Workshop on Protecting Rights and Constitutional Writs

On 15-16 November 2019, a workshop on Protecting Rights, Addressing Inequality: The Promise of Writs as Constitutional Transfer was held at UNSW Law in Partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. This conference focused on constitutionalism in the Global South, with scholars drawn from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. We welcomed speakers including Anuj Bhuwania, Mario Gomez, Dinesha Samararatne, Kumaravadivel Guruparan, Cynthia Farid, Waqqas Mir, Sadaf Aziz, Moeen Cheema, Yugank Goyal, Jahnavi Sindhu and Imran Ahmed. This workshop investigated the history, development and variation of writs as a form of constitutional adjudication, following its transformation from the common law remedies of England to a constitutional means of protecting rights across South Asia, but also in parts of Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Papers considered the symbolic status of constitutional writs and how the importance of these remedies has changed over time. The constitutional writs have important implications for the protection of rights against the power of the state and for addressing inequality. More broadly, constitutional writs compel a revised narrative of the field of comparative constitutional law and the sources and origins of judicial review, and draw attention to constitutionalism in the Global South.