top of page

My PhD research:

It is a qualitative empirical study of the operation of reforms intended to be brought by a social policy -the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, 2012, which exclusively deals with cases of sexual violence against children in India. The study engages different dimensions of the 'access to justice' perspective. Through my doctoral project, which sits at the intersection of socio-legal studies and criminology, I intend to examine the gaps between the policy and practice of the implementation of the POCSO Act and the reasons behind these gaps. The project employs the methods of interview and observation. It is based on an analysis of the stakeholder experiences and perceptions, and observations of the court complexes, special POCSO courtrooms, and the POCSO trials. The first set of findings from the PhD thesis was published as an article titled Child Sexual Abuse Cases in India and Judicial Officers' Perceptions and Experiences of POCSO-related Special Training (Socio-Legal Review).


My MPhil research:

I have experience in conducting ethnographic research through my M.Phil. project, which was carried out at JNU, New Delhi. It is a semiotic study of the art and architecture of the Delhi district courts, Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India through the lenses of power and justice. The title of the project is 'Legal Architecture in India: Law, Image and Justice'. I got the chapter on the Supreme Court of India from the thesis published as an article in 2017 in the 'International Journal for the Semiotics of Law'.

My research agenda:

My research is at the intersection of criminal law and criminology, public law and policymaking, legal anthropology and visual culture, South Asia studies, and socio-legal theory. My thoughts and works are informed by and engage abolitionist feminism, critical theories of race and caste as well as postcolonial, decolonial, and subaltern perspectives. My current works focus on policies for children who are sexually harmed (Child Sexual Violence) and children in conflict with the law, i.e., children who have caused harm (Child/Juvenile/Youth Justice), examining the institutional reforms in this regard from an overarching theme of access to justice. My interest lies in the empirical and philosophical understanding of deviance and state and societal responses to it, with a particular emphasis on the implementation of various criminal laws.


Having conducted comprehensive ethnographic research on Indian courts, I am, broadly, interested in the anthropological and sociological study of law, legal institutions, legal actors, and legal cultures, and the roles played by emotion, power and intersectional experiences of actors and participants across these entities in how laws are enacted and implemented.  


I have also been involved in organising a global virtual Gathering in 2021 on 'Imagining Abolition' with the support of an international team of activists, artists, researchers, and academics from the USA, Canada, India, the UK, and New Zealand. This gathering had speakers- academics, activists, former and presently incarcerated folx, and researchers, from across the world. You can access the details of the Gathering  here:

You may want to watch the discussions from the Gathering and follow and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for future conversations on abolition here: Conference Organizers - YouTube



Prof. Leslie Moran & Prof. Jessica Jacobson

Official Profile:

Shailesh Kumar

Office Address

12, Gower Street, School of Law,

Birkbeck College, University of London

Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6HE



I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
bottom of page