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Book Chapter

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Studies on constitutional stability and endurance rarely gesture toward the role of legal doctrine. While the workings of courts are often considered in understanding how a constitutional order might be sustained, this is almost variably achieved by examining the relationship between courts and other institutions. This chapter takes a different approach and studies the way in which constitutional consolidation might also be shaped by the doctrinal orientations and forms of reasoning that courts adopt. It does so by considering the first period of Indian constitutionalism. The focus is on two specific areas: the place of the Directive Principles in India’s constitutional schema, and the confrontation between the judiciary and the legislature over land reform. In both instances, the judiciary helped to preserve the constitutional order, by sidestepping tensions that could have exploded and by carefully tailoring and minimizing disagreement, respectively.


Comparative and Foreign Law | Constitutional Law | Law


This material has been published in "From Parchment to Practice: Implementing New Constitutions", edited by Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Huq This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.