Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pratiksha Baxi

Jawaharlal Nehru University, Neu-Delhi

Pratiksha BaxiPratiksha BaxiPratiksha Baxi

Curriculum Vitae

Prof. Dr. Pratiksha Baxi, geboren 1970 in Sydney, ist Associate Professor am Centre for the Study of Law and Governance an der Jawaharlal Nehru University, Neu-Delhi (Indien). Sie promovierte 2005 mit einer Arbeit zum Thema "The Social and Juridical Framework of Rape in India: Case Studies in Gujarat", einer ethnographischen Studie über Gerichtsverfahren in Vergewaltigungsprozessen. Seit 2006 lehrt Dr. Pratiksha Baxi am Centre for the Study of Law Governance an der Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Dort ist sie darüber hinaus Sprecherin des Law and Social Sciences Research Network (LASSnet). 2014 wurde ihr Werk Public Secrets of Law: Rape Trials in India von der Oxford University Press herausgegeben. Diese gerichtsethnographischeStudie vereint ihr Interesse der Rechtssoziologie mit feministischen Theorien und Gewaltforschung.

Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte sind Rechtssoziologie, medizinische Jurisprudenz, Gerichtsethnographie, Gender studies, politische Justizreformen, Ikonographie der Jurisprudenz, Soziologie der Gewalt, Gerichtsarchitektur, Recht und visuelle Kultur sowie feministische Rechtstheorie.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pratiksha Baxi war von April bis Juli 2017, von August bis September 2012 sowie von Mai bis Juli 2011 Fellow am Käte Hamburger Kolleg „Recht als Kultur“.


Picturing Constitutional Law: Law, Politics and Publicity in India

This project explores the production, consumption and circulation of prolific pictures of constitutional law in India. Specifically, the focus is on moments of legitimation crises which re-orient the symbolics of the very validity of constitutional interpretations of freedom, belonging and dignity. How do we then tell the story of constitutional law and its discontents through pictures? Does the visual archive of constitutional law offer us newer ways of thinking about law and politics? Do we think of the visual language of constitutional law by referring to jurisprudential images of justice as virtue? Should we then identify images of constitutional law through official iconography of appelate courts—buildings, emblems, statues, symbols and portaits to narrate the visual history of constitutional law? Or should we look at the archive of images of justice as struggle that locate the demosprudential at the heart of constitutional law? This project looks at at a series of images to argue that the visual is central to the question of legitimation and validity of law in the changing political and legal cultures in India today. The relationship between law, politics and publicity, is explored at three registers. First, the juxtapostition of courts and protests in protest photographs and footage narrates a specific visual history of demosprudence. How does the visual citation of iconic photographs of justice as struggle tells us a visual story of law’s fraught relationship with social suffering? Second, I explore the modes of visual literacy that the judiciary adopts in the contexts of hyper-visualised circuits of publicity that re-orients the symbolism of what it means to express freedom, belonging and dignity. Does the judicial method of reading and citing images as if the image stands for the real and the authentic blur the distinction between the popular and juridical? How does the photograph supplant the word in a judgment? Do the streaming television screens in court canteens, twitter feeds and facebook posts on smart phones and newer forms of court reportage intersect, co-exist or exist parallelly to court proceedings? Third, how do judges (sitting or retired) use new social media to direct publcity to critique judicial interpretation of constitutional law and what are the effects of such publicity? Does publicity about constitutional law, judgments and judges produced by the legal profession meet regulation? What lies at the limits of freedom of speech and where does contempt begin? Does the use of twitter or facebook by the legal profession re-define these limits? In other words, how central is publicity to law and politics, or the craft of legal profession in India today?

Ausgewählte Publikationen

  • Public Secrets of Law: Rape Law in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi
  • Justice is a Secret: Compromise in Rape Trials, in: Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 44, 3 (2010): 207-233.
  • Adjudicating the Riot: Communal Violence, Crowds and Public Tranquility. Riot Discourses (Mehta & Chatterji eds.), New York: Domains Books (2009).
  • Access to Justice and Rule-of-[Good] Law: The Cunning of Judicial Reform in India, in: Indian Journal of Human Development, 2, 2 (2008): 279-302.
  • Feminist Contributions to Sociology of Law: A Review, in: Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLIII No. 43 (2008), 79-85, October 25.
  • Habeas Corpus in the Realm of Love: Litigating Marriages of Choice in India, in: Australian Feminist Law Journal, 25 (2006): 59-78.
  • Legacies of Common Law: "Crimes of Honour" in India and Pakistan (co-authors: Shirin M. Rai and Shaheen Sardar Ali), in: Third World Quarterly, Special Issue on "Politics of rights-based development:  Feminist Perspectives", Guest Editors: Andrea Cornwall and Maxine Molyneux. Vol. 27, No. 7 (2006), 1239-1253.
  • Medicalisation of Consent and Falsity: The Figure of the Habituated Woman in the Indian Rape Law, in: Kalpana Kannabiran (ed): The Violence of Normal Times: Essays on Women's Lived Realities. New Delhi: Women Unlimited [in association with Kali for Women] (2005).