U.S. – India Comparative Constitutional Law 2.0 : Workshop 3 at TNNLU, Trichy (Session III and IV)

November 13, 2021

The Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR) in collaboration with its partnered Indian and American universities organised a series of workshops on U.S.- India Comparative Constitutional law in October, November 2021 and January 2022. The partnered Indian and American law universities were paired for an interactive session.

On 13 and 14 November 2021, CLPR conducted the third virtual workshop of this series. This time around, our partner was the Tamil Nadu National Law University, Trichy (TNNLU). The workshop was structured around four sessions that would help students explore critical Constitutional Law issues grounded in a US-India comparative framework. It gave the students an opportunity to analyse, compare, and discuss in-depth issues related to personal liberty, freedom of choice, reproductive rights, and personal autonomy.

This video covers session III and IV of the third workshop. It was attended by over 50 students from various universities, including TNNLU, St. Joseph’s College of Law, Bengaluru, School of Law, Christ University, Bengaluru, Karnataka State Law University, Symbiosis International University, Hyderabad, and National Law University, Delhi. 10 other persons were present, including faculty members, U.S. Consulate staff, and the CLPR team. Due to COVID-19-related circumstances, the U.S. partner law university had to pull out of the workshop.

The Agendas for session III and IV are provided below:

3.00 pm – 4.30 pm – Session III: Reproductive Rights and Personal Autonomy (Abortion)

Part I

CLPR introduced the idea of personal autonomy in the context of reproductive rights, as well as the constitutional provisions and case law that governs abortion laws in the U.S. and India. Students compared the two constitutional regimes in an hour-long discussion.

Session Readings:

Presentation Slides: Session III Part I

Part II

The CLPR team introduced students to two important cases related to abortion rights: Suchita Srivastava & Anr. v Chandigarh Administration (2009) and Roe v Wade (1973). Students used these cases to engage in an activity: they were asked to determine if certain provisions of India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 and the U.S. Texas Abortion Law, SB8, 2021, would stand the test of constitutionality in the two countries. Through this activity the students were able to discern how the two countries viewed the agency of women to make reproductive choices.

Session Readings:

Presentation Slides: Session III Part II


9.00 am – 11.00 am – Session IV: Reflections, Feedback, Going Forward and Essay Competition

CLPR resource persons reviewed what was discussed in the preceding sessions and answered student questions. Students provided feedback on the sessions and then wrote their essays for the essay competition. The essay prompt was: ‘is studying U.S. constitutional history and practice useful in understanding contemporary Constitutional developments in India?’

Presentation Slides: Session IV

Speaker Remarks

The workshop closed with some final remarks from Dr. Vishnuprasad, Assistant Professor, TNNLU. His remarks touched upon the themes discussed in the workshop and and brought the workshop to a close.