Justice Sikri at the GNLU Convocation “While the Human in Law is important, the Humane in Law is indispensable”.
GNLU organised its ninth convocation of the Gujarat National Law University on January 27, 2019.
Dr Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, Hon. Judge, Supreme Court of India and Visitor, GNLU presided over the convocation. As a Chief Guest, Mr Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon. Judge, Supreme Court of India delivered the Convocation Address.
A total of 462 students of five-year integrated UG programmes in Law (333), PG programme in Law (117), MBA programme (09) and doctoral programme (03), who completed academic requirements during the academic year 2016-17 and 2017-18, were conferred degrees at the convocation.
51 Gold Medals were awarded to 32 students for their scholastic performance in various subjects with Ms Akarshita Dhawan (UG Programme in Law) receiving as many as nine different gold medals.
In his convocation address, Justice Sikri advised the graduating students to not forget that the law deals with humans and their behaviour so it’s important they keep the humane aspect at the heart of their professional practice stating that “while the Human in Law is important, the Humane in Law is indispensable.” He added that “one way to resolve a doubt in case there is a conflict between the humane and human is to keep the collective in front of an individual or holistic in front of the partial, or harmonious over the divisive, or the efficient over the deficient, or long-term over the short-term.”
He advised the students to always be prepared, always be willing to take initiative, and to grab the opportunity that presents itself before them, saying that “you are the reflection of the opportunities you seize and the chances you miss.”
He further told the students that “your life as a lawyer will not always be easy. You will not always win. You will at times be frustrated, and even heartbroken.” He asked them not to lose heart at such times referring to the success stories of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela who faced defeats early in their career. The first one lost one of his first criminal defence cases and saw his client executed, the second lost a large, civil judgment and nearly saw his client forced into bankruptcy and the third one was himself tried and convicted of treason, but all of them went on to greatness and became legends.
He likened the teachers with sculptors narrating the story of the great sculptor Michelangelo. The story goes that when Michelangelo was working on David, an eighteen-foot tall statue sculpted in marble in Florence, Italy, a little boy asked him as to why he was hitting that rock of marble so hard. He replied ‘young man, there an angel inside that rock. I am setting him free.’
He further advised the students to always be students for life stating that “Legal education isn’t over after you leave university. In fact, it begins when you start practising.”
Referring to the quote of Jeff Bezos “Cleverness is a gift, Kindness is a choice,” Dr Justice Chandrachud asked the graduating students to “be kind to others but also be kind to yourself. Self-love is as much a part of self-improvement. Do not rob yourself of the kindness you deserve.”
Dr Justice Chandrachud called upon the students to show compassion and empathy for those around us saying that “in addition to working towards fulfilling our own dreams, it is important to keep working towards creating a world where each individual has an opportunity to chase their dreams.”
In his welcome address, GNLU Director, Dr Bimal Patel announced that, from the academic year 2019-20, GNLU will offer two more LLM programmes in the field of Maritime Law and Sports Law. With this, the LLM students will have a wide range of eight specializations to choose from. GNLU currently offers six specializations in the LLM programme – Corporate & Business Law, Constitutional & Administrative Law, Intellectual Property Rights, Comparative International Law, Criminal & Security Law and Public Policy, Law & Governance.
Mr Justice Anant S. Dave, Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Gujarat and Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Government of Gujarat were the Guests of Honour at the convocation.