Feminist lawyering, violence against women, and the politics of law reform in India: An interview with Flavia Agnes


The history of the women’s movement’s relationship to law in India cannot be written without acknowledging the pioneering work of activist, advocate, and scholar Flavia Agnes. Her own life’s journey, engagement with the movement, involvement in women’s rights litigation, feminist jurisprudential scholarship, and outreach work through Majlis (the organisation she co-founded) offer key insights into the kind of movement-based legal pedagogy, awareness, and training that the women’s movement has fostered in India. Flavia’s activism and scholarship over the last three decades have opened up sophisticated critiques of rape law and family law reform in India that have become foundational to the field of what can be called Indian feminist jurisprudence. This interview offers insights into the autobiographical, the feminist, and the scholarly convergences in Flavia’s thinking and writing. She speaks with candour and conviction and introduces ways of thinking about feminist lawyering, violence against women, and the politics of law reform in India that are historically and theoretically grounded in an ethics of self-reflexivity and quotidian wisdom that the insulated nature of clinical legal education in India has much to learn from.

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  75. 75.

    Flavia Agnes, Family Law Volume II: Marriage, Divorce, and Matrimonial Litigation (Oxford University Press 2011) 328–349.

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The final version of this interview has gained immensely from the editorial inputs and suggestions by my colleague Ankita Gandhi.

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Sircar, O. Feminist lawyering, violence against women, and the politics of law reform in India: An interview with Flavia Agnes. Jindal Global Law Review (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-021-00133-w

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  • Feminist jurisprudence
  • Law reform
  • Clinical legal education
  • Violence against women
  • Access to justice