‘Vinculum juris’ literally means ‘legal tie’ or ‘legal bond’. The term appears in the form ‘iuris vinculum’ in the Institutes’ definition of an obligation as a legal tie between parties. In formal terms, my academic work is centred around the law of obligations, which I study through the lenses of doctrine, legal history, socio-legal theory and comparative law. In a broader sense, though, my research and teaching are about the human dimensions of commercial societies, and the role of law in mediating the conflicting expectations, goals, and motives that characterise these societies. As a result, I tend to teach, write, and (very occasionally) blog about a wide range of topics.
In terms of my background, I read law in India at the National Law School, Bangalore. I then became a commercial lawyer, practising for some years with AZB & Partners in Mumbai before moving to the UK to take up an academic role, largely so I could turn to the broader normative issues about law that I’d had to put to one side while in practice.
As an academic, I developed a very strong interest in the pedagogy of legal education. I have done a good bit of work on problem-based learning (I was one of the core team of four who set up the UK’s first purely problem-based law degree at York), simulation-based learning, and on assessment techniques. I also have a tendency to get involved in teaching-oriented administrative roles. I am currently Director of Learning and Teaching at the law school (the school DOLT, as it were). At York, I was a member of the University Teaching Committee for several years, and I currently sit on the Learning and Teaching Committee for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Newcastle University. This blog will also talk about issues of learning and teaching from time to time.