Keynote address – Civility and the Law

Institute of Law, Nirma University, organized a session on “Civility and The Law” as part of its ongoing flagship event- International Teaching Month on 15th February, 2021. Hon’ble Judge Thomas Griffith, Former Federal Judge of the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, USA delivered the keynote address.

The event also marked the august presence of Shri Hirenbhai K. Patel, Managing Director, Nirma Limited, Dr. Anup K. Singh, Director General, Nirma University and Dr. Stephen Barnes, Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs, Penn State Law and Hon. Global Professor, Institute of Law, Nirma University.

Hon’ble Judge Griffith in his address mentioned that in his lifetime, the Republic has been confronted with no more serious a challenge to its well-being and maybe even its survival than it faces today from political tribalism.

He stated that the Constitution assumes the coming together of a people who want to create a community. This coming together is not just in neighborhoods, villages, towns, counties, or states, but on a continent and not just with people of their own race, religion, background, class, or viewpoint.

He advocated that the Constitution creates a structure of governance that can allow for human flourishing, but without this desire to unite, the Constitution cannot create a national community in which that flourishing will occur. Without this desire to unite, the Constitution is form without substance.

He talked about the role that the Constitution plays in the lives of people and elaborated its meaning as spirit of amity and mature deference.  Further, he referred to the drafting of the Constitution in Philadelphia as to the mandates and the non-mandates that were necessarily had to be followed by the constitution makers.

Further, Civic charity can better be explained like living together and suffering together with the community. By civic charity, he tried to make the audience look at the phase of understanding and winning friendships, changing the feel of enmity to friendship and creating a community where humans flourish. He emphasized that public debates need more civility.

Prof (Dr) Purvi Pokhariyal Dean and Director, Institute of Law, Nirma University thanked Judge Thomas Griffith for his thought provoking address. She also thanked all dignitaries for their kind presence at the session. The event was moderated by Prof. Shreya Srivastava, Assistant Professor at the institute.

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