Law, Nation, State: Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts

Rina Verma Williams

in Postcolonial Politics and Personal Laws

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780195680140
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081721 | DOI:
Law, Nation, State: Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts

Show Summary Details


This chapter addresses the insights that past and current studies have brought to bear on issues of colonialism, postcolonialism, and law. India offers a well-tailored case to examine the forms and influences of legal continuity in the postcolonial state. Uniform laws were vital to the idea of nationalism. The work of legal pluralists illustrates the early wave of scholarship on colonial law. Personal laws could be a way for minority groups to retain and preserve their unique cultural heritage. Among the legacies of colonial rule, the law has had a unique staying power in postcolonial India. The system of personal laws was a key component of the legacy of state power and legal policy before and after independence. Subrata Mitra and Alexander Fischer determined four key institutions that influenced the personal laws: the national government and parliament; the Supreme Court and High Courts; state governments and legislatures; and political organizations.

Keywords: colonialism; postcolonialism; personal laws; India; colonial law; colonial rule; Subrata Mitra; Alexander Fischer

Chapter.  17041 words. 

Subjects: Family Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.