The Jawaharlal Nehru University was constituted under the Jawaharlal Nehru University Act 1966 (53 of 1966) of the Parliament of India and came into existence in 1969. The University has evolved policies and programmes which makes Jawaharlal Nehru University a distinct addition to the national resources in higher education rather than a mere quantitative expansion of facilities which already exist. The University has identified and is concentrating upon some major academic programmes, which are of relevance to national progress and development.
The basic academic units of the University are not single discipline departments but multi-disciplinary Schools of Studies. A School has been visualised as a community of scholars from disciplines which are linked with each other organically in terms of their subject-matter and methodology as well as in terms of problem areas. Some Schools are made up of a number of Centres which constitute the units operating within the broad framework of a School. A Centre has been defined as a community of scholars irrespective of their disciplines engaged in clearly identified inter-disciplinary programmes of research and teaching. Several Centres in these Schools have been declared by the UGC to be Centres of 'Excellence'.
The Centre for the Study of Law and Governance adopts a multidisciplinary approach to framing research and teaching on the complex relationship between law and governance. The study of governance, in its various forms and at different sites is central to several contemporary issues: reform of public institutions and public law; the creation and establishment of procedures and rules that lead to greater efficiency, transparency, and accountability; and the challenge of making governance more inclusive and participatory through the strengthening of democracy and civil society. The program’s interdisciplinary focus is distinctive from mainstream social science approaches to governance or law in its attempt to explore how practices of law and governance are embedded in political, economic, social and historical processes; how practices of governance are dispersed over various sites ranging from the government, bureaucracy, judiciary, community to the family; the socio-legal processes that deter or provide access to justice; and notions of governmentality, sovereignty and rights in specific politico-jural regimes. While the Centre’s academic programme produces scholarly research on law and governance, it also seeks to translate theory into practices of governance by initiating debate, sharing research and encouraging dialogue between the academia, government, civil society and NGOs at local, national and global levels. The ongoing research by the faculty and research students, a working paper series published by CSLG, an active seminar program and annual lectures by distinguished guests mark the other activities of the Centre. CSLG offers an MPhil/PhD program as well as a direct PhD program.