Thursday, April 5, 2018

Gadbois on the early Supreme Court of India

Cover for 

Supreme Court of India

George Gadbois' Supreme Court of India: The Beginnings was published by Oxford University Press last month. The book is Gadbois' 1965 Duke PhD dissertation in political science. It has been published posthumously with an introduction to George Gadbois' life and work by co-editors Vikram Raghavan and Vasujith Ram. George Gadbois taught at the University of Kentucky and passed away in 2017 (we noted earlier this obituary by Vikram Raghavan). From the publisher: 

This work seeks to determine the roles played by the paramount judiciary in the Indian polity between 1937 and 1964. The discussion starts with an examination of the Federal Court, the establishment of which in 1937 brought into existence India's first central judicial institution. After a consideration of events leading to the creation of the Federal Court, the nature of its jurisdiction and representative decisions are analysed. Other matters considered include the relationship of the Federal Court with the Privy Council, and the unsuccessful efforts made to empower the Federal Court with a jurisdiction to hear civil appeals. In addition, the major part of this work is devoted to the present Supreme Court of India, which replaced the Federal Court in 1950. After discussing the general features of the new judicial establishment, attention is focused upon the nature of its review powers and the manner in which the Court can exercise these powers. Against the background of debates in the Constituent Assembly that reflect the attitudes of the Constitution-makers towards judicial review, the important decisions which provoked clashes between the judges and politicians have been analysed.
Here is the Table of Contents:
  • Introduction by Vikram Raghavan and Vasujith Ram
  • Chapter 1: Evolution of the Federal Court of India
  • Chapter 2: The Federal Court of India: 1937-1950
  • Chapter 3: The New Judicial Establishment
  • Chapter 4: Jurisdiction and Powers of the Supreme Court
  • Chapter 5: The Supreme Court in the Indian System of Government
  • Chapter 6: Judicial Review in a Modern Democratic Welfare State
  • Chapter 7: Summary and Conclusions
There have been multiple book launch events in India and the US, including this, this, this, and this. Here is an excerpt from the book.

Further information about the book is available here.