The Supreme Court Observer Workshops aim to engage students with key constitutional values through the careful analysis of Indian Supreme Court cases. In each Workshop, students must analyse a selected case by critically reading relevant primary and secondary material available on our website.
These materials include written submissions, summaries of oral arguments and orders and judgments. Students are guided through the reading materials by a Worksheet. The Worksheets ask students a series of questions, which allow them to go through a process of discovery, whereby they find out which constitutional values are at play in the selected case.
The Workshops are designed to actively engage students with the Constitution. Each Workshop focuses on a contemporary public controversy that requires constitutional interpretation by the Supreme Court. The Workshop tasks the students with understanding the reasoning used by Supreme Court judges in interpreting the Constitution. By engaging with the primary reading materials, students discover the key constitutional questions at play in the case. Ultimately, the Workshops encourage the students to see the Constitution as a living social contract, which requires constant re-interpretation by both the Court and citizens.
Finally, the SC Observer Workshops assume a “pedagogy of discovery”. In answering questions on the Worksheet, students are encouraged to “discover” answers by themselves. The students should not view the teacher leading the Workshop as all-knowing.
The Supreme Court Observer Workshops secure the following outcomes:
Identify key constitutional values through analysis of a Supreme Court case
Introduce students to Supreme Court procedure
Understand how parties present their arguments and how Supreme Court judges reason
Emphasize the relevance of these materials for civic citizenship in India