Inside JGU 2019 - Issue 5 (May)

CHLET organises four-day residential certificate programme



The Centre for Health Law, Ethics and Technology in collaboration with the International Commission of Jurists and Love Matters India organised a four-day residential certificate course for transgender, intersex and gender diverse people at JGU from 6 – 9 May 2019. Twenty people from around the country participated in the course, including seven from the Northeast. The course was conducted in the form of lectures and workshops with faculty, activists and advocates.


The purpose of this course was to demystify the law and to provide a safe space for empowerment and constructive engagement with the concrete realities of the law. For transgender, intersex and gender diverse people to be able to effectively claim the enforcement of their rights or redressal in the event of a rights violation, the law must be deconstructed into clear and concrete terms that are accessible to the community. The course covered key aspects of constitutional law, criminal law, right to information, and legal gender recognition. Important judgments such as National Legal Services Authority of India v. Union of India were discussed in detail.


To highlight the perspectives of the participants from the Northeast, CHLET hosted a roundtable conversation on Legal Recognition of Gender in the Northeast: Diverse Perspectives. The roundtable was moderated by Rudrani Chettri, Gender Activist, Founder of India’s first transgender modelling agency, and the Director of Mitr Trust. The participants shared their stories and experiences working on gender recognition in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland.



All participants received a copy of the Handbook on the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Persons in India that was produced by CHLET as part of their course material. CHLET recognises that there is a significant need for the legal domain to continuously engage with the social realm. With this purpose, CHLET released the handbook in September 2018. It was the culmination of a semester-long clinical course at the university, in collaboration with civil society networks, NGOs and INGOs, namely India HIV/AIDS Alliance, Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). CHLET and the ICJ are currently working on translating the handbook into Hindi and it will subsequently be translated into other regional languages. The manual is intended to be a simplified supplement to the existing substantive and procedural criminal law, various identification processes, and rights of transgender, intersex, and gender-diverse people under the Constitution.