The uncontrolled exploitation of Earth’s resources has resulted in irreversible changes in the environment generally and the climate in particular. Therefore, a global and immediate policy response is urgently required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. There is compelling evidence that climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen. To combat the resultant market failure and externalities, there is a need to tackle climate change through economics. The paper aims at portraying the certainty associated with the economic approaches, rather than the policy approaches for combating climate change. A carbon tax seems to be a potent mitigation policy, other policies being cap and trade, renewable portfolio standards, feed-in tariffs, production tax credits. If these policies are implemented exclusive of each other, irrespective weaknesses may cause hurdles, however, if harmonised internationally, they can be effective in promoting clean energy and thereby helping combat climate change. We compare these policies in different countries with a view to comprehensively analysing their respective roles in combating climate change.
The celebrated verdict in Justice KS Puttaswamy v. Union of India, has raised two questions of relevance for gender and sexual minorities – first, the criminalisation of marital rape and second, the de-criminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. In the course of this section of the note, we provide a jurisprudential analysis of these two issues. In particular, we aim to analyse the complex debates on the relationship between privacy and marital rape, along with privacy and sexual freedom. Although the Puttaswamy verdict is being hailed as a victory for women and sexual minorities, it raises several theoretical issues that must be subject to preliminary analysis…
Tribunals were created as administrative adjudication bodies with the objectives of expediting the process, reducing the workload on the courts, and ensuring that both experts and judicial members would form part of the forum. On March 31, 2017, the Finance Bill, 2017 which aimed at merging as many as eight tribunals with other tribunals received the assent of the President, thus giving birth to the Finance Act, 2017, one of the most controversial pieces of legislations in the recent times. When the Bill was tabled before the Lok Sabha, it was voted to be a money bill and was approved by the Lok Sabha. The Finance Act, 2017 made amendments to the Companies Act, 2013, Competition Act, 2002, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, Copyright Act, 1957, Trademarks Act, 1999, National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 among other legislations so as to provide for merger of certain tribunals and lay down the conditions of service of members of such merged tribunals. The Finance Act has provided for the merger of Competition Appellate Tribunal (‘COMPAT’) with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (‘NCLAT’). The provisions regarding this amalgamation of tribunals were made effective from May 26, 2017 through a notification of Ministry of Finance. Further, on June 1, 2017, the Ministry of Finance also notified The Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and Other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and Other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017 (‘Rules’) which gives undue power to the government for the appointment, control and disqualification of the members of the merged tribunals…
The sanctity and credibility of the democratic legal system is intrinsically linked to the enforceability of rights, a task typically adjudged to the judiciary. However, the constitutional court’s image as the defender of rights has come into scrutiny due to its incapability of ensuring government compliance, especially in cases requiring enforcement of positive state duties. Socio-economic rights, for instance, propose a major challenge to the judicial and legal system where coercing state action is at times an insurmountable task. The Indian Supreme Court, tip-toeing around the constitutional separation of powers, has devised the novel writ remedy of ‘continuing mandamus’ to prevent the failure of constitutional promises. Instead of passing a final judgement that would end the litigation, it keeps the case pending, entering into a dialogue with the political and administrative wing, prodding to alter government action, or inaction. This paper discusses the Supreme Court’s procedural innovation in the backdrop of the enforcement conundrum. Locating the need for the remedy in constitutional and rights theory, the paper traces judicial trends, and extensively reviews the use of the remedy by the Indian Supreme Court over the years. The authors assess the effectiveness of how the remedy is being administered, identifying reasons for the success of some interventions, vis-à-vis others, trying to locate the shortcomings and roadblocks to the court’s approach.
The Public Debt Management Agency is a body that issues public debt with the objective of keeping long term costs of government borrowing low. In India, the existing legal framework obliges the government to give the task of managing its debt to the Reserve Bank of India. Pursuant to its role as debt manager, the Reserve Bank of India set up market infrastructure, such as an exchange and a depository. Carve-outs were made in the regulation of securities to allow the Reserve Bank of India to regulate the bond market. Over the last twenty years, the proposal to establish an independent Public Debt Management Agency has been repeatedly put forward. In this paper, we work out the legal strategy to set up a Public Debt Management Agency. We show the transition path for the roll out and for the movement of the functions, accounts, records and systems to the new agency in a phased manner.
Recently, several incidents pertaining to cruelty being inflicted on animals have come to light, questioning whether an amendment to the present Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 is indispensable. The Act, which was framed several decades prior, envisages a sentencing policy and penalties that were probably adequate during that period, but need to be re-examined now in terms of the adequacy and nature of liability imposed. This requires looking into whether the criminal penalty and the provisions for receiving bail as provided under §11 of the Act are sufficient in present times, in light of lack of proportionality between the offence and the punishment meted out. Further, we note that the imposition of criminal liability altogether may not be completely adequate, and thus civil liability needs to be considered. We suggest the imposition of civil liability along with criminal liability for offences against animals. Civil liability would grant the State the status of ‘guardians’ or ‘trustee’ of animals and the power to sue the offenders to receive remedies. Hence, a solution is suggested in the form of statutory amendments and better implementation mechanisms. We also enumerate hypothetical applications of these solutions with respect to the imposition of liability. to determine their potency. The paper shall conclude on the note that an amendment to the current sentencing provisions and penalties of the Act is imperative, along with imposition of civil liability, to prevent rampant occurrences of animal cruelty in the future.
Since the 1950s, mathematicians and scientists have theorised the concept of artificial intelligence and tried to understand the relationship it would have with humans. Although, originally viewed as the creation of human-esque machines, modern artificial intelligence tends to be applied to situations involving complex information and intelligent application of reasoning. Taking many different forms, the information technology industry has begun to actively invest in the creation of artificial intelligence systems at a never-seen-before scale. These systems have already begun to appear in common digital technology available today. The complexity of these systems offers both benefits and dangers to the community at large. A matter of particular concern is the obfuscated nature in which these systems work, creating a ‘black box’ over the internal functioning of the system, which, in extreme circumstances, could lead to a denial of legal and human rights. Currently, most artificial intelligence systems can be characterised as intelligent agents, as they take into consideration past knowledge, goals, values, and environmental observations to evaluate the situation and take actions appropriately. The conception of artificial intelligence systems as intelligent agents allows for a focused understanding of this novel legal problem, based upon which evaluations relating to accountability can be better framed. In this paper, I will focus on why it is important to hold artificial intelligence accountable and the most significant obstacles that prevent this goal from being achieved.
This article is written at a critical juncture, as we await the Supreme Court verdict on the triple talaq issue. The aim here is to trace the trajectory of this entire debate and analyse the various strands of the arguments presented before the Supreme Court. While it is anyone’s guess which way the verdict will go, this article focuses attention on the Supreme Court’s directive issued at the end of the hearing regarding the use of a conditional nikahnama to restrain husbands from pronouncing arbitrary and instant triple talaq. By placing legal developments against the political backdrop, the article attempts to comprehensively address the interplay between gender, community and law in the present with triple talaq as the context.
In 2013 certain measures adopted by India under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission were challenged by the United States before the World Trade Organization in the India–Solar Cells dispute. One of the measures was the grant of long-term power purchase agreements to solar energy providers, based on domestic content requirements. Though the United States initially challenged this as violating the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the Panel did not address this clam as it was subsequently withdrawn by the United States. The subsidisation of renewable energy restricts free trade, and potentially conflicts with the obligations of States under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. This paper seeks to provide a justification for the potential violation of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures using the environmental exceptions provided under Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, such that the essential balance between trade liberalisation and the right of regulation of States is maintained. For this purpose, the potential implications of the existing renewable energy subsidy policies in terms of conflicts with the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures are examined, along with an analysis of the previous cases involving such conflicts. Thereafter, an analysis is done of the covered agreements under the WTO to which the exceptions under Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade are applicable, either directly or indirectly. Drawing from this analysis, it is argued that the exceptions under Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade should be applicable to the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures potentially violated by renewable energy subsidies. Finally, the implications for the Indian renewable energy sector are discussed, in the event that the balance between free trade and the right of States to regulate in light of environmental concerns is maintained.
Lobbying is a complex phenomenon, generally used to refer to activities related to influencing policy-making, particularly to influence a legislator’s vote to meet personal interests. Different countries have taken distinct approaches to understand and address lobbying. However, conceptually lobbying has remained difficult to address, due to the difficulty in identifying those interactions with legislators that constitute lobbying and those that are merely regarded as forms of advocacy. However, a large part of the debate stems from the negative perception of lobbying, which arises primarily due to the lack of clarity in the type of policy that is derived from such activities.