- Addendum: I wrote a piece about the Supreme Court's decision recognising privacy as a fundamental right which Business Standard published on 25 Aug 2017: SC's Right to Privacy ruling does more for Indians than we had hoped for
A Quick Comment on International Law in Indian Courts:
There's an interesting line in the Supreme Court's judgment issued today in WP (Civil) 494 of 2012 which seems to have largely been ignored: "In the view of this Court, international law has to be construed as a part of domestic law in the absence of legislation to the contrary and, perhaps more significantly, the meaning of constitutional guarantees must be illuminated by the content of international conventions to which India is a party."
This is, of course, in stark contrast with the position which the Supreme Court had adopted in the 1980 Jolly George case: "The positive commitment of the States Parties ignites legislative action at home but does not automatically make the Covenant an enforceable part of the corpus juris of India."
Although there have been decisions in the intervening years which have veered towards the position in today's judgment, it could be argued that the unequivocal statement made today by the Supreme Court significantly widens the scope of possible claims which may be made in Indian courts. It appears that we do not need specific adoption. And that, I suspect, is significant.
(This post is by Nandita Saikia and was first published at IN Content Law.)