Eight faculty members of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School recently visited India, where they continued a conversation with their counterparts that began last year on governance in a rapidly globalizing world and the impact on social justice, human rights, international trade and foreign investment, and environmental law.
Right: Professor Sanjeev Purshotam Sahni (left), head of strategic human resources and assistant dean of Research & International Collaborations at Jindal Global Law School, and Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin
Osgoode is leading the way among Canadian law schools in this kind of research-driven collaboration in India and in thinking creatively about how to engage legal educators and the legal profession in both countries to achieve mutually beneficial results, says Lisa Philipps, Osgoode associate dean research, graduate studies & institutional relations.
The delegates found the trip valuable both for their current research on transnational legal issues and for the development of Osgoode’s institutional relationships and collaborative programs in India.
“As this Osgoode trip to India vividly demonstrated to those who participated, we have much of value to learn from India, and much to share as well,” says Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin.
Above: Professor Charles D. Maddox, assistant director of the Centre for Global Corporate & Financial Law & Policy, Professor Vikramaditya Khanna, visiting faculty at Jindal Global Law School, and Philipps, associate dean research, graduate studies & institutional relations at Osgoode, discuss issues at the symposium in India
Sossin and Philipps were among the Osgoode delegates to attend a two-day joint symposium, Global North and Global South Perspectives on Transnational Governance: An Indo-Canadian Perspective, with faculty and graduate students from Jindal Global Law School at O.P. Jindal Global University. The symposium explored issues ranging from access to justice and legal regulation of sexuality to the tax treatment of foreign investment.
Left: From left, Arun Khatri, Jindal Global Law School research associate, with Dayna Scott, Lorne Sossin and Allan Hutchinson of Osgoode
It was a continuation of last year’s symposium at York, funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada and Osgoode’s Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security, which included a delegation from India (See YFile, Oct. 25, 2010).
“This two-part conference was designed to establish an Indian-Canadian conversation on issues of pressing mutual interest,” says Philipps. “Indeed, too often, a separation of opinions between elements of the global North and global South is presumed insurmountable on issues ranging from climate change to development. In the last five years, from Hong Kong to Copenhagen, critical global issues have been mired in a difference in perspective between nations.”
Right: From left, Philipps; Professor Y.S.R. Murthy, assistant dean of projects & institutional development and executive director of the Centre for Human Rights Studies; and Charles D. Maddox
Through research and collaborations, such as the one with India, “We can facilitate discussions about innovative solutions to local and global policy issues,” she says. “Canada and India have the possibility to play bridge-builders in this North-South dialogue. It is believed that a Canadian-Indian dialogue can adopt a more sober, and potentially incisive, outlook on a range of global policy issues that simply cannot be ignored as yet another decade draws to a close.”
One of the benefits of the collaboration is a Memorandum of Understanding between the two law schools, which is currently being developed to include JD and graduate student exchanges and continued faculty visits. Discussions are underway toward a variety of joint teaching and research initiatives. Osgoode also renewed its student exchange agreement with the National Law School of India at Bangalore and strengthened relations with other law schools, including the National Law University in Delhi.
Left: Professor François Tanguay-Renaud (left), acting director of the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security, and Sanjeev Purshotam Sahni
“Osgoode faculty, staff and students have expressed both interest and excitement to develop more exchanges, internships, joint conferences, research projects and collaborative pro bono projects, just to scratch the surface,” says Sossin.
In addition, Osgoode faculty met with Supreme Court justices, government ministers, independent think tanks, non-governmental organizations and leading members of the legal profession.
A selection of the best new research coming out of this collaboration will be published in an upcoming peer-reviewed special issue of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.