Highlighting the vital and oft-neglected significance of the social context and political imperatives of historically entrenched laws The Network has engaged in thematically and methodologically path-breaking research in order to critically examine and question their contemporary efficacy and equity.  Combining various social sciences survey techniques, institutional histories, anthropological insights and various heterodox critical analytical approaches this pioneering research goes much deeper and far beyond staid legal textual analyses. By deconstructing and closely assessing complex hybrid post-colonial legal systems in developing economy contexts it poses foundational questions and identifies diverse avenues of necessary re-examination, unlike more conventional doctrinal legal scholarship that is often reduced to paraphrasing, annotating, and justifying. At the same time, it has extended attention to crucial endogenous and exogenous factors and players – institutional structures and cultures, political economies of processes and professions, personal and household features of the operators and end-users of legal systems, and imperatives of indigenous legal fraternities as well as foreign funded agencies – that mould and shape the character, priorities and prejudices of the legal system.

This research has also underlined the value of evaluating the nature and quality of legal education and scholarship generated by a milieu and its impact on the eventual nature and quality of its legal processes and remedies; as also on the generation and sustaining of particular legal arrangements, hegemonies and hierarchies. In addition, The Network has undertaken extensive evaluations of the human capacity and pedagogical challenges obstructing the evolution of legal education in South Asian law schools and professional legal training academies and institutes and proposed new directions and approaches.

Research Themes