The National Law of India Review (NLSIR) Symposium is the flagship event of the Student Advocate Committee which seeks to provide a platform for a discourse on topical legal issues. It is an opportunity to ensure that the recent developments in an emerging area of law, their impact and the theoretical and practical ramifications of an ongoing legal controversy are discussed.

The previous editions of the NLSIR Symposium have witnessed insightful discussions from leading practitioners and academics on contemporary issues in a wide array of subjects ranging from intellectual property rights and arbitration to corporate governance and taxation. As a result, the Annual NLSIR Symposium has gradually earned the reputation of being a unique forum for the consideration of contemporary legal developments from a practitioner’s perspective. In the words of Hon’ble Dr Justice A. R. Lakshmanan, the Symposium has ensured that “the wisdom of today’s intellectual powerhouses is available for the consumption of posterity”.

The discussions from the past editions of our symposiums can be found in our themed volumes, which is also the second volume of the NLSIR every year. These can be found here.

The XII NLSIR Symposium: The Sovereignty-Rights Dichotomy: Exploring Migration, Refuge, and Citizenship

As we live through the “century of people on the move”, several States are grappling with the challenges posed by large-scale movement of persons. Migrants moving for better opportunities, and refugees fleeing violence and persecution, are often viewed as threats to the national security of their country of destination. As a response, those who emphasize on the need for protection of human rights push for the political, social, and economic integration of these people, and the eventual grant of full membership as citizens. While this is essential, the sovereignty-rights discourse often overlooks the opportunities for economic development that are created due to these large-scale movements. The XII NLSIR Symposium attempts to discuss these challenges and opportunities in the context of India. Its legal framework governing migrants, refugees, and citizenship has become the subject of much debate in light of the changing political and legal landscape. A discussion on these issues is therefore relevant and the need to explore a viable way forward for India is indeed a pressing one.

This Symposium is divided into three sessions. The first places India’s migration policy in the larger context of the international legal framework governing migration. The second session seeks to highlight the position of refugees in India and explore the interplay between India’s Constitutional guarantees and the obligations under international law for protection of refugees. The final session seeks to shed light on citizenship and social, political, and economic integration of persons within India. The questions here shall be viewed in the context of the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam and the pending Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015, both of which pose crucial constitutional questions.

The deliberations of this Symposium will be reduced to a report which will be published in Volume 31(2) of the National Law School of India Review.

For a detailed understanding of the Sessions, please see the Concept Note.