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CENTRE FOR COMPARATIVE LAW

The Center for Comparative Law was constituted with the aim to promote as well as to serve as a point of exchange of knowledge and expertise amongst the scholarly community involved in comparative legal studies, both within and outside the country. It was approved by the University in early 2014 and commenced functioning in October 2014 with Professor M. P. Singh joining the University as Visiting Professor and Chair of the Center.


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The primary goal of the Center is promotion of studies and research in comparative law. In that regard, the Center is aimed at furthering several objectives which are as follows:

  1. To engage in the comparative research of public law with a focus on constitutional law as well as of the various legal traditions throughout the world. In furtherance of that objective, the members of the Center have been involved in promoting comparative legal studies by offering mandatory and special courses, organizing conferences and seminars, and publications.
  2. To engage with scholars around the world involved in the study of comparative law in order to achieve a first-hand information from them regarding the working of their legal systems. This is done through seminars and conferences and publication of yearbook and research projects such as the current one on exploration of the Indian legal system.
  3. The Center has a special focus upon the Comparative study of Constitutions and legal systems of the countries forming part of the South Asian region and Global South. This is done in pursuance of the fact that most of these countries have developed from a similar socio-cultural as well as legal background.

MORE ACTIVITIES

The Center has been involved in the following major activities:

  1. Exploration of the nature of the Indian Legal System supported by Schulze-Feilitz Stiftung, Berlin, Germany. In pursuing this activity, the Center has come out with two books. The first book titled ‘The Indian Legal System: An Enquiry’ authored by Mahendra Pal Singh and Niraj Kumar (Oxford University Press: New Delhi 2019) looks into the legal, anthropological, and historical literature of the country and acknowledges the undisputed presence of multiple legal traditions in India. The existence of multiple non-state legal traditions alongside a proclaimed formal state legal system certainly poses a challenge to the common law identity of the Indian legal system. The book highlights common law was introduced in India by the British to better integrate the Indian legal system. They did not refer to the prevailing legal practices of the time. The book argues that this is the underlying cause for the gap between the state legal system and traditional community practices. This is arguably the reason behind preference for non-state legal practices among several communities in India, despite the existence of a formal state legal system. The central theme of the book is that legal systems cannot be seen or studied in isolation of the cultures of groups whose affairs they regulate.

    The proposed Second Manuscript (MS) under the tentative title: The Indian Legal System A further Enquiry is in Press. This second work traces the laws of early India from pre-Vedic to post Vedic timeline. The MS looks into the legal system of the Early North Indian and South Indian Kingdoms to the Mughal Empire. The MS connects issues, which are very important and extremely useful in understanding our present society, not only in terms of law and legal issues but also in terms of our legal culture.
  2. Publication of ‘The Indian Yearbook of Comparative Law’ The yearbook is a compilation of thematically arranged essays that critically analyze emerging developments, issues, and perspectives across different branches of law. It consists of research from scholars around the world with the view that comparative study would initiate dialogue on law and legal cultures across jurisdictions. This book intends to trigger a discussion on issues of comparative law from the vantage point of Global South, not only focusing on the Global North. It examines legal systems of countries from far east and sub-continent and presents insights on their working. It encourages readers to gain a nuanced understanding of the working of law and legal systems adding to existing deliberations on the constituents of an ideal system of law.
  3. Publication of the book titled ‘Open Markets, Free Trade and Sustainable Development: Perspectives from EU and India’, Edited by, Mahendra Pal Singh, Niraj Kumar and Wolfram Cremer, Springer Singapore, 2019. The book engages with the implications of different legislative measures, bilateral and regional agreements in the context of trade, investment, and mobility of labour, focusing on India and the EU. It also examines the concerns for sustainability, equity, regional balance, and social security in the context of globalization. The book further discusses the contemporary problems in trade, investment and factor mobility emerging through the complex interaction of market, state policies and socio-environmental concerns, expressed on national and global platforms in the context of the evolving legal system.
  4. The Center has also been actively involved in organizing seminars, schools, and conferences on issues concerning comparative law. For example, under a Memorandum of Understanding between National Law University Delhi and the Second University of Naples, the Center has collaborated in conducting two summer courses on comparative law in 2017 and 2018.

Current Organisation

Advisory Board:
Prof. Dr. Adrienne Stone (Melbourne Law School)
Prof. Dr. David Bilchitz (University of Johannesburg)
Prof. (Dr). Mahendra Pal Singh (Emeritus Professor of Law at University of Delhi)
Prof. Dr. Shimon Shetreet (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Prof. Dr. Upendra Baxi (Emeritus Professor of Law at University of Warwick and Delhi)

Director:
Dr. Niraj Kumar
Member:
Mr. Jitamanyu Sahoo (Research Associate, Law)

Communication with the Center can be established by the way of email at ccl@nludelhi.ac.in or niraj.kumar@nludelhi.ac.in. Centre for Comparative Law, National Law University, Delhi