Should law adapt to technology or should technology adapt to the norms of law?’ Asks Prof. Baxi – DT News TV

Prof. Upendra Baxi, renowned jurist and former Vice Chancellor of Delhi University delivered the first S. Krishnamurti Endowment Lecture in Law organised by School of Law, Sai University. The lecture titled ‘The Law’s Soft Technology governing Hard Technologies?’ explored the question whether law itself may be conceived as technology and if so what kind of technology it may be. He mentioned that the US Defence Department has, in an unconscious irony described ‘drones” — non-lethal automatic weapons systems, the first letters of which acronymise as LAWS! He found the idea of law as an ‘enterprise’ to subject human behaviour advocated by jurist Lon Fuller and the notion of ‘cultural lag’ propounded by sociologist Charles Ogburn compellingly relevant today in understanding law as technology.

‘The Fullerian idea of law as a normative enterprise has appeal because legislation, administration, interpretation, enforcement, the four domains of law, unite as risk-takers. Risks and trust in experts, epistocracy, as we now call it, are the defining marks of the old and the new modernity; and modern law is at the heart of the dialectical relation between the two. So, there is fun ahead in thinking about ‘soft’ technology of law still trying to regulate ‘hard’ ones,’ Prof. Baxi noted.

Justice M. Sundar of the Madras High Court was the Chief Guest and Advocate Sriram Panchu was the Guest of Honour. Mr. K. V. Ramani, Chancellor of Sai University, Prof. Jamshed Barucha, Vice Chancellor, and Prof. Reena Patel, Dean, School of Law also spoke on the occasion. The vote of thanks was delivered by Prof. M, V. Shiju, Deputy Dean, School of Law.

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