Call for Papers: Conference on Law for the Marginalized



The last three decades of extensive judicial activism and public interest litigation, wholesale legal reforms, expensive access to justice programs, and a ballooning bundle of environmental, labour, gender, and human rights legal entitlements in Pakistan have been coupled with increasing inequality, landlessness, labour precarity, insecurity for national and religious minorities, and continuous environmental degradation by infrastructure and housing societies. Above all, despite adapting to global legal regimes under the auspices of international financial institutions, our economic dependency, political volatility, and the democratic deficit in the polity are increasing.

In this context, many questions demand academic attention.

Were the aforementioned legal interventions, or their implementation, not enough to combat the rising challenges to our economic, political, social, and cultural life?

Were these legal changes only of cosmetic value, merely legitimizing a system marked with exploitation, exclusion, and marginalization under a neoliberal market regime?

How have grassroots movements around these issues of marginalization been shaped in the past three decades, and how have these legal interventions affected them?

Legal scholarship must critically engage with these issues at the juncture of law, economics, politics, society, and culture. Consequently, this conference aims to engage legal academics, practitioners, and grassroots activists in a critical dialogue and invites papers from academics, practitioners, and activists engaged in work related to Pakistan, critically examining issues of marginalization and exclusion arising in various areas of Pakistani law (labour, land, environment, human rights, gender, etc.) from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Submissions (including historical and comparative studies) in the following streams are welcomed:

  1. Labour rights, precarity, and globalization
  2. Gender and sexuality
  3. Religious minorities, caste, and discrimination
  4. Environmental justice and development
  5. Land, urbanization and displacement
  6. Political representation, exclusion, and marginalization
  7. Economic inequality, exclusion, and the international financial regime


Academics, legal practitioners and grassroots activists interested in presenting at the conference should submit abstracts of approximately 500 words directly to: by February 20, 2024

Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by February 29, 2024


Submitted papers will undergo a rigorous, double-blind peer-review process. Finalized papers will be published in a special issue scheduled for publication in June 2024.  


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