The Academy has instituted three memorial lecture series on constitutional law and topics of current and substantial importance. The lectures are delivered by judges and academicians of eminence and repute.
1. V.K.Krishna Menon Lectures(1896-1974)
Mr. V.K. Krishna Menon Endowment was inaugurated on 25th February, 1975 by Mr. M.N. Govindan Nair.. The proceeds of the endowment are to be used to conduct ‘V.K. Krishna Menon Lecturers’. The inaugural lecture of the series was delivered by Shri. Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer on 28th January, 1978 at the Senate Hall, Thiruvananthapuram. The most significant fact about the V.K. Krishna Menon Law Lectures, instituted by the Center for Advanced Legal Studies and Research, is that it is the only one of its kind in India which has taken shape purely from contributions from the general public, and not from any assistance by the Government.
Mr. V.K. Krishna Menon was born in 3.5.1896 to Komathu Krishan Kurup, V.K.Krishna Menon, is a legendary figure being part of India’s freedom struggle. As an Indian Nationalist Leader and freedom fighter, Mr. Menon while studying in the Madras Law College, became involved in Thesophy and was actively associated with Annie Besant and Home Rule Movement. He had his education at the London School of Economics and University College London and in England he worked as a journalist and secretary (1929-1947) of the India League and became associated with fellow Indian nationalist Leader, Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1934, as member of Labour Party he was elected as borough councilor of St. Pancras, London, which borough conferred on him the title “Freedom of Borough”, the only other person so honoured being Bernard Shaw.
In 1947, Menon became high commissioner to the United Kingdom and remained in that post till 1952. Subsequently he led the Indian delegation to the United Nations (1952-1962), where he adopted a policy of non-alignment. On 23.01.1957, he delivered an unprecedented 8-hour speech defending India’s stand on Kashmir. To date, Krishna Menon’s speech is the longest ever in the United Nations Security Council. Menon became a member of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) in 1953. On 3.2.1956 he joined the Union Cabinet as Minister and in 1957 he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bombay and in April 1957, he was named Minister of defence under Prime Minister Nehru. He was behind the establishment of Sanik Schools in India. However after India’s defeat in the China-India war of 1962, he resigned from the office for the country’s lack of military preparedness. In 1967 he lost his parliamentary seat but was re-elected in 1969 from Midnapore. Again he was elected to the Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram. He died on 6th October 1974 in New Delhi.The V.K. Krishna Menon lectures are the following:-
- Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, former judge Supreme Court of India (1978), – ‘Social Justice and handicapped Humans’. (held on 28.01.2978) (Published by Academy).
- Dr. J.A.G. Grifhith, Professor of the London School of Economics (1980)- ‘Public Rights Vs Private Rights’ (published by the Academy).
- Dr. Upendra Baxi (1983)- ‘Marx, Law and Justice’ (held from 5th to 9th December 1983) (published by Eastern Book House).
- Dr. Peter. G. Sack, Professor of Austrialian National University (1988)- ‘Constitutions and Revolutions’ (held from 3rd to 7th August 1988) (published by Academy).
- Justice Markendey Katju, Judge, Supreme Court of Inida (2008)- ‘India and the Constitution’.
The lectures are instituted in the memory of late C.Kuttikrishnan, who was a academician and legal writer par excellence. He had an extraordinary ability and talent of writing excellent legal essays and articles. He was the brain behind most of the articles and books published by the Academy. He joined the Academy after voluntarily resigning from his post of Joint Secretary in the Government Secretary and sacrificing his bright career prospects at the Government Secretariat. He was a senior lecturer at the Academy who had deeply touched the students, with his approach and methods. He was the strength for the timely publication of the Academy Law Review, which he also ensured maintained the high standards set for it. His untimely demise in 1989 was the biggest loss suffered by the Academy and was a set back to the functiong of the Academy and to the timely publication of the Academy Law Review. Lectures are held to commemorate the memory of this great academician, who was a pillar of strength for the Academy. The lectures are published by the Academy.
He served the Academy as professor and then as Principal of the Academy. His sad and untimely demise while serving as the Principal of the Academy was irreparable and irrecoverable loss to the institution. He joined the Academy right from its inception in 1967 and worked as lecture from its founding days. He was a phenomenal lecturer and master par excellence in the lecture method of teaching. Hailing from a reputed family of ayurveda practitioners, his father was a companion and associate of Sree Narayana Guru, the great legendary social reformer of India.
His lectures were unique and a masterpiece and had illustrations, explanations and narrations which were mind captivating and fascinating. Students were always unanimous in giving the verdict that once they listen to his lecture on a topic and case laws, it stands embedded in their mind to such an extent that they will never forget and they need to read it only once again to appear for the examinations. If all teachers had his method and style of delivering and lecturing, the lecturer method of teaching would have become the best option in teaching and would have endeared it as the best methodology for all proponents of legal education. His reputation and fame went beyond the boundaries of the state and such was his fame that students studying in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and all around India, came searching for him to get some of his busy time schedule spared and for hearing those wonderful illustrations and narrations of his. At his hands, studying the subject was never a task, but a joy and was exciting. He gave a name and fame to the Academy by his mesmerizing lectures and was instrumental in the growth of the Academy during its formative years. His untimely death in 1998 was an irreplaceable loss to legal education and legal faternity of the world and especially to the Academy. Lectures are held to commemorate the memory of this great law teacher, who was a doyen in the field of legal education. The lectures are published by the Academy.