Available courses

‘We are all democrats now…’ (Brown): this statement highlights how democracy is frequently considered as the ‘only game in town’ from the normative standpoint of a legitimate political regime. Understanding the meaning of these slogans, however, is a challenging endeavour at a time when thousands of iterations of democracy (particularly via adding adjectives to the noun) appear.

This course offers a platform to think about democracy by encouraging an interdisciplinary perspective that explores some of the critical junctures, transformations and developments pertaining to the understandings of the phenomenon. The course follows a long-term endeavour of democratic theorizing for the purposes of (1) unpacking the peculiarities of the concept as well as its empirical manifestations, (2) thinking of new democratic solutions to collective action problems and (3) preventing democratic breakdown or decay. The global crises post-2008 have given a new impetus to the effort to understand the ambition for democracy to be the best realistically possible form of political ordering. 

The aim of this course is to introduce and discuss segments of democratic theory in historical, conceptual and comparative perspectives. Students of various disciplines will benefit from this engagement by gaining an improved capacity to reason about the potential, challenges and avenues of improvement of the operation of democracy while being sensitive to a range of meanings implied in the concept when it is invoked in political and popular discourses. They will also develop their independent and collaborative research and writing skills on a range of questions surrounding the concept and its application in real-world settings.

Course Overview

This course, keeping with the mandate of the Bar Council, is mainly concerned with understanding the law concerning the transfer of rights in property - and particularly, immovable property. A bulk of the time allocated for this course will therefore, be spent on developing an understanding of the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. At the end of the course, the students can expect to emerge with a sound theoretical knowledge of the law to give effect to commercial land transfers like sale, lease, license and mortgage, and draft basic conveyance documents. And, to the extent necessary for this purpose, the students will also be introduced to the law on stamp duty and registration.

That said, there are several other legislations that influence the legal relationships that arise out of ownership of property, and the distribution of property – for instance, the various rent control legislations, land ceiling laws, land acquisition laws, the legislation on forest rights; and this, apart from local laws relating to land use, zoning and safety. This course is able to only briefly touch upon (some of) these aspects. Property Law in its entirety therefore covers a much wider territory, the course hopes to provide a reasonable gateway to that. 

Lawyers need to figure out how best to present their cases to someone who does not know the facts. Hence the ability to articulate one’s thoughts, legal opinions and conclusions effectively through the medium of writing is a fundamental aspect of being a good lawyer. Legal proceedings progress by way of filing of appropriate documents at every stage. For example, one cannot initiate a suit without filing a plaint and a suitable defense cannot be raised without posting a befitting written statement. Thus, form and content of the document acquire critical dimensions vis-à-vis adjudication of rights and liabilities of the party represented by a lawyer. It is imperative for any law student who aspires to achieve a good standing at the Bar that she achieve mastery over her drafting skills. Similarly, lawyers ought to be able to understand, interpret, and indeed draft with precision, various other documents which declare and regulate the legal rights of parties to a particular transaction viz. sale, mortgage, partnership, family settlement, lease, license etc. A well written document can help settle transactions better, minimize costs for parties and reduce risk of litigation. 

Contrary to popular perception, well written legal documents are neither verbose, nor loaded with legalese. One aim of this course is to introduce students to modern standards of legal drafting, moving away from archaic styles. This course will acquaint students with fundamentals of drafting, pleadings and advocacy techniques. It is designed to provide practical orientation and inculcate among students, the necessary acumen in drafting legal documents both for court purposes and otherwise. Students will also learn to select the appropriate legal document based on the legal proceeding or the transaction, format of the document, tone and tenor of the language to be used and the art of developing the content of the document in light of the various controlling legal provisions.