INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ROUNDTABLE ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS AND INDEPENDENCE: INDIAN EXPERIENCE IN A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

Place: New Delhi

Dates: 2-3 November 2018

The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) in collaboration with Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) and National Law University, Delhi (NLUD) will organise an International Roundtable in New Delhi on the theme of “Judicial Appointments and Independence: Indian Experience in a Comparative Perspective” on 2-3 November 2018. The Roundtable will be held in conjunction with a meeting of the IACL’s Executive Committee on Thursday, 1 November 2018.

Article 124(2) of the Indian Constitution provides that all judges of “the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President … after consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary for the purpose”. In a landmark decision, now famously known as the Second Judges Case (1993), the Supreme Court – by overruling its earlier decision in the First Judges Case (1981) – held that the term “consultation” in Article 124(2) means “concurrence”. The Second Judges Case, for all practical purposes, conferred primacy on the opinion of the Chief Justice of India, as the President is generally bound to follow the recommendation made by a collegium comprising the Chief Justice and the two (which was revised to four in the Third Judges Case) senior-most judges.

Through these judgments the Indian judiciary has, in effect, become a selfappointing institution. Since then, the Supreme Court has vigorously safeguarded its primacy in the power to appoint judges to the higher judiciary. Most recently, in 2015, in the Fourth Judges Case (the NJAC Case) the Court declared unconstitutional the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment, which sought to establish a Commission to replace the collegium system.

This year will be the 25th anniversary of the 1993 judgment in the Second Judges Case. This Roundtable will offer a timely opportunity to examine the working of collegium system and the extent to which it has achieved its intended purpose of securing judicial independence, which is vital for constitutionalism and human rights realisation. It will also consider whether the existing system of appointment has caused any collateral damage to the constitutional design and in turn exacerbated the problem of lack of judicial accountability. The Roundtable will compare the Indian experience of appointing judges of the higher judiciary and its relationship with judicial independence with experiences in other countries.

The Roundtable will provide an excellent opportunity to constitutional law scholars, judges and lawyers from several jurisdictions to discuss issues such as the following:

Ø Different models of appointing judges of higher judiciary

Ø Relation between the appointment power and judicial independence Ø Judicial independence and human rights realisation

Ø Assessing the quality of judges

Ø Transparency in selection and appointment process

Ø Representative judiciary

Ø Removal and transfer of judges

Ø Judicial misconduct, ethics and accountability

The organisers would like to invite scholars, doctoral candidates, judges and lawyers to submit an abstract of the proposed paper for presentation at the Roundtable. This call for papers is not open to undergraduate or postgraduate law students (e.g., 3 or year LL.B., J.D. or LL.M.). The authors of accepted papers will benefit from comments and discussion by senior legal academics, lawyers and judges from India and across the globe who will be participating in this Roundtable. Some of the papers presented at the Roundtable may be published in a law review or in an edited volume.

The following timeline must be adhered to when responding to this call for papers:

Submission of Abstracts – 30 August 2018

Shortlisting of Abstracts – 15 September 2018

Submission of Papers -22 October 2018

The abstracts and the final papers should be emailed to: Niraj.kumar@nludelhi.ac.in. The email subject should read “Submission for the IACL Delhi Roundtable”. The abstracts should be within 300-500 words. The final papers should be 8,000-10,000 words long, and the footnotes should adhere to OSCOLA. The abstracts will be reviewed by the organizers and if accepted, the organizers would contact the authors by email as per the above timeline. The organizers will decide the most appropriate panel in which accepted papers will be presented and their decision will be final.

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