Dr. R. M. Dave


If we overview the history of Indian Legal System, it clearly reveals
that the Indian Legal System is more or less based on the English Legal
System. In fact, the systematic development of Indian judicial
institutions, judicial principles, laws etc. has occurred during British
regime itself. Besides this, the British regime in India has also
developed a hierarchical judicial system in India. Accordingly, the
highest judicial authority was conferred on a body of jurists, popularly
called as 'Privy Council'. It has played a significant role in shaping the
present legal system in India. The same is discussed as under.

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Piers Brendon The Decline and Fall of the British Empire 1781–1997 (Vintage Books, London, 2008) at 81.

Niall Ferguson Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World (Penguin Books, London, 2004) at 112.

Viscount Haldane "The Work for the Empire of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council" (1921) 1 CLJ 143 at 148.

Enid Campbell "The Decline of the Jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council" (1959) 33 ALJ 196 at 209

JP Eddy "India and the Privy Council: The Last Appeal", above n 16, at 213.

Mitch Fraas, ‘The First Fifty Appeals from East India Company Territories to the Privy Council 1679-1774’.

Mithi Mukherjee, India in the shadows of empire: a legal and political history, 1774-1950(New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Barbara Metcalf and Thomas Metcalf, A concise history of modern India (Cambridge, 2006), Chapters 2 &3 (for a general overview of the context)

Lauren Benton, ‘Colonial law and cultural difference: jurisdictional politics and the formation of the colonial state’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Jul., 1999), pp. 563-588

Stanley De Smith & Rodney Brazier, Constitutional and Administrative Law, 1994, p161

Patrick O’Connor, The Constitutional Role of the Privy Council and the Prerogative, Justice Report, 2009

Stanley & Brazier, Constitutional and Administrative Law


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