ANR    CNRS
ANR Programme 2009-2012
(ANR-08-GOUV-064)
image of courtroom
JUST-INDIA
A Joint Programme on Justice and Governance in India and South Asia
(Hosted by Centre for Himalayan Studies)

Publication 2015: Regimes of Legality

Starting July 25, 2015 - Ending July 25, 2025

'Regimes of Legality: Ethnography of Criminal Cases in South Asia'is an anthropological study on judicial practices in South Asia. The contributors examine the discourses and relationships around criminal cases that shape how ideas circulate in the public sphere and how mediation and negotiation between different actors characterize police and court practices.

Regimes of Legality. Ethnography of Criminal Cases in South Asia

edited by Daniela Berti and Devika Bordia, 2015, New-Delhi, Oxford University Press LINK to the Flyer

An anthropological study on judicial practices in South Asia, this volume takes criminal cases as frameworks to examine power dynamics within a legal setting. Case studies in this book analyse a set of state and non-state institutions and the practices of people associated with them. The essays delve into the underlying tension in institutional contexts between legal practitioners such as police officers, lawyers, and judges who orient their claims towards neutralism, objectivity, and equality and a set of everyday interactions and decisions where cultural, social, and political factors play a major role.

This volume is based on the premise that the study of judiciary cases, in all their multifaceted complexity, provides a pertinent and original angle from which to access some issues of South Asia.The contributors examine the discourses and relationships around criminal cases that shape how ideas circulate in the public sphere and how mediation and negotiation between different actors characterize police and court practices.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword, Anthony Good
  • Introduction, Daniela Berti and Devika Bordia
  • '3 punishments for 3 mistakes': Negotiating between Courts, Police, and Mediation in Family Law and Family Violence, Srimati Basu
  • 'Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya': On criminalizing Love, Pratiksha Baxi
  • Binding Fictions: Contradicting Facts and Judicial Constraints in a Narcotics Case in Himachal Pradesh, Daniel Berti
  • The 'Secularism Case': Prosecution of a Hindu Activist before a Quasi-judicial Authority in the Nepal Tarai, Chiara Letizia
  • A Strong Law for the Weak: Dalit Activism in a District Court of Uttar Pradesh, Nicolas Jaoul
  • Cultures of Policing: Panchayat-Police Practices and the Making of a Criminal Case, Devika Bordia
  • The 'Devil's Court!' The Trial of 'Katta Panchayat' in Tamil Nadu, Zoé E. Headley
  • From 'She-males' to 'Unix': Transgender Rights and the Productive Paradoxes of Pakistani Policing, Jeffrey A. Redding
  • From a Comparative Perspective: Criminal Cases involving South Asian People at French Assize Courts, Véronique Bouillier