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Cornell India Law Center
Richard Verma and Sital Kalantry

Cornell Law School Launches the Cornell India Law Center

Based in the Cornell Law School, the Cornell India Law Center is dedicated to promoting the study of Indian law and policy in the U.S. legal academy. The Center strives to foster international collaborations among legal scholars through a speaker series, conferences, and a visiting scholar program.

On September 26, 2019, the Cornell India Law Center hosted Ambassador Richard Verma for the center’s inaugural distinguished lecture. Ambassador Verma, who previously served as the US Ambassador to India (2014-2017), gave a lecture titled “India and the United States: Overcoming the Hesitations of History.” As reported in the Cornell Daily Sun, the talk covered “India’s increasing relevance in international affairs, the evolution of U.S.-India ties and the importance of learning from the history between the two nations.”

The launch was covered by a number of media outlets: 

Cornell Chronicle
India Abroad
Cornell Daily Sun
India West
Indian Supreme Court

Indian Supreme Court In Brief Project

The Center has launched a project to publish short summaries of important Indian Supreme Court cases. The first case our interns have briefed is the Sabarimala case, in which the Court found that women should not be prohibited from entering the Sabarimala Temple in the State of Kerala.

“Gurgaon’s Real (Estate) Dreamworld: Governing India’s Millennium City into Financial Capitalism”

Speaker: Priya Gupta
Date: November 5
Time: 12:15PM-1:15PM
Location: 277 Myron Taylor Hall

“Dismantling India’s Anti-Sodomy Laws  - A People’s Journey in India”

The talk will focus on the 20-year path that led to the Indian Supreme Court’s decision in Navtej Singh Johar & Ors., in which it found that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is unconstitutional. Section 377 was used by the police and others to harass and penalize LGBTI communities in India. As much as the success of the case was due to the work of lawyers in the courtroom over this time, an important untold story is about a community that was empowered to demand its rights and have its voice heard in the courts. This latter “social life” of the case will be the focus of the talk by a Cornell Law School alumnus who was at the heart of this effort.

Speaker: Vivek Divan
Date: November 12
Time: 12:30PM-1:30PM
Location: 277 Myron Taylor Hall

35 Years After Bhopal: Lessons Learned?

On the night of December 2, 1984, twenty-five tons of a highly lethal gas leaked from the Union Carbine India pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. The scale of the disaster was profound. Thousands of men, women, and children were killed instantly; tens of thousands were seriously injured; and hundreds of thousands continue to suffer from long-term environmental contamination. Efforts to assign liability, compensate victims, and remediate the physical environment stretched over the ensuing decades, yet have proved largely futile.

Have we learned anything from Bhopal? This panel discussion, open to the public, will bring together experts in Indian law, transnational law, and risk management to consider Bhopal’s legacy. Have we effectively prevented future Bhopals? Are we better equipped to respond to large-scale industrial disasters when they do occur? What more should be done?

Date: November 15
Time: 10:00AM-11:30AM
Location: 182 Myron Taylor Hall

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