Chapter

Conflict of Sovereignty

Mithi Mukherjee

in India in the Shadows of Empire

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780198062509
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080151 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198062509.003.0002
Conflict of Sovereignty

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This chapter explores the nature of the conflict between the colonial government and the Supreme Court in India that culminated in the founding of the first Legislative Council of India in 1853. The Legislative Council owed its very origin to the efforts at resolving the enduring conflict between the colonial executive and the Supreme Court as an autonomous judiciary anchored in the figure of the King. Even as it functioned as a political institution, the Legislative Council came to model itself — between 1853 and 1861 — both in terms of its procedure and its telos or ultimate purpose — in the image of a British court of law. It was this newly constituted political institution of the Legislative Council that played a decisive role in the formation of a new juridico-political culture in late 19th-century India.

Keywords: colonial government; Supreme Court; Legislative Council; British courts; juridico-political culture; colonial power

Chapter.  11183 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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