R. P. Anand, International Law and India

I would highly recommend interested readers to visit the website of the R. P. Anand Virtual Centre for International Law (VCIL), a website dedicated to Prof. R. P. Anand – a brilliant and inspiring Indian scholar who dedicated his life to a systematic study of international law from a majority world and Indian perspective. Unfortunately, Prof. Anand passed away last year.

The website of the VCIL is dedicated to the life and writings of Prof. Anand, and seeks to preserve and further his legacy. Especially useful are Prof. Anand’s writings, most of which are available on the website in electronic format for free download. My favourites include the book New States and International Law and the monograph Development of Modern International Law and India (DMILI). True to Prof. Anand’s style, these works present highly accessible alternative narratives to the traditional Eurocentric conceptions of international law. Of course, they are “radical” and “critical”, but such academic labels aside, the works are quite original, well-reasoned, interesting and, perhaps most importantly, inspiring. I would especially recommend Development of Modern International Law and India as the starting point for the study of International law by Indian students and scholars.

Talking of Prof. Anand, I must also recommend a video recently posted on the UN Audiovisual Library on International Law (which has a nice collection of lectures on interesting topics by leading international lawyers and scholars). The video records a panel discussion dedicated to Prof. Anand at a recent conference in Beijing. The panel is moderated by Judge Xue Hanqin (ICJ), and the discussants are Profs. Surya Subedi, B.S. Chimni, Tony Anghie, Sornarajah and Usha Natarajan. Apart from an overview of Prof. Anand’s  contributions and the main themes of his scholarship, which remain the main focus of the discussion, the video helps paint a rare and interesting personal portrait of  Prof. Anand — the teacher and the master story-teller — which is especially useful for those of us who did not have the opportunity to meet or work with him, and those engaged in international law pedagogy in India.

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