Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Khorakiwala on judicial iconography

Rahela Khorakiwala (Jawaharlal Nehru University) has published "Legal Consciousness as Viewed through the Judicial Iconography of the Madras High Court," Asian Journal of Law and Society (pub. online 8 Jan. 2018), 1-23. The article takes a historical interest in the architecture and statuary of the court. Here is the abstract: 


The Madras High Court located in Chennai, India, was established in 1862 when India was under colonial rule. It continues to exist in post-independence India after merging into the Indian legal system. In this study, I argue that the architecture and judicial iconography of the Madras High Court building reflects a recurring historical tension between Indian and British concepts of justice. This is continually reflected in the semiotics of the legal space of this high court which in turn influences the legal consciousness of the court personnel who utilize this
space. This architecture and iconography of the Madras High Court constitutes, preserves, and reinforces the ambivalent legal consciousness of those who created, occupy, and visit this space. The contemporary legal consciousness of the court personnel is thus seen to have deep historical roots. 
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