Panel Discussion LGBT Rights in India: The Naz Foundation case in the Indian courts Monday, January 27, 12:30 – 2:30 pm

LGBTRightsinIndiaJan27On December 10, 2013, the Indian Supreme Court upheld a colonial-era criminal law which serves to criminalize homosexuality. Join Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights to discuss the history of the Naz constitutional challenge, the role of the LGBT movement, and the implications of the Naz v Kaushal decision.


Panel Discussion

LGBT Rights in India: The Naz Foundation case in the Indian courts

Monday, January 27, 12:30 – 2:30 pm Osgoode Hall Law School (Ignat Kaneff Building), York University  Room 1001, 1st floor. Wheelchair accessible.  For directions, see York University map (building 32)


Andrew Pinto: partner at Pinto Wray James LLP.

Vivek Divan: Policy Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme’s HIV, Health and Development Group.

Nancy Nicol: Associate Professor in Visual Arts at York University and Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights.

Vijaya Chikermane: Executive Director of ASAAP: Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention.


Sponsored by: Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights; Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Osgoode OUTLaws; South Asian Law Students Association


Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is a 5-year international research and documentary film project working to advance social justice and equality for LGBT people. Envisioning is a partnership of mutual learning bringing together 31 LGBT organizations based in Africa, India, the Caribbean and Canada to research and document criminalization, resistance and flight from persecution. Envisioning is housed at the Centre for Feminist Research, York University and supported by a Community University Research Alliance Grant, SSHRC.




Panelist Bios:


Andrew Pinto is a partner at Pinto Wray James LLP, practicing in the areas of civil litigation, employment and labour, administrative and human rights law.   He has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada, before all levels of court in Ontario and before numerous administrative tribunals. Andrew has been active in representing LGBT clients throughout his career including in Vriend (SCC decision), Jane Doe (Ont. C.A. – assisted reproduction) and Smitherman (Ont. S.C., same-sex prom date).  He is a former Board Director for the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP). Andrew has taught Administrative Law as an Adjunct Professor at the U of T Faculty of Law.  In 2011-12, Andrew was appointed by the Attorney General of Ontario to review changes made to the Ontario human rights system and author a major report. Andrew is a Governor of the Law Commission of Ontario and a member of the Osgoode South Asia Advisory council. Andrew’s parents were born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India.




Vivek Divan is Policy Specialist on Key Populations & Access to Justice at UNDP’s HIV Practice in New York. His work focuses on providing advisory and technical support on the intersections of law and human rights in the context of key populations affected by HIV. He is a lawyer from Bombay and has worked extensively on issues of LGBT people, law and human rights in India and globally. As Coordinator of Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit in India (2000-2007) he oversaw and was involved in the legal aid, advocacy, research, capacity-building and legal literacy work of the Unit. In that time he was part of the team that drafted legislation on HIV/AIDS for India and strategized campaigns and lobbying on law and human rights related to sex work and treatment access. He was centrally involved in the public interest litigation related to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, including legal research and strategy and leading extensive community mobilization around the case. He served on the Secretariat for the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and as a member of its Technical Advisory Group from 2010-12.
Nancy Nicol is a documentary filmmaker and the Principal Investigator of Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights, which researches and documents LGBT rights and social movement histories. Nicol teaches video art, documentary and art and activism at York University. Her films include the documentary series From Criminality to Equality, on the history of lesbian and gay rights organizing in Canada.  Nancy is currently working on a documentary shot in India that examines queer organizing and the legal challenge to s. 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The film’s working title is No Easy Road to Freedom, and expected completion is spring 2014.   Nancy is also working on a documentary on the contemporary movement for LGBT rights in Botswana, and on a number of participatory video projects with Envisioning partners in Africa and the Caribbean.

Vijaya Chikermane has been an avid collaborator in the fields of HIV/AIDS, sexual health and gender equity in Toronto and internationally for over ten years. She is Executive Director at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP), is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre and also a Board member at Springtide Resources. Vijaya studied Political Science at the University of Waterloo and completed her MSc in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Vijaya is involved in a number of health and equity related projects in Toronto through her participation with Community Based-Research, project advisory committees and networks. After spending the first 15 years of her life between India and Dubai, Vijaya migrated to Canada with a deep and personal investment in social equity and its intersections with race, class, gender, violence and ability.


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