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Contents of Volume 8(2)


Willaim Rhee, The Micro-Macro Legal Continuum and The Levels of Law

Together the micro-macro legal continuum and the three levels of law provide an alternative legal problem-solving framework more accurate than current less sophisticated approaches such as the so-called “great disconnect" between the legal academy and legal practice. Although this alternative legal framework requires refinement and empirical testing, it can help develop a new "law and practice" movement that seeks to enrich the study of law with the unique intra-disciplinary insights of legal practice. Modern democracies today face many challenging problems. Law can help address those problems. Academics and practitioners need to coordinate their efforts along the entire micro-macro legal continuum and at the different levels of law to innovate more effective legal solutions to these problems.

Michael Adler, The Rise and Fall of Administrative Justice – A Cautionary Tale

This paper comprises a case study of the history of the Administrative justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC) in the United Kingdom from its establishment in 2007 to its likely demise five years later, in 2012. It outlines a number of competing approaches to administrative justice and identifies some of the key milestones on the road to reforming the ways in which disputes between citizens and the state are handled in the UK. It traces the rise and fall of the AJTC and considers how arguments for the establishment of an 'oversight body' that seemed, until recently, to enjoy all-party support could, within a very short time, be insufficient to secure its continued existence. The paper attempts to assess the contribution of the AJTC to the achievement of administrative justice in the UK and considers the implications of its demise for this goal. Along the way, it briefly compares the role of the AJTC on a UK-wide basis with that of its Scottish Committee and assesses the importance of timing and scale in determining their respective futures. After a brief sideways look at administrative justice in India, it concludes by discussing the implications of strong parliamentary sovereignty and weak constitutional protection, which together characterize governance in the United Kingdom, for administrative justice in the United Kingdom.

Avinash Govindjee, The Role of The Courts in Addressing Poverty, Inequality and Unemployment in South Africa

South Africa’s remarkable transition from a system based on minority rule and apartheid to a constitutionally supreme democracy is well-known. The founding of a "new" South Africa (based on values such as human dignity; the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms; non-racialism and non-sexism; the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law; universal adult suffrage; a national common voters roll; regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government) was designed to revolutionize South African society. The intention, no doubt, was that this universally-acclaimed political transformation would be sufficient to propel the country towards the achievement of the Preamble promise to improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person. It appears increasingly likely, however, that the famed liberation struggle and constitutionally-based transition will be remembered only as a “first phase" achievement. The establishment of a constitutional democracy in South Africa may have been an outstanding building block for societal change and social protection. Perhaps through design, but more likely through implementation, this first phase transition has been unable to achieve significant gains in the country’s battle against the so-called "triple challenge" of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Eesvan Krishnan, Private Speculations and The Public Interest: N.C. Kelkar’s Land Acquisition Bill

In December 2007, in response to protests against the compulsory acquisition of land for special economic zones and other industrial projects, most notoriously at Nandigram and Singur, the UPA-I government proposed changes to the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 ('LAA /894') of a scope and significance unprecedented in independent India. There exists, however, a comparable albeit forgotten precedent of reforming intent and ambition from the late (British) Raj. In 1927, the Maharashtrian nationalist N. C Kelkar (1872- 1947) proposed what was described as a 'revolutionary' private member’s Bill to amend the LAA 1894, inspired in part by a satyagraha, a few years earlier, against land acquisition for a privately-constructed dam. The Bill met with serious opposition from officials and was ultimately withdrawn, a failure which this article attempts to explain in light of the history of land acquisition and the political economy of the inter-war years.

Siddharth Narrain, Gender Identity, Citizenship and State Recognition

State recognition of gender identity claims in Karnataka has been in the form of administrative measures. Identity documents have become a crucial terrain where these identities are being contested, and citizenship claims are being made. These developments have given rise to a range of debates around the methods of identification of gender minorities and how inclusive the process of state recognition can be. This piece attempts to outline some of these contemporary concerns, both in terms of policy and the law.

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