Law Experts to Host Event on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in India

Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB
Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB

With a panel of experts across law, civil society, the media and academia, the event will take place on September 21.

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) and the All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG) have announced to host a webinar, “A Diminishing Democracy? Human Rights and the Rule of Law in India Today”.

With a panel of experts across law, civil society, the media and academia, the event will take place on September 21 to consider the current state of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in India.

“As India is declared only “partly free” by Freedom House in its latest annual Freedom in the World report, we will consider increasing concerns over the crackdown on dissent and free speech, the erosion of minority rights and discrimination, and the shrinking space for civil society,” the organizers said in their statement.

Moreover, the V-Dem Institute’s Democracy Report 2021 reveals that India has lost its status as an electoral democracy, as the government led by prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi is imposing various restrictions on multiple facets of democracy such as civil society and free speech.

The V-Dem report – released in March – says that Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory in India’s 2014 elections and most of the decline occurred following BJP’s victory and their promotion of a Hindu-nationalist agenda.

The event will discuss these issues with the speakers including Dr Mukulika Banerjee, Associate Professor, LSE; Dr M. Mohsin Alam Bhat, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School; Schona Jolly QC, Barrister and Chair of BHRC; Aakar Patel, Former Head of Amnesty India, Current Chair of India Board at Amnesty International; and Siddharth Bhatia, Journalist and founder of The Wire. The event will be chaired by Dame Diana Johnson MP, PHRG Chair. 

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) is the international human rights arm of the Bar of England and Wales, working to protect the rights of advocates, judges, and human rights defenders around the world. BHRC says it is concerned with defending the rule of law and internationally recognised legal standards relating to human rights and the right to a fair trial. It is independent of the Bar Council.

The All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG) is a long-standing All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), chaired by Dame Diana Johnson MP, which works with UK Parliamentarians, on a cross-party basis, to raise awareness of serious international human rights violations, especially in relation to civil and political rights, and to lobby decision-makers for redress and reform.

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Rakesh Raman