Unnati Ashish Ghia from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bengaluru won the US-India Comparative Constitutional Law Debate finale organised by the US Consulate General in Chennai in cooperation with Loyola College on Saturday, September 14.
Speaking to TNM, Unnati says, “It was a unique opportunity since it is rare to come across a debate competition that also allows you to dabble in Constitutional law.”
She also adds that the final round was especially challenging given the panel of judges. “We were arguing in front of a panel of incredible judges. Dr Menaka Guruswamy is an alumna of my college and a senior advocate of the Supreme Court. Dr Abhivav Chandrachud has written books on Constitutional law. Professor Mark Tushnet from Harvard Law School is one of the most well-known names in Constitutional law globally. It was challenging but also very enjoyable to have engaged with the judges. I had a great time.”
Nearly 270 participants took part in the preliminary rounds of the debate held in July and August in four cities across south India: Kochi, Bengaluru, Tiruchirappalli, and Chennai. The US Consulate General in Chennai and Loyola College partnered with The National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) in Kochi; The National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bengaluru; The Tamil Nadu National Law University (TNNLU) in Tiruchirappalli; and The Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University (TNDALU) in Chennai to conduct the debates.
Sixteen finalists representing Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala advanced to the final competition.
The judging panel for the final contest comprised Dr Abhinav Chandrachud, Attorney, High Court of Mumbai; Professor Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School; Dr Menaka Guruswamy, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India; Geeta Ramaseshan, Advocate, High Court of Madras; and Lauren Lovelace, Consul for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, US Consulate General in Chennai.
The US Consul General Robert Burgess and Supreme Court Justice Indira Banerjee presented the trophy to the winner at an award ceremony held at the Taj Coromandel in Chennai.