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National Seminar on 'Access to Criminal & Correctional Justice for Marginalized in Indian Context'

The School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in collaboration with Maharashtra Human Rights Commission and Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai is going to organize the National Seminar on 'Access to Criminal & Correctional Justice for Marginalized in Indian Context'

Date: 14th January, 2018
Venue: Mumbai, India

About the Seminar:
India is a social, democratic, republic governed by rule of law. The Constitution of India guarantees all citizen basic fundamental rights including equal treatment and protection of law and access to legal including civil, criminal mechanisms and institutions. If law is equal for all, accordingly access to justice should be similarly available to all.

If equal justice under law is to be a reality, there has to be equal access to courts, institutions and legal mechanisms. Further, these Constitutional guarantees are coupled with state obligation under Directive Principles of State Policy to ensure justice in all spheres of life equitably among the citizenry.

Despite these robust constitutional protections, large sections of society particularly the marginalised groups owing to their disadvantageous socio-economic condition face onerous burden to access legal protection, judicial institutions. In addition to this, these communities receive least or minimal co-cooperation from law enforcement agencies to avail legal support.

It is usually observed that the marginalised communities are at the forefront of receiving oppressive treatment at the behest of legal institutions and remain largely vulnerable being inducted in prison, police custody with or without compliance with their legal safeguards. Keeping in line the present scenario, the courts being overburdened and law enforcement agencies acting arbitrarily, this further creates bar to access to justice for the same.

Today there is an access-to-justice "crisis" imperiling the country's legal system as access to courts is expensive, time-consuming, procedure-ridden, technical, difficult to comprehend which impedes poor and vulnerable people from approaching the same.

Seminar Themes:
For the purpose of this seminar the themes and sub-theme are listed below are indicative of relevant research areas to give the prospective authors innovative prepositions about the ambit of discussion during the course of the seminar.

However, the authors may draw upon issues not limited to but touching upon the same for abstract submission and paper presentation.

  • Law Enforcement Agencies - Police and Investigating Agencies: A gateway to Access to Justice
    • Issues and impediments in registration of FIR and Role of Police.
    • Botched up investigations, procedural lacunae in criminal investigation and state responsibility.
    • Viability of forensic and scientific evidences in criminal investigation, issues of consents versus just fair reasonable procedure.
    • Policing the police - Role and functioning of Police Complaint Authority.

  • Access to Justice for Victims & Witnesses
    • Assessing functioning of Criminal Justice System towards vulnerables - Women, backward communities, migrant workers, destitute and others.
    • Formulation and workability of Witness Protection Schemes or Support Systems under Criminal Justice System.
    • Victim centric criminal justice - compensation and right based perspective for victims.

  • Rights of Prison Inmates
    • Appropriateness of penal sanctions, terms of sentences for various offences under Criminal Law.
    • Effectiveness of legal representation and legal aid to under trials and convicts under the statutory legal services authority.
    • Differentiation, limitations in statutes & implication in prison inmate's rights
    • Functioning of prisons as restorative, reformative institution - Impact on prison inmates.
    • Overcrowding in prisons and consequents human right and legal right abuse.

  • Role of Judicial Institutions: Courts, Tribunals in Access to Justice
    • Delays and arbitrariness in criminal trials - Challenges and way ahead.
    • Appraisal of evidences and judicial accountability
    • Role of public prosecutor in facilitating trials.
    • Effective legal safeguards entitlement of prison inmates.
    • Independent human rights institutions - Functioning, role in monitoring, reforming criminal and correctional justice.

Call for Papers:

Submission Guidelines:
The seminar invites abstract and full paper submissions on the given research areas in the prescribed format reiterated below:

  • The maximum word limit for Abstracts is 200 - 250 words.
  • The submissions should be original and unpublished.
  • Co-authorship is allowed up to five persons. It is mandatory that at least one Author may be present for paper presentation. However, each co-author has to mandatorily register themselves individually on payment of mentioned registration fee.
  • The Abstract may be drafted keeping in view the present legal developments, societal impact, case study, if any.
  • It may include the title of the research paper and the theme under which the concerned topic relates to.
  • The Abstract may entail 3-4 keywords.
  • All the Abstracts will be subject to blind peer review.
  • The Harvard Bluebook (19th Edition) citation style should strictly be followed in terms of reference, footnotes for submissions, non-compliance to the same will lead to the paper being summarily rejected
  • The word limit for full research paper is 2000 - 2500 words (excluding footnotes).
  • The full paper should be drafted keeping in view these headings: Introduction, research methodology, objective, description of the research issues including socio-legal analysis of the problem, precedents and judicial decisions, impact and implications, possible outcomes and the solutions.
  • The body of the paper should be in Times New Roman, with font size 12 pt and 1.5 line spacing. Footnotes should be in Times New Roman, size 10 pt with single line spacing.
  • A margin of four centimeters should be left on all sides.
  • Page borders should not be used.
  • The paper should be submitted in only MS Word Format.

The Abstract should be accompanied by a cover page comprising of a brief profile of the Author including name, current academic qualification, designation, institution / organization, email address, contact number and postal address for correspondence.

Abstracts & research papers may be submitted to the Convener of the Seminar at


  • The registration procedure and the registration forms details would be furnished subsequently.
  • Paper presenters will be given 'Certificate of Participation' and attending participants will be given 'Delegate Certificate'.
  • The seminar is open not only to law students but also to students, paralegals, civil society organisations, academicians of other disciplines.

Registration Fees:

  • Students from other Universities: Rs.1200/-
  • Faculty and professionals: Rs.1700/-

The seminar is open to all for attending and participation, subject to payment of mandatory registration fee.

The accommodation for the participants is available in the specified categories:

  • Dormitory (within TISS Campus) - The students from other Universities (outside Mumbai) may avail dormitory stay on shared basis on the payment of Rs. 350/- per person.
  • RCF Hostel Rooms (around 3 kms. from the campus) - The faculties, professionals may avail hostel rooms on twin sharing basis on the payment Rs. 350/- per person.

Important Dates:

Last date for Abstract Submission:

20th December, 2017

Notification of selected Abstracts:

25th December, 2017

Mr. Mohammad Saad Khan
Student Convener
Phone: +91-9540378500

Ms. Vartika Anand
Student Convener
Phone: +91-9506999469

Mr. Aniket Khadse
Student Convener
Phone: +91-9665412262

Ms. Sonali Kusum
Faculty Coordinator & Co-coordinator
Phone: +91-7829826306

Mr. Neeraj Kumar
Faculty Coordinator & Co-coordinator
Phone: +91-8369821547

Tata Institute of Social Sciences
V.N. Purav Marg, Deonar,
Mumbai, Maharashtra - 400088

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