Guest Post Guidelines

In keeping with its objective of creating and sustaining a forum for constitutional discussion, and of promoting a diversity of viewpoints, arguments and ideologies, ICLP welcomes guest essays from students, academics, practitioners (and just about everyone else!) on a variety of topics. We’d like to stress that we aren’t looking for contributions only from lawyers or legal theorists – ICLP is, among other things, interdisciplinary, and we’d love for non-lawyers to bring their own unique perspective to the debate.

Guidelines:

a) The essay should be roughly between 1000 and 1500 words in length

b) The essay should bear a reasonable nexus to an aspect of constitutional law [1] (a fairly low standard of scrutiny)

c) The essay should discuss constitutional law in the context of doctrine or philosophy [2]

Addendum: We are particularly interested in analyses of recent Supreme Court (or High Court) cases that have had/potentially will have a significant effect upon our constitutional landscape. The more recent, the better! 

[1] ICLP does not believe in the four walls doctrine, or in Justice Scalia’s exceptionalism. Consequently, we welcome posts on foreign constitutional law, with the following caveat: this blog is about Indian constitutionalism; consequently, our interest in other Constitutions is limited to how we can refine our understanding of important Indian constitutional issues by engaging with how other constitutional democracies, at this time or at other times, have dealt with them. For instance, an analysis of how bicameralism and presentment in a presidential system serve as veto-gates for legislation, while a fascinating subject in its own right, does not qualify; on the other hand, a philosophical analysis of flag burning as a form of free expression does; as does an analysis of judicial review of emergency powers.

[2] We understand “doctrine or philosophy” very broadly. It includes philosophy, political theory, history, hermeneutics, other relevant social sciences and so on. It also includes readings of legal text and precedent that, through synthesis or other doctrinal techniques, draw out new (or otherwise under-discussed) inferences for the law. While being broad, the scope is, however, not unlimited: for instance, an elegant summary of the judicial decisions on affirmative action from Champakam to Nagaraj, while hugely important and valuable in its own right, is not what we’re looking for on this blog. What we are looking for are arguments that frame constitutional law within the broader context of our polity, whose insights go beyond only a close reading of an individual case or text, and whose contributions are fresh, new and unique. Further specification here would be counter-productive: perhaps the best way to zero in on what kind of writing would be suitable for this blog would be to peruse what has been written here so far.

Procedure:

a) If you have a theme or an idea that you’d like to develop in an essay for ICLP, please get in touch at gautambhatia1988@gmail.com. We shall informally discuss and explore your ideas over email, in order to arrive at a better understanding of whether they fit with the objectives of ICLP.

(Note: In order to avoid inevitable subconscious editorial bias, please do not state your institutional affiliation or job description (student, academic, practitioner etc) at any place in the email. All essays will, of course, be published along with a one-paragraph biography.)

b) In the event that their theme does fit, authors will be invited to write the essay, with freedom to choose their own schedule or deadline. While we hope that this will happen as rarely as possible, it is nonetheless conceivable that an idea, or set of ideas, that sound wonderful in the abstract, nonetheless resist succinct analysis within the constraining limits of 1500 words; if at all possible, in such cases, we shall try and break down the original essay into multiple posts; but for the odd occasion when even that is impossible, we will – unfortunately – be unable to publish the essay. We appreciate the fact that authors’ time is precious; consequently, we will try to ensure as rigorous a screening procedure in the first stage as possible.

To stress: not accepting an essay for publication on the blog is no comment on its quality, but purely a subjective – and quite likely, flawed – assessment of how well it fits with ICLP’s goals.

We look forward to carrying on the constitutional conversation on the blog!

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