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Comparative International Law$
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Anthea Roberts, Paul B. Stephan, Pierre-Hugues Verdier, and Mila Versteeg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190697570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190697570.001.0001

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The Democratizing Force of International Law

The Democratizing Force of International Law

Human Rights Adjudication by the Indian Supreme Court

Chapter:
(p.319) 15 The Democratizing Force of International Law
Source:
Comparative International Law
Author(s):

Neha Jain

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190697570.003.0015

This chapter argues that international law has served as a useful tool for the Indian Supreme Court in fulfilling aims that have little to do with the court’s purported status as an organ of the international community. Rather, the Supreme Court has appropriated international legal norms to pursue primarily domestic goals. This chapter proceeds as follows. Section II gives an overview of the status of international law in the Indian constitutional scheme. Section III analyzes the creative uses of international law by the Indian Supreme Court to fill in and add to the content of constitutional rights and guarantees, enabling its encroachment into domains that are normally the prerogative of the legislature and the executive. Section IV puts forward a possible explanation for this appropriation of international legal norms and suggests that international law has performed a legitimizing function in the Supreme Court’s articulation of its vision of the state.

Keywords:   India, international law, trans-judicial dialogue, India Supreme Court, international legal norms

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