Marks, a Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights, Harvard University, was speaking Wednesday at Sonepat-based O P Jindal University, which launched the India''s first multi-disciplinary undergraduate programme in Legal Studies.
The professor, who spoke on ''Changing the World Through Law'' drew the students'' attention to law''s ambiguous relations to justice as reflected in existing power relations as also a force for social change.
"The study of law can prepare you to make lots of money helping those with money protect and expand their wealth, but, more importantly the study of law can also prepare you to be a problem-solver and an agent for positive change in a time of new challenges, such as climate change," Marks said.
He observed that law could both maintain existing oppression and should be resisted and disobeyed, as advocated by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela as he learned by working in Washington for a Senator who played a leading role in the adoption of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.
Articulating on the role of lawyers in the freedom struggle, Founding Vice Chancellor of the University Raj Kumar said they played a central role in the drafting of the Indian Constitution and the Assembly proceedings clearly demonstrate the part played by the lawyers in elaborating the basic concepts of freedom, equality and justice.
The Vice Chancellor, who is also the Dean of the Jindal Global Law School, said the notion of rule of law has been deeply embedded in our civilisational heritage, historical context, freedom struggle, and development of our democracy and our institutions.
The university has now launched a BA Honours programme in Legal Studies which gives an opportunity to all high school students to pursue study of law, even if they may not be interested to become a lawyer, he said.
"Our freedom movement demonstrated that many leading figures of the Indian national movement were lawyers who led the freedom movement from the front and fought colonial rule and injustice, precisely due to their belief in the importance of a rule of law society and their consciousness of the importance of freedom and justice.
"But they also recognised that law could be an instrument of oppression and hence, it was important to have limits on law and the exercise of power through the Constitution, independent judiciary and other institutions," said Kumar. PTI LLP RKS SA
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI