U.S. Consul General Robert Burgess and Supreme Court judge Justice Indira Banerjee with the winners of the U.S.-India Comparative Constitutional Law Debate finale organized by the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai and Loyola College.

Ms. Unnati Ashish Ghia from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bengaluru won the U.S.-India Comparative Constitutional Law Debate finale organized by the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai in cooperation with Loyola College on Saturday, September 14.  Sixteen finalists representing Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala advanced to the final competition.  The U.S. 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. 

U.S. Consul General Robert Burgess said, “We recognize the strong bonds between the United States and India as the world’s oldest and largest democracies.  The U.S. Consulate General is pleased to have organized the U.S.-India Comparative Constitutional Debates with partners across South India to promote greater appreciation for values, rights, and responsibilities inherent in democratic societies.  I have been inspired by what I have seen today and am impressed with this group of young leaders who represent India’s future.”

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, U.S. Consulate General in Chennai.  Justice Prabha Sridevan, former Judge, High Court of Madras, declared the winner and Loyola College Principal Reverend Dr. A. Thomas, SJ, delivered the vote of thanks.

Dr. Abhinav Chandrachud commented, “I really must congratulate the U.S. Consulate for organizing the debate, which I think is really going to benefit the students.  I wish we had such a debate when I was a student.”

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 top four debaters from each region comprised the final 16 participants.  

The U.S. 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.

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