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2 - Postcolonial Legality

Fragments of the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2021

Moeen Cheema
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
David Dyzenhaus
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
Thomas Poole
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Summary

Chapter 2 provides an account of the emergence of an inchoate ‘Writ’ jurisdiction in the late colonial period in British India. It is the limited availability and partial success of a procedural form of rule of law in moderating the authoritarianism of the colonial state, despite its larger failures, that account for its lasting resonance amongst segments of the colonised elites. In the first decade of postcolonial existence, as the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan failed to draft a constitution until 1956, The Government of India Act 1935 remained the interim framework. The role of the newly empowered superior courts will be particularly scrutinised with regard to their alleged complicity in the uprooting of constitutionalism and democracy in the first decade of the republic’s existence. However, despite their seeming subservience to the executive the courts continued to push the political elites that came to dominate the new state towards framing a republican constitution. Most notably, the dislocations in the state structure caused by the partition of British India also gave the courts the space to extend their administrative law jurisdiction through the newly-established ‘Writ jurisdiction’ over a bureaucracy that was in the process of reconstruction.

Type
Chapter
Information
Courting Constitutionalism
The Politics of Public Law and Judicial Review in Pakistan
, pp. 17 - 56
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Postcolonial Legality
  • Moeen Cheema, Australian National University, Canberra, David Dyzenhaus, University of Toronto, Thomas Poole, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Courting Constitutionalism
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108913065.003
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  • Postcolonial Legality
  • Moeen Cheema, Australian National University, Canberra, David Dyzenhaus, University of Toronto, Thomas Poole, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Courting Constitutionalism
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108913065.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Postcolonial Legality
  • Moeen Cheema, Australian National University, Canberra, David Dyzenhaus, University of Toronto, Thomas Poole, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Courting Constitutionalism
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108913065.003
Available formats
×