How do people, who are often at the receiving end of legal violence, engage with the law?

Amidst the grinding terror trials – which are replete with stories of torture, illegal detention and fabricated charges – this presentation will discuss how the terror-accused schooled themselves in legal language and came to understand how paperwork’s certificatory procedures produce legal truth. Though seemingly mundane, legal technicalities are fraught and highly contested, and acquire urgent ethical qualities in the life of a trial: legal language becomes a question of a form of life. The file becomes a space in which the world can be made or unmade, and the petition is a way of imagining a future.

In attending to the ways in which legal technicalities are made to work – through legal language and through files – we are offered a way of understanding how human expressiveness, creativity and vulnerability emerge through the law.

In this episode of BIC Talks, author and senior lecturer in law at SOAS, University of London, Mayur Suresh talks about his research in the area, followed by a conversation with research manager at Daksh, Leah Verghese.

This episode is an extract from an in-person event that took place at the BIC premises in mid-December 2023.

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