonwealth Games are not at all compatible as for a nation the welfare of its citizen is its first priority and not the conduction of sports and leisure.

30 July 2010

I started this blogging competition with a philosophical (attempted) post on law and life. I am ending the competition with some more on the same lines (just to make the exit a bit dramatic).


Note- Had three more posts lined up. But chicken pox got me and I took the two week 'bed rest' diligently.

Me and my three friends

Me and my three friends-

Mind, Body and Soul

Live in unison

To maintain the cobwebs

Of autonomous threads.  

Each on is difference.

Body is the beast-

Playful and powerful,

Ventures into alleys dark.

The mind mindful, flogs hard.


And when, the then watch glass,

Turns into an imprisoned,

Subdued heap of sand;

The soul discards his disguised,

Self-ostracized self.


Unchained he scours

The gory great grave

Which was dug by the beast

And leveled hurriedly by the mind.


The body is the criminal,

The mind, his lawyer.

Soul is the judge and I,

I am the witness-

A witness to the unending trial.


Ah! Alas! Mind, body and I die.

The soul sits on the pyre and bids goodbye.


PS- Had three more posts lined up. But chicken pox got me and I took the 'bed rest' diligently.



Experiments with truth, falsehood, greed, jealousy etc.

1.) For the first few posts I commented on my own blog posts. Its not difficult. You can hop among computers at the library and chuck some anonymous comments. Even if you do it through the same computer, with the same IP address...Kian can't do much. :)

2.) If that was not enough my comments on my own posts were egotistic. Many of them read 'great post'; 'wonderful writing' etc. Some comments also posed questions (anonymously) so that Legal poet could reply to them and carry on the discussion forward.

I did this for hits. I loved 'hits'. More the merrier. With a comment posted your blog title gets showed up in the 'recent comments' listing and makes for say half a dozen extra hits.

3.) But yes...I rarely, if ever criticized a co-blogger anonymously.

4.) And yes...after those first few posts I stopped commenting on my own posts. LegallyIndia announced that hits don't matter and I too was bored with all this.


PS- This is not to garner votes from people who will say 'oh! he is so truthful' or to dissuade those presently cursing me. Read this and forget this, please.


My take on bloggers

Folly Nariman is the best (though I don't think she will be a part of this edition of the blogging competition), Nandii is a terribly close second. I am placed third. Danish is awesome. LegalDrift and John2010 are awesome too. I wish both of them take away the social blogging prizes. Napster looks good though I haven't read his recent posts.

Legal Popat was a legend.

I am not too big a fan of sss's writing. Anirban, I thought did a couple of genius posts but then many of his posts read like a law student's research project- unedited, un-formatted and unreadable.

ps- my personal take. Please don't take personally.



Thank you LegallyIndia for this wonderful platform. Truckloads of thanks too Mr. Kian Ganz and Legal Dodo for encouragement, support and guidance. Thank you everybody....the commenters, the critics, the personal messagers.


PS- the post was written in a hurry. Excuse me for the typos.



30 July 2010

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) restrained MSM Discovery, a channel distribution company, from representing Viacom. Viacom 18 Media Private Ltd., Mumbai had filed a petition with the TDSAT alleging that MSM Discovery had materially breached, misrepresented and under reported the subscribers' base on MSM Discovery's distribution bundle in a deliberate, unfair and unfavorable manner.

MSM Discovery was appointed as the designated agent of Colors by Viacom 18 with effect from April 1, 2009. As agents, MSM was supposed take over the distribution of Colors and collect subscription fees from the affiliates. Subsequently, Colors was also converted to a Pay Channel with effect from April 1, 2009 in accordance with clause 7 of the Regulation and clause 6 (v) of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Third) (CAS Areas) Tariff Order, 2006. The Agreement was for a period of three years for a minimum amount of `125 crores.

Viacom’s grievance was that MSM had packaged Colors in an unfair manner such that despite being one of the best-rated Hindi entertainment channels, it was not included in the basic tiers/bouquets/packages of DTH operators like Tata Sky and Dish TV. The agreement clearly provided that V18 Channels shall be part of the existing Bouquet-2 of MSMD subject to regulatory mandates and Viacom was assured that any addition of new channels and deletion of existing channels from the TheOneAlliance (TOA) bouquets of MSMD shall not adversely affect Viacom 18's share of potential revenue vis-à-vis scenario if such change in the TOA bouquets would not have happened. However, when Sony was placed in more prime packages on the top, Viacom, on 13th June, 2010, terminated the distribution agreement and called upon MSMD to pay `20,34,61,982/-.

MSMD filed an application under section 9 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 before the Bombay High Court, wherein, it prayed for an order of injunction but the same was declined and the matter finally reached TDSAT. MSMD argued that Viacom terminated the contract without the 90 day mandatory notice which amounted to a negative covenant and requested TDSAT to dismiss the petition, finding Viacom to be in breach of contract. MSMD also argued that Colors had become the no. 1 channel only after MSMD became its distributor and there was no merit in the petitioner’s arguments.

The tribunal noted that the termination agreement was clearly in violation of Clause XX of the distribution contract. The tribunal was of the opinion that the respondent, in the event of a success, can be adequately compensated on monetary terms. Though the Tribunal admitted that the parties were certainly at consensus ad idem while entering into the contract and the contract did provide for a 90 day notice period, the fact that Colors was not placed at the top of prime packages on Tata Sky and Dish TV and MSDM had expressed its helplessness to do so made Viacom lose its trust and faith in MSDM. The tribunal opined that a court of law shall not thrust an unwilling principal on an agent, particularly, when in terms of the provisions of the Indian Contract Act the latter would have a legal remedy to pursue, namely, to sue it for damages.

The tribunal was prima facie satisfied that MSDM could not be permitted to carry out its business in terms of the contract and since Viacom had successfully raised a triable issue and established a prima facie case, the tribunal held that the balance of convenience and irreparable injury lied in favor of Viacom. MSDM was hence, restrained from representing Viacom with any third parties until further orders.


Case Caption: Viacom 18 Media Private Ltd., Mumbai v. MSM Discovery Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai

Before: Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.B.Sinha, Chairperson; Hon’ble Mr. G.D. Gaiha, Member; Hon’ble Mr. P.K. Rastogi, Member.

Counsel for Petitioner: Mr.Mukul Rohtagi, Sr.Advocate; Mr.Arun Kathpalia, Advocate; Mr. Navin Chawla, Advocate; Mr.Ameet Naik, Advocate; Mr. Rishi Agrawala, Advocate; Mr.Nikhil Rohtagi, Advocate

Counsel for Respondent: Mr.Ramji Srinivasan, Sr.Advocate; Mr.Gopal Jain, Advocate; Mr.Kaushik Mishra, Advocate; Mr.Zeyaul Haque, Advocate; Mr.Ankur Sood, Advocate

Date of Judgment: 27th July, 2010

Petition No. 220(C) of 2010

The original text of the judgment can be found at: http://bit.ly/aU0Z8r