Speaker: Mr Gopal Subramanium is a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India. In 1993, he was designated Senior Advocate suo motu by the Supreme Court—one of the youngest in India’s history to receive this honour. Mr Subramanium served as the Solicitor General of India from 2009 to 2011. During this period he was also the Chairman of the Bar Council of India. From 2005 to 2009, he served as the Additional Solicitor General of India. He is an Associate Member and Arbitrator with 3 Verulam Buildings, London and a Judge at the Qatar International Court. In 2009, Mr Subramanium was conferred the National Law Day Award for Outstanding Jurist by the President of India.

Abstract: In a landmark judgment in Justice KS Puttaswamy v Union of India, a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right contained within the Constitution of India. At 547 pages, the judgment offers a treatise on the nature and scope of privacy both within India and around the world. Mr Subramanium will trace the constitutional process (both social and legal) culminating in the privacy judgment. He will then identify the most significant aspects of the Court’s reasoning and consider the key impacts of this judgment on India’s political and juridical Constitution. Mr Subramanium will also consider the judgment from a comparative perspective by comparing the Indian Supreme Court’s conception of privacy with conceptions adopted by other constitutional courts from around the world. He will argue that the Indian Supreme Court has adopted a substantively and procedurally richer conception of privacy than many other constitutional courts around the world. Mr Subramanium will demonstrate that the concept of privacy crystallised by the Indian Supreme Court in Puttaswamy offers a greater degree of protection to citizens through its emphasis on dignity, autonomy and flourishing. This is manifested in numerous ways including through stricter controls on any limitations/qualifications to the right.

Primary Discussant: Mariyam Kamil is a DPhil candidate in law at the University of Oxford. Her research examines the constitutional right to privacy in India.

Blogger: Mary Kavita Dominic is currently pursuing the BCL at the University of Oxford. She completed her undergraduate degree in law from the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, India. Her areas of focus are international law and human rights law. She has previously served on the Editorial Board of the NUALS law journal and has also conducted field research on the rights of the elderly in India.