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Law and Social Transformation in India
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Law and Social Transformation in India

by Oliver Mendelsohn
Edition: 13 March 2014
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Product Details:

Format: Hardback
Pages: 352 pages
Publisher: Oxford Books India
Language: english
ISBN: 978-0-19-809847-8
Dimensions: 24.2 CM X 0.79 CM X 16 CM
Date Added: 2012-05-27
Search Category: Lawbooks



  • Covers a broad spectrum in its socio-legal analysis in the Indian context: from the dalits in rural India to advocates, solicitors, and judges in the cities; from public interest litigation to anti-terrorism legislation; from dispute settlements in nyaya panchayats and caste panchayats to such settlements among the diamond traders of Mumbai and the dhobis or washer folk of rural Rajasthan
  • Has a marked difference from other books in the area: most other books deal mostly with High Courts and the Supreme Court; this volume discusses till the base of the legal system (e.g., district courts, civil courts)
  • Is based on extensive field research and interviews done in India over the last three decades

This collection of works-previously published in a variety of journals and books-explores 'the basic architecture' of law in India. It is mainly focused on modern and contemporary India but also looks at the historical roots and evolution of contemporary law and society in India. The collection has a particular focus on identifying and accounting for the distinctive character of litigation in India, including its previously narrow subject matter and also its frequently protracted quality. A major theme is the way in which the legal system introduced into India by the British has co-existed with patterns of authority and dispute settlement that have their origins outside the state. The book is essentially about legal change, both within the official legal system and within 'society'. So there is discussion on the emergence over the last twenty years of corporate law firms along the lines of the firms of New York, and also the persistence and reinvention of novel forms of dispute settlement among groups as diverse as the diamond traders of Mumbai and the dhobis or washer folk of rural Rajasthan. The changing character of authority in rural India is a major theme of the collection.


Readership: Apart from institutions, this book will be of interest to students, research scholars, and teachers of law, sociology, and Dalit studies, as well as of politics and history. Lawyers will also benefit from this volume.


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Table Of Contents:

1. The Pathology of the Indian Legal System
2. How Indian Is Indian Law? 3. The Transformation of Authority in Rural India
4. The Question of the 'Harijan Atrocity'
5. From Colonial to Post-colonial Law in India
6. The Indian Legal Profession, the Courts, and Globalization
7. Life and Struggles in the Stone Quarries of India
8. The Supreme Court as the Most Trusted Public Institution in India
9. Law, Terror and the Indian Legal Order
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