‘The Indian Constitution is a Global Document grounded in the Indian Political and Social Context” - Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud

Kolkata : The ABA India Conference 2023 on “Law in the Age of Glocalisation: Convergence of India and the West” was held on 3rd March 2023 in New Delhi. The international conference was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court of India, who also delivered the keynote address.


The Indian constitution, is a prime example of globalization even before we ventured into the age of globalization. While the Constitution was framed in a world which was starkly different from the globalized world in which we presently live, it is no secret that the drafters carefully reviewed the constitution of several countries and learned from their experiences whether it was in the context of the due process of law or a variety of constitutional concepts which have now become a part of our own tradition. The chief architect of the Indian Constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had explained the importance of global engagement in the process of constitution drafting. He further added that the Indian Constitution was not merely an inspiration from the global discourse, but was based on the local aspirations of the country.  In that sense, our founding document had a combination of both the global and local and produced a uniquely Indian Glocal product as the Constitution took inspiration from the global jurisprudence and la, it was innately routed to India. As we discuss this seven decades later, there is no doubt that the Constitution was a transformative force in our society. The Constitution was grounded in our social and political context while also trying to incorporate global practices,” He said.


The inaugural ceremony was also graced by Mr. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, Ms. Lubna Shuja, President of the Law Society of England and Wales and Mr. Marcos Rios, Chair of the ABA International Law Section. 

Mr. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India said, “When we talk of globalization, we necessarily talk of contribution of local products and contribution of those products in the global economy. We have started digitization in India and as a nation there are two very remarkable schemes called Digital India and Startup India. We have 750 million mobile internet users as on date, and India is adding one Internet user every second. That's the impact of globalization. A local man selling local products or discharging some local services is now connected with the globe with the global business look and global services etc. To ensure that the country is safe and healthy. India has the largest insurance scheme in the world called Ayushman Bharat, which encompasses and covers 500 million people. It's completely cashless, completely seamless, and completely paperless. That's the impact of globalization. And the goal is to ensure that an Indian citizen not only contributes to the global manufacturing or global services, but also can compete at the international level while international players come here and utilize human capacities in India.”


This conference is endorsed as a G 20 event by government of India. I thank them for providing that recognition, especially during India's G 20 presidency. The Indian legal fraternity has been at the forefront of all social and economic advancements in this country, from the freedom struggle to political participation for nation building to helping India achieve its economic potential. We were able to achieve this due to the strong ideals that are foundation of this profession, as well as the camaraderie our seniors have had with each other is that irrespective of their political or ideological differences, I am seeing the same kind of unity for a common purpose here today to showcase the best of India that we have to offer of the Indian legal profession to our fellow lawyers across the world. I welcome all our international guests who have come from different countries and continents to be here with us today. The ABA is the largest voluntary Bar Association of lawyers and law students in the world which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States of America. The International Law Section serves as a gateway between international legal practitioners in the US and those practicing across the globe.” said, Ms. Pratibha Jain, Chair, India Committee, ABA; Head of Strategy & Group General Counsel, Everstone Group. 


Mr. Marcos Rios, Chair of the ABA International Law Section said, “We have approximately 12,000 members from over 100 countries. And we have 55 specialized committees divided in substantive practice areas and also geographic regions. Our committees meet at least monthly and work on legal publications, international public policy initiatives, programs and networking events, and many other activities and projects. Our core values include excellence by which we mean that we offer our members world class expertise, thought leadership and recognition based on merit, justice, which means fair and equitable treatment, access to justice, human rights and the rule of law around the world. Diversity and Inclusion which means that we advance diversity and inclusion in all our decisions and activities. We foster an international community to share experiences, develop relationships, and create long life friendships; and service which means we provide value to our members and the international community and contribute continuously to evolve to meet their needs. We help lawyers connect, expand their practices and grow. Our members from India had been growing substantially in the past few years. So when I was chair elect, I made it one of my goals is chair to bring the ABA to India.”


The ABA is the largest voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students in the world, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States of America. The ABA’s most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, the formulation of model ethical codes related to the legal profession and dissemination of legal research. The ABA International Law Section serves as a gateway between international legal practitioners in the US and those practicing around the globe. This Section is the leader in the development of policy in the international arena, the promotion of the rule of law and the education of international law practitioners. The South Asia/Oceania and India Committee of the ABA International Law Section is the convener of the conference. 


“The ABA India Conference 2023 will bring together renowned judges, jurists, advocates, legal academics and practitioners, and law students from some of the most prominent organisations in India. It is the first distinguished gathering of its kind in India, especially after the pandemic; and the O.P. Jindal Global University and Jindal Global Law School are proud to be the global academic advisors for the conference. We look forward to three days of deliberations and discussions on contemporary, national and international legal issues.” said Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University. 


The distinguished speakers for the conference will include judges of the Supreme Court of India, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Surya Kant, Hon’ble Justice Ms. Justice Bela M. Trivedi, Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Karol; former judges of the Supreme Court, Hon’ble Ms. Justice Indu Malhotra, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Arjan Sikri, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Madan Lokur, and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar.  


The conference will also witness special addresses and conversations with distinguished ministers and policymakers which include, Mr. Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister & Leader of the Rajya Sabha, Government of India; Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha; Dr. Sasmit Patra, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; Dr. Kanimozhi NVN Somu, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; Dr. Amee Yajnik, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; Mr. Amitabh Kant, G-20 Sherpa, Government of India; Dr. Saurabh Garg, Chief Executive Officer, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI); Mr. Ashish Kumar Chauhan, Chief Executive Officer, National Stock Exchange; and the founders and managing partners of leading Indian law firms.  


The conference is endorsed as a G-20 event by the Government of India. Mr. Amitabh Kant, G-20 sherpa, Government of India would be delivering the special address during the conference. The conference will have discussions around India’s G-20 presidency, which has significant contemporary relevance and importance. With more than 100 thought leaders across 21 thematic sessions with 13 special addresses and 5 plenary sessions, the conference will provide a global platform and context to the convergence of the west and India in the legal sphere and address numerous challenges and innovations required as we move forward. 

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