Two JSW Law faculty publish on GNH & the Law

Two JSW Law faculty members – Stephan Sonnenberg and Dema Lham – co-authored a journal article entitled “But Seriously Now … Lawyers as Agents of Happiness? The Role of the Law, Lawmakers, and Lawyers in the Realization of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness” in the journal Forum for Development Studies. Published by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, this peer-reviewed publication aims to be an interdisciplinary forum for development research. Sonnenberg & Lham’s article appeared in a Special Issue on “Alternative Development Paradigms in State Politics and Policy Making.”

The article discusses the influence of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness development narrative on the evolution of the laws and legal practice in Bhutan. After surveying the historical evolution of the concept of GNH, Sonnenberg and Lham predict an “accelerating relationship between GNH and the Law,” in which GNH will come increasingly to influence (1) the nature and focus of government lawyering in Bhutan, (2) the evolution of Bhutanese professional legal responsibilities and ethics, (3) the focus of Bhutanese legal academic interactions with the rest of the world, (4) the nature of legal arguments litigated before Bhutan’s judiciary, and finally (5) the emphasis of Bhutan’s policy discussions regarding legislative reforms and civil society initiatives.

The article is available online at