Reform of India's Sexual Violence Laws

by | Jan 16, 2013

Submissions prepared by Professor Sandra Fredman  FBA QC (hon.), with the assistance of members of Oxford Pro Bono Publico, on the invitation of the Justice Verma Committee (January 2013)

On the invitation of the Justice Verma Committee investigating the reform of India’s sexual violence laws, Professor Sandra Fredman, with the assistance of members of Oxford Pro Bono Publico (OPBP), has made submissions urging law reform on five central issues:

a) the framing of the issue in human rights terms;
b) the removal of the exception for marital rape;
c) the definition of rape;
d) discrimination under Article 15 of the Indian Constitution; and
e) services to support victims of rape.

The Justice Verma Committee was established on 21 December 2012 following the brutal gang rape of an Indian woman the previous week. The gang rape has resulted in widespread public protests. Consequently, the Central Government has constituted the 3-member Committee consisting of a retired Chief Justice, Chief Justice J.S. Verma; a retired Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh, Mrs Leila Seth; and Mr Gopal Subramanium, former Solicitor General and presently a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court. The Committee is engaging in wide-ranging discussions with experts in the field of law enforcement, sociology, psychology and psychiatry, as well as other inter-disciplinary specialists, to develop recommendations for the reform of India’s sexual violence laws. The submissions were gratefully received by the Committee, which reported on 24 January 2013.

The submissions were acknowledged in the final report and Professor Fredman was expressly thanked in the official press conference announcing the report. Nine or ten paragraphs of the submissions were used verbatim in the submissions.

You can read the full report below, or download it here. You can browse all OPBP’s projects here.

Share this:

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Related Content

Human Rights for Future Generations Seminar: The Constitutional Concept of a Social State

Human Rights for Future Generations Seminar: The Constitutional Concept of a Social State

Date:  Thursday, 23 October, 2014 - 13:00 Speaker:  Dr. Jeff King, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Laws, University ...
Call for Papers-Human Rights in the Extractive Industries: Conflicts and Regulatory Responses Conference

Call for Papers-Human Rights in the Extractive Industries: Conflicts and Regulatory Responses Conference

Young Scholars’ Workshop of the Conference “Human Rights in the Extractive Industries: Conflicts and Regulatory ...
New Book: ‘Social Innovation in the Service of Social and Ecological Transformation: The Rise of the Enabling State’ by Olivier De Schutter and Tom Dedeurwaerdere

New Book: ‘Social Innovation in the Service of Social and Ecological Transformation: The Rise of the Enabling State’ by Olivier De Schutter and Tom Dedeurwaerdere

This book explores how the State can play a role as an enabler of citizens-led social innovations, to accelerate ...