Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Brief notes: Impunity Report, Madras HC on individual autonomy, Dialogic Judicial Review

A few legal developments/opinions worth noting:

1. Human Rights Watch released its report on August 4th, titled 'Broken System: Dysfunction, Abuse and Impunity in the Indian Police'. The report comprehensively documents the human rights that Indian police abuses with impunity. Bibek Debroy calls for urgent police reforms in light of the report. The issue of impunity has been discussed on this blog previously (I, II and III).

2. The Madras High Court has held in Influence Lifestyle Stores v. Government of Tamil Nadu that spas offering massage by opposite-sex masseurs are not engaging in any illegal activity. Holding that 'majoritarian impulses rooted in moralistic tradition cannot impinge upon individual autonomy', the judgment has clear echoes of Naz Foundation. That both these champions of individual autonomy rely heavily on Anuj Garg is no surprise.

3. Abinav Chandrachud's opinion on dialogic judicial activism is very interesting. Jeff King mentions something similar in this article:
the metaphor of institutional or democratic dialogue between courts, the executive and Parliament. On this view, courts take part in an iterative process within which all branches of government contribute to sound decision-making. (p. 428)
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