Symposium on REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN INDIAN COURTS

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Symposium on REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN INDIAN COURTS

CENTRE FOR HEALTH LAW, ETHICS AND TECHNOLOGY (CHLET)

JINDAL GLOBAL LAW SCHOOL

in collaboration with

CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, NEW YORK

cordially invites you to participate in the

Symposium

on

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN INDIAN COURTS:
CELEBRATING PROGRESS, IDENTIFYING CHALLENGES,
AND DISCUSSING THE WAY FORWARD

 

Symposium on REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN INDIAN COURTS

Hon’ble Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri

Judge
Supreme Court of India

will deliver the Inaugural Address

INAUGURAL SESSION                          SYMPOSIUM
9:00 am – 11:00 am                           11:15 am – 4:30 pm

Date: Saturday, 11 February 2017
Time: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Venue: Deck Suite, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi- 11003

BACKGROUND

The Centre for Health Law, Ethics, and Technology (CHLET) at Jindal Global Law School and the Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) will host a one-day symposium to celebrate judicial recognition of women’s reproductive rights as fundamental rights and raise challenges and opportunities in emerging litigation. Courts in India have increasingly been utilized to seek remedies for violations of women’s reproductive rights, including in the context of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity, denial of access to safe and legal abortion, and access to the full range of contraceptives in a target free and voluntary manner. While the stance of the judiciary has not been uniform, several promising cases have emerged over the last several years recognizing women’s reproductive rights as part of the “inalienable survival rights” implicitly protected under the fundamental right to life and establishing that women’s “right to survive pregnancy and childbirth” arises under the right to life. In certain ground-breaking decisions, the courts have even for the first time recognized reproductive rights as essential for women’s equality and called for respect for women’s rights to autonomy and decision-making concerning pregnancy.

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The objectives of the symposium are to:
> Raise awareness of ground breaking decisions that have led to legal recognition of women’s reproductive rights as fundamental rights and human rights in India; and
> Provide an opportunity for members of civil society and other key stakeholders to jointly brainstorm ideas for raising awareness about key judicial decisions, including respect for legal findings and implementation of remedies ordered with academic institutions, bar associations, judicial academies, and media.

FORMAT

The symposium will be structured as a series of interactive, interdisciplinary panels providing in-depth discussion of key ground-breaking reproductive rights cases decided by Indian courts and what they mean for women’s autonomy, health and lives, and equality. The panels will include legal experts, practicing lawyers, academics, and activists who will unpack the significance of landmark reproductive rights decisions and highlight the implications for pending litigation and emerging reproductive rights issues. Through a rich and multifaceted dialogue, the symposium will provide an opportunity for members of civil society and academic institutions, bar associations, judicial academies, and the media to brainstorm ideas to build awareness of key judicial decisions, including respect for these legal findings and implementation of remedies ordered by the courts.


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Programme

INAUGURAL SESSION: 9:00 am – 11:00 am

9:00 am – 9:15 am – Welcome Remark: Professor (Dr.) C. Rajkumar, Vice Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) & Dean, Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), Sonipat

9:15 am – 9:30 am – Introductory Remark: Ms. Dipika Jain, Associate Professor, Associate Dean (Academic Affairs), & Executive Director, CHLET, JGLS, Sonipat &
Ms. Payal Shah, Senior Legal Advisor for Asia, Center for Reproductive Rights, New York

9:30 am – 10:00 am – Inaugral Remark: Hon’ble Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, Judge, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi

INAUGURAL PANEL: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
REFLECTIONS ON 10 YEARS OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN INDIAN COURTS

Moderator: Ms. Sonali Regmi, Regional Director for Asia, Center for Reproductive Rights

> Dr. Colin Gonsalves, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India & Founder Director, Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi
> Dr. Mrinal Satish, Associate Professor of Law & Executive Director, Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy, and Governance, National Law University, New Delhi
> Dr. Suchitra Dalvie, Coordinator, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, Mumbai

11:00 am – 11:15 am: Tea

SESSION I:11:15 am – 1:30 pm
REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN INDIAN COURTS: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME?

Panel 1: RECOGNITION OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS TO SURVIVE PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH

Moderator: Ms. Upasana Garnaik, Assistant Professor & Assistant Director, CHLET, JGLS, Sonipat

> Mr. Edward Premdas, Director, Research and Advocacy, Centre for Health and Social Justice, New Delhi
> Professor (Dr.) Bijaylaxmi Nanda, Professor, Department of Political Science, Miranda House, Delhi University, New Delhi
> Adv. Anubha Rastogi, Independent Legal Consultant, Mumbai

CASES TO BE DISCUSSED:
> Laxmi Mandal v. Deen Dayal Harinagar Hospital, 172 (2010) DLT 9.
> Sandesh Bansal v. State of Madhya Pradesh W.P. No. 9061/08.

Panel 2: RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AS ESSENTIAL FOR WOMEN’S AUTONOMY AND SUBSTANTIVE EQUALITY

MODERATOR: Ms. Dipika Jain, Associate Professor & Executive Director, CHLET, JGLS, Sonipat.

> Ms. Devika Biswas, Litigant & Activist, Ranchi
> Adv. Vikash Pankaj,Retainer Advocate, Human Rights Law Network (Bihar Unit) & State Coordinator for the HRLN in Bihar
> Mr. Thibault Weig, Senior Research Associate, CHLET, JGLS, Sonipat
> Ms. Rupsa Malik, Director, Programs and Innovation, CREA, New Delhi

CASES TO BE DISCUSSED:
> Devika Biswas v. Union of India, WP (C) 95/2012
> High Court on its Own Motion v. State of Maharashtra, Suo Moto PIL No.1 of 2016

PANEL 3: FORCED PREGNANCY AS MENTAL AND PHYSICAL TRAUMA

Moderator: Ms. Kavana Ramaswamy, Assistant Professor, JGLS, Sonipat

> Dr. Aparna Chandra, Assistant Professor, National Law University, New Delhi.
> Adv. Neha Rathi, Associate, Chambers of Mr. Prashant Bhushan, New Delhi.
> Adv. Anubha Rastogi, Independent Legal Consultant, Mumbai

CASES TO BE DISCUSSED:
> Hallo Bi v. State of Madhya Pradesh Writ Petition No. 408/2013.
> Ms X v. Union of India, WP(C)No.593/2016.
> Chandrakant Jayantilal Suthar v. State of Gujarat R/SCR.A/4255/2015.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch

SESSION II: 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD?

Panel 1: PENDING LITIGATION AND EMERGING ISSUES

Moderator: Mr. Oishik Sircar, Assistant Professor, JGLS, JGU, Sonipat

> MTP Act Reform: Ms. Sarita Barpanda, Director, Reproductive Rights Initiative, HRLN, New Delhi
> Child Marriage: Adv. Jayna Kothari, Partner, Ashira Law & Founder-Director, Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm: Tea

Panel 2: BRAINSTORMING WAYS TO INSTITUTIONALIZE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS DECISIONS

Moderator: Ms. Payal Shah, Senior Legal Advisor for Asia, Center for Reproductive Rights, New York

Introductory thoughts and break out group brainstorming session

> Role of Service Providers: Ms. Medha Gandhi, Director-Policy, Ipas India, New Delhi
> Role of the Bar: Adv. Malavika Rajkotia, Rajkotia & Associates, New Delhi
> Role of Media: Stella Paul, Freelance journalist, Hyderabad
> Role of the Judicial Academies: Professor (Dr.) M.P. Singh, Chancellor, Central University of Haryana & Chair Professor, Centre for Comparative Law, National Law University, Delhi
> Role of Academic Institutions: Professor (Dr.) Asha Bajpai, Professor of Law, Center for Socio Legal Studies and Human Rights in the School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and
Mr. Ajay Pandey, Associate Professor and Executive Director (Clinical Programs), JGLS, JGU, Sonipat

4:15 pm – 4:25 pm – Concluding Remarks: Ms. Dipika Jain, Associate Professor & Executive Director, CHLET, JGLS, Sonipat &
Ms. Upasana Garnaik, Assistant Professor & Assistant Director, CHLET, JGLS, Sonipat

4:25 pm – 4:30 pm – Vote of Thanks: Ms. Swati Malik, Senior Research Associate, CHLET, JGLS, Sonipat &
Mr. Justin Jos, Research Fellow, CHLET, JGLS, Sonipat

4:30 pm: TEA

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