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Event Description

The legal architecture around alternative sexualities and sexual minorities is developing quickly. Since Navtej Johar vs. Union of India 2018, there has been a wholesale shift in the judicial approach to tackling issues concerning LGBTQIA+ community. Two recent cases, both dealt with by the High Court of Madras, have re-written gender jurisprudence . As a consequence, legislative frameworks are being evolved to keep pace with judicial directives. Gender justice and sexual equality may turn out to be the most important dimensions of social justice in the upcoming decade.

This talk will cover how the Indian constitutional courts have made significant strides with regard to the LGBTQIA+ isssues and how Governments and quasi-government authorities are being called to address the policy vacuum that exists.

About the speaker

Manuraj Shunmugasundaram

Having completed B.Sc. (Hons.) and M.Phil in Physics and Astronomy from the Australian National University, Manuraj Shunmugasundaram returned to India to take up a career in public service. He initially worked in public policy with the Centre for Civil Society, and then as a Parliamentary Advisor for Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Party. Subsequently, he was appointed as a National Media Spokesperson for the DMK Party. After completing his LL.B. from University of Delhi, he co-founded the firm Ganesan and Manuraj Legal LLP.

Recently, Manuraj was the Counsel for the Petitioners in Sushma & Anr. vs. Commissioner of Police & Ors, a case which has now come to redefine and shape the trajectory of rights of LGBTQIA+ community. In 2021, Manuraj was appointed as the Constitutional Expert in the Advisory Committee to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Welfare of Srilankan Tamil Refugees.

About the chair

Dr Mohsin Alam Bhat

Dr Mohsin Alam Bhat is a legal scholar based at Queen Mary University of London, who focuses on constitutional law, minority rights, and law and politics. His research combines ethnographic and socio-legal methods in the study of the law. He has published on religious freedom, affirmative action and discrimination, and more recently on hate crime and citizenship in India.Mohsin taught at Jindal Global Law School (India) and heads the Centre for Public Interest Law. He completed his doctoral studies at Yale Law School, where he was also the Gruber Fellow in Global Justice and Women’s Rights (2016-2017). Previously he was a New India Foundation (NIF) fellow at King's College London working on a project on liberal constitutionalism and India's Muslims. He is the co-founder of Parichay, a collaborative legal clinic that provides legal support to persons facing citizenship deprivation in India. He is also on the editorial board of the civil liberties website Article-14.

The talk will be followed by a drinks reception at BH SE 1.07 between 6.30PM to 7.30PM.

This event held in collaboration with the Cities, Climate, and Capital in the Greater Indian Ocean World Research Group.

Event details

Bush House (SE) 1.05
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG