National Workshop on Public Opinion as a Factor in Sentencing Policy

The Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Law Reforms proposes to hold a one day National Workshop on Public Opinion as a Factor in Sentencing Policy on Friday, 10th October 2014 at NUALS Campus, Kalamassery, Kochi, Kerala.

Public opinion sometimes plays a difficult to define role in the sentencing policy of Courts. Judges are not impermeable inanimate membranes. They too are susceptible to the influence of public discussions and opinions. Such influences may have in many cases affected sentencing.

Public opinion may have some relevance to the enquiry, but in itself, it is no substitute for the duty vested in the Courts to interpret the Constitution and to uphold its provisions without fear or favour. If public opinion were to be decisive there would be no need for constitutional adjudication. On the other hand, a mere mechanical application of the law insensitive to public opinion undermines the legitimacy of the judiciary in the eyes of the public threatening Rule of Law. The topic gains relevance in the light of impact of crime on society and since we do not have any codified guidelines or even a proper ‘sentencing policy’ as such.

Research papers of upto 3000 words are invited for presentation at the workshop. Softcopies of the same in doc or docx format with a brief biodata of the author with details of affiliation and a statement to the effect that it is an original work of the author may be mailed to on or before 30 September 2014. Acceptance of papers would be intimated by 2 October 2014. The organizers reserve the right to publish the proceedings of the workshop including all accepted papers.

Please note:

a. While a certificate of acceptance would be issued to all authors whose papers are accepted, participation certificates attesting to presentation of the paper at the workshop would be made available only to those authors who personally present their accepted papers at the workshop.

b. While working lunch and refreshments would be provided at the venue, authors presenting their papers shall not be entitled to any TA/DA or any such allowance from the organizers.

c. There is no entry fee.