Land rights are contested in all parts of the world, and not least so government acquisition of land (on behalf of the state or private interests) for purposes of the common good and socio-economic development. In india, large scale infrastructure – mines, dams, ports and roads – have severely infringed the land rights of tribal peoples in ecologically vulnerable forest areas across the subcontinent. The rules protecting the rights and interests of vulnerable population groups and ecosystems differ between and within state, and a key question is which rules are more adequate in balancing the concerns required for inclusive, sustainable development.
In this session Namita Wahi, , Kavita Søreide and Hugo Stokke presents findings from a LawTransform/CMI/CPR project on “Land Rights and Inclusive, Sustainable Development within India’s Federal System”.
Watch the presentations and comments by Ernst Nordtvedt and Tone Sissner here:
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Dr Namita Wahi is a Fellow at CPR and Director of the Land Rights Initiative. The Initiative is mapping the state’s relationship to land in India, and seeks to inform the public and policy discourse on land conflict issues, especially for the most marginalised communities. Namita holds a doctoral degree from Harvard Law School (SJD’ 14) where she wrote her dissertation on “The Right to Property and Economic Development in India”. Namita’s research interests are broadly in the areas of property rights, social and economic rights, and eminent domain law, and she has taught course in these areas at Harvard University and NUJS, Kolkata. Namita has written extensively on these issues in academic journals and edited volumes, as well as newspapers and magazines, and has spoken about these issues on prime time television. Previously, Namita worked as a litigator at Davis Polk and Wardwell, a prominent New York city law firm, where she practised primarily in the areas of bankruptcy, securities, refugee and criminal defence law. Namita also holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School (2005), where she was an Inlaks scholar and was awarded the Laylin prize, and B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degrees from National Law School, Bangalore (2004), where she graduated first in her class.
Kavita Navlani Søreide is a Political Scientist with a current focus on the Environmental Law and Land Rights in India’s Asymmetric Federal System. She holds a PhD in Federal Coalition Politics of India from the University of Delhi. She is interested in tracing the efficacy of environmental law against the backdrop of changing land and property rights in the tribal hill states of North East India under the special provisions of the sixth Schedule of the Indian constitution. Her wider research inclinations lie in studying the difference in administrative, political and policy responses of different Indian states in the federation to the post economics reforms period. Kavita has also worked earlier as a private consultant for UNICEF Pulse Polio India Program and for Pathfinder International‘s Sexual Health of Adolescents in the Urban Slums of Delhi project.
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