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Institute of Criminology


Public Guest Seminar, 16/05/24 at 5pm with Dr Arushi Garg

To attend in-person, please register here!

To attend on-line, please register here!



An extensive body of socio-legal feminist scholarship has drawn out how patriarchal and other discriminatory attitudes within the criminal justice system influence the enforcement of rape laws. Much of this scholarship impliedly endorses an ideology of legal centralism or monism i.e., the belief that state law is single, unified and dominant over all other forms of normative ordering in society. In contrast, this talk takes up Ambreena Manji’s invitation to develop a richer understanding of women’s ‘legal worlds’ by engaging with legal pluralism. Thus, this talk teases out how women in India leverage rape laws to secure outcomes, which are incompatible with stated legislative objectives, but which are better aligned with women’s own conceptions of justice. These conceptions of justice, in turn, are linked heavily to women’s material and social conditions and often involve selecting the least bad option from a limited menu. The analysis is developed through thematic analysis of primary data collected in 2016 through ethnographic observation in and judgments from Delhi’s rape trial courts, and qualitative interviews with a range of stakeholders including victims, victim support-persons, judges and lawyers.


A drinks reception for informal conversation will take place in the basement common room for all who attend in person.

Thursday, 16 May, 2024 - 17:00 to 18:30
Event location: 
Seminar Rooms B3 & B4, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge