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Contents of Volume 2

Special Comments

Theory in Practice in a Global Age: What Legal Theory Can and Cannot Do

This comment focuses on the strengths and limitations of legal theory in relation to the development of legal scholarship more generally. It draws principally on the U.K. experience. It challenges the cult of "pure" theory and argues that a much broader, historically aware, perspective is required if we are to make sense of keywords or phrases like "rule of law", "democracy", and "justice".

-Tim Murphy


Hate Speech Revisited: The "Toon" Controversy

Examining the cartoon controversy which ignited violent protests and ban in various countries, this article examines the contours of "hate speech" in various legal systems. While broadly supporting the case of free speech the authors remind users of free speech to exercise self-restraint. Absolute bans should not be made, but time, person and place constraints may be essential. Ironically, the Toon controversy also reveals the silence of the sympathetic majority. Similarly, there is a duty to speak. Even though not enforceable, it remains a duty to democracy.

Pharmaceutical Patents and Healthcare

The article seeks to answer questions crucial to the marginalization debate like -  Is commercial globalization bringing in more than consumer goods into the developing countries? And if so, then what is the consequent impact on the relationship between the state and its citizens. While the city in the developed world acts as a node of contact with the forces of globalization, sending out the messages of the global 'fantasy', the city in the developing world acts as the receptor of such signals from which the 'fantasy' can be accessed by the rest of the developed world. Persons living in the city in the developing world, as a result, can not only have greater access to the cultural products of globalization but also absorb the practices of the networked worlds. This process of seepage of practices of globalization, these city-zens undergo a change in their equation with the state, which previously used to be the sole mediator between the city-zens and the worlds of modernity and progress.

-Rajeev Dhavan and Aparna Ray

-Abhayraj Naik

From Illegality to Accepted Reality: Analysing the Impact of the I.C.J.'s Advisory Opinion on "The Wall" in Palestine

In this article, the author examines the history, controversy and present status of the "Wall" or "Security fence" being built by Israel in the occupied territories of Palestine. The article analyses the judgments of the International Court of Justice, the Israeli High Court, as well as developments in various international arenas, to conclude that in spite of repeated declarations of the "illegality" of the Wall in international law, its construction continues unabated. Besides the lack of legal reasoning given by the I.C.J. in its advisory opinion which has contributed to this situation, the article concludes that the grave human rights violations caused by the Wall are not just being tolerated but perhaps even being acquiesced to by the international community today.

-Neha Sachdev

Condemned by Birth: The Implications of Genetics for the Theories of Crime and Punishment

This article traces debates around relevance of genetics in determining culpability. The chief trends in this regard are illustrated by decisions of the American Courts over the past century, which have moved from applications of blind heredity to sophisticated molecular analyses. Since genetics impacts the basic assumption of "free will" in criminal law, its use as a defence has been examined at length. Finally, this article examines the methods and theories of punishment, and their effectiveness in preventing and penalizing the actions of "genetic offenders".

-Meghna Rajadhyaksha

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