International Seminar on

“‘Review and Reform: Exploring the Colonial Legacy within the Indian Legal System”

6th March 2024

Department of Law, AMU-Malappuram Centre, Kerala

Concept Paper

The conference on ‘Review and Reform: Exploring the Colonial Legacy within the Indian Legal System’ will engage with a wide variety of related issues, from Legal Theory to Criminal Laws to Personal Laws. It will focus especially on how the idea of reform has been presented in the legal discourse from different perspectives. We invite abstracts on any subject dealing with law reforms, whether taking a comprehensive view of the entire legal system and the assumptions and ideas underpinning it, or looking at particular areas of the law.


  • To analyze the historical impact of colonial-era laws and their role in shaping the Indian legal system.
  • To evaluate the implications of proposed legal reforms, specifically the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita Bill.
  • To examine controversies and legislative interventions in Muslim personal law, including the criminalization of ‘triple talaq.’ To foster comprehensive dialogue on legal reform, addressing criminal and personal laws from diverse perspectives.

History of Criminal Justice System in India

  • History of Indian Penal Code
  • Legacy of 1857 and its effect in shaping criminal law under the British Raj
  • Criminal Law in India before British rule
  • Colonial Legacy in ‘IPC Countries’: Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Pakistan, Bangladesh

Sociology: Re-Reading Sociological AHistory of Muslim Personal Law Application and Reformpproaches

  • Muslim personal law in India: history of application and reform in British period
  • Personal laws and Fundamental rights: exploring the politics of reform
  • Understanding problems of interpretation of personal law in secular courts Theoretical underpinning of Muslim personal law and interplay with colonial legal systems

Reforming the Criminal Justice System

  • Debates around reform of criminal laws in India
  • Evolution of the idea of punishment in Indian Criminal Justice System
  • Social Justice and Criminal Law in India
  • Colonial legacy and Criminal Justice System post independence
  • Interplay of Constitutional Freedoms, ‘Offenses Against the State’ and Counter-Terrorism Laws in India
  • Exploring narratives of Decolonisation in Criminal Justice reform Beyond Criminality: Looking for alternative sources of inspiration for Criminal Justice reform

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Meet the Organizers

Department of Law

AMU-Malappuram Centre, Kerala

Council on Legal studies

Centre for Study and Research, New Delhi

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