The South Asian Law Discussion Group is pleased to invite you to its workshop on ‘South Asian Constitutionalism and Constitution-Makingscheduled for 1st June 2017, in the Cube, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford. The workshop will be conducted between 09.45 and 14.00 (inclusive of lunch) and will feature an array of papers from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and India.

Dr. Mara Malagodi, on ‘Constituent Assembly Failure in Pakistan and Nepal’
Discussant : Dr. Maya Tudor

M. Sanjeeb Hossain, on ‘The Supreme Court after ‘Shahbag’’
Discussant : Prof. Catherine O’Regan

Coffee break

Shaheen Sardar Ali, on ‘Islamic Constitutionalism in South Asia’
Discussant : Dr. Faisal Devji

Dr. Tarun Khaitan, on ‘Securing Losers' Consent for India's Constitution: The Role of Directive Principles
Discussant : Dr. Anashri Pillay



Dr. Mara Malagodi (City Law School, University of London) will present her paper on Constituent Assembly Failure in Pakistan and Nepal. Her paper compares the experiences of the only two failed Constituent Assemblies in South Asia. She will explore the the long-term impact of the aborted constitution-making processes on the legal and political framework in Nepal and Pakistan. The paper aims to answer the two following questions through a comparative analysis: first, why did the first Constituent Assemblies of Pakistan and Nepal fail? Second, what was the impact of the failure of these bodies on constitutional developments and democratic politics in both countries?
Dr. Maya Tudor (Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford) will lead the discussion on this presentation.

Sanjeeb Hossain (University of Warwick) will be presenting his critique of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh v Abdul Quader Molla as a response to the Shahbag protest. His paper strives to answer two interrelated questions: What was Shahbag about? How did the Supreme Court respond to Shahbag’s populist demands? It makes the overarching argument that the Supreme Court’s ruling revealed a tension point of transitional justice, but was based of the principles of the rule of law and justice.
To lead the discussion, we have
Prof. Catherine O’Regan (Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Mansfield College, University of Oxford).

Prof. Shaheen Sardar Ali, from the University of Warwick, will present her work on Islamic constitutionalism in South Asia. Her areas of research lie at the intersection of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, Women and Child Rights and International Law of Human Rights.
The primary respondent to this paper will be
Dr. Faisal Devji (Faculty of History, University of Oxford).

Dr. Tarun Khaitan (Faculty of Law, University of Oxford) will his work on the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs) in the Indian Constitution. His paper makes the claim that the DPSPs are a site for the expressive accommodation of ideological dissenters who would otherwise lose out in constitutional negotiations in deeply divided societies.
The primary discussant for this paper is
Dr. Anashri Pillay (Durham Law School, Durham University).

All are welcome to attend, though participants are encouraged to read the papers in advance of the event. In order to access a copy of these papers, please email or, and we will respond to you by 22nd May 2017.

We hope to see many of you at the workshop.