We are invited to dinner Monday night with Mr. Soli Sorabjee, former minister of justice, one of India’s great human rights champions, and grandfather of Aarti Mody ’10. This year, Brandeis established a lectureship in Soli Sorabjee’s name, as part of the Brandeis-India Initiative. Historian Sugata Bose gave the first lecture in November. Filmmaker Paromitra Vohra will screen and discuss her path-breaking work on February 25, 2010. Best of all Soli Sorabjee himself will travel to Brandeis to deliver an address on April 14, 2010.
At dinner we are joined by Mr. Sorabjee’s charming wife Zena, and by a distinguished roster of some of India’s leading legal lights, including P.P. Rao, a leading advocate before the Supreme Court; Upendra Baxi, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Delhi; and Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist whose work has also encompassed business ethics. (I discovered that my 2004 book, Ethics at Work: Creating Virtue in an American Corporation was better known in this crowd than my recent work on international judges.)
The guests are eager to talk not only about Brandeis University, but about Louis Brandeis. The concept of the “Brandeis brief,” with its emphasis on bringing sociological data and other facts to bear on legal cases, resonates deeply here. Mr. Sorabjee quoted Brandeis opinions from memory. For these men of the law, the name of Brandeis carries great weight.
On April 14, Soli Sorabjee will speak at Brandeis on Rule of Law: A Moral Imperative for South Asia and the World.