Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Call for Papers—Symposium on the Origins, Migration and Influence of the Basic Structure Doctrine—India—March 21-22, 2019

Jindal Global Law School
Delhi, India
March 21-22, 2019

The Organizing Committee invites submissions for a two-day Symposium on the Indian Constitution’s Basic Structure Doctrine. This Symposium on The Origins, Migration and Influence of the Basic Structure Doctrine will be held on the campus of Jindal Global Law School on Thursday and Friday, March 21-22, 2019. The program is convened by Richard Albert (Texas), Alexander Fischer (Jindal), and Sarbani Sen (Jindal).

Subject-Matter of Symposium

The creation of the Basic Structure Doctrine is one of the most important public law developments of the twentieth century. First articulated in court and judicially enforced in India, the Doctrine has since migrated across the globe and continues today to gain new adherents. In spite of its popularity, the Doctrine has attracted its fair share of critics. In this Symposium, we will discuss the Doctrine, including both its successes and failures, and we welcome submissions proposing to discuss the origins, migration and influence of the Doctrine in any part of the world.


Submissions are invited from scholars of all ranks, including doctoral students.


The convenors intend to publish a selection of papers in an edited book and a set of invited papers in the Indian Law Review. An invitation to participate in this Symposium will be issued to a participant on the following conditions: (1) the participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper of 8,000 words, all notes included, consistent with submission guidelines issued by the symposium convenors; (2) the participant agrees to submit a pre-Symposium draft by February 1, 2019; and (3) the participant agrees to submit a full post-Symposium final draft by August 1, 2019. All papers should conform to OSCOLA citation conventions.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email a CV and abstract no longer than 750 words by July 15, 2018 to on the understanding that the abstract will form the basis of the pre-symposium draft to be submitted by February 1, 2019. Scholars should identify their submission with the following subject line: “Symposium on Basic Structure Doctrine—Abstract Submission.” All materials should be submitted in PDF.


Successful applicants will be notified no later than August 15, 2019.


There is no cost to participate in this Symposium. Jindal Global Law School will generously cover the cost of food onsite at the conference venue, local accommodation as well as return travel between the Delhi International Airport and Jindal Global Law School. Successful applicants are responsible for securing their own funding for all other expenses.


Please direct inquiries in connection with this Symposium to:

Richard Albert
The University of Texas at Austin

Alexander Fischer
Jindal Global Law School

Sarbani Sen
Jindal Global Law School

About the Convenors

Richard Albert is Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin. He writes about constitutional change, including amendment, replacement, interpretation and revolution. His publications have been translated into Chinese, Hungarian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. He is co-editor of the new Oxford Series in Comparative Constitutionalism, co-editor of the Routledge Series on Comparative Constitutional Change, book reviews editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, co-editor of I-CONnect, chair-elect of the AALS Section on Comparative Law, and a former law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada. Richard Albert holds degrees from Oxford, Harvard and Yale, where he served as Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Alexander Fischer specializes in comparative constitutional law with particular reference to India. Before joining Jindal Global Law School he was a lecturer at SOAS, School of Law (University of London) and at the South Asia Institute, Department of Political Science, University of Heidelberg. Alex was visiting scholar at the Global Legal Studies Center (GLS), University of Wisconsin Law School (2012) and visiting fellow at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University (2004-2005, with research grants from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the German Academic Exchange Service). Alex holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM & BA Anthropology and Law) and from the University of Heidelberg (PhD & MA Political Science). His most recent publication is a co-edited book: “State and Society in South Asia: Themes of Assertion and Recognition” (2014, Samskriti, New Delhi).  He was Assistant Series Editor (2007-2011) for Constitutional Systems of the World, Hart Publishing, and Deputy Editor (from 2002 to 2006) of the Heidelberg Papers in South Asian and Comparative Politics.

Sarbani Sen is Associate Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Law Studies at Jindal Global Law School, NCR, India. Her teaching and research interests include constitutional foundings and subsequent transformations; separation of powers and the scope of inter institutional dialogue between the court and the legislature on constitutional issues; emergence of social and economic rights and the “transformative” potential of the constitution.She is the author of “Popular sovereignty and democratic transformation: the constitution of India” [OUP 2007] and articles on refugee law and on using social and economic rights as instruments of development. She was recently selected to the Scholarship Advisory Group of the Younger Comparativists’ Committee of the ASCL [2017- 2018]. Her proposal was the recipient of a Ford Foundation grant for co-organizing a conference on “South Asian Constitutionalism” to be held at Colombo in July 2018 between Jindal Global Law School and the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also currently working as part of an international research group named “Towards understanding southern welfare — ideational and historical foundations of social policies in Brazil; China; India and South Africa” organized by the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Bielefeld. She has degrees from the University of Delhi; London School of Economics and Yale.


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