Continuities and change: the Law Commission and sexual violence

Geetanjali Gangoli, Martin Rew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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This paper primarily focuses on the role of the Law Commission of India in the law making process related to sexual violence and rape. The central idea behind the paper is that there is often a mismatch between the Law Commission and the law. The paper begins by contextualizing sexual violence and rape in India and describing the role of the Law Commission as a body that represents state interests and at the same time arguably stands outside it as well. Regarding the
Law Commissions more accepting towards feminist interventions than other institutions, this paper explores two areas of enquiry. Firstly, it examines the role of women’s movements in engaging with the Law Commission over the years. Secondly, it traces the conceptual continuities and changes over time between the 1980 and the 2013 reports of the Law Commission. The paper concludes that while certain key feminist demands have been dismissed or negated in the process of lawmaking, the same should not blind individuals to the importance of the law making process and the central role of the Law Commission with regard to violence against women.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)112-124
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Indian Law and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • sexual violence
  • India
  • law
  • Policy analysis


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