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From the Colonial to the Contemporary

Images, Iconography, Memories, and Performances of Law in India's High Courts

By: Rahela Khorakiwala
Media of From the Colonial to the Contemporary
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Published: 09-01-2020
Format: EPUB eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 280
ISBN: 9781509930661
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £75.60
Online price : £68.04
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About From the Colonial to the Contemporary

From the Colonial to the Contemporary explores the representation of law, images and justice in the first three colonial high courts of India at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. It is based upon ethnographic research work and data collected from interviews with judges, lawyers, court staff, press reporters and other persons associated with the courts.

Observing the courts through the in vivo, in trial and practice, the book asks questions at different registers, including the impact of the architecture of the courts, the contestation around the renaming of the high courts, the debate over the use of English versus regional languages, forms of addressing the court, the dress worn by different court actors, rules on photography, video recording, live telecasting of court proceedings, use of CCTV cameras and the alternatives to courtroom sketching, and the ceremony and ritual that exists in daily court proceedings.

The three colonial high courts studied in this book share a recurring historical tension between the Indian and British notions of justice. This tension is apparent in the semiotics of the legal spaces of these courts and is transmitted through oral history as narrated by those interviewed. The contemporary understandings of these court personnel are therefore seen to have deep historical roots. In this context, the architecture and judicial iconography of the high courts helps to constitute, preserve and reinforce the ambivalent relationship that the court shares with its own contested image.

Table Of Contents

1. Framing the Research
I. Introduction
II. Law, Visuality and Culture
III. The Three Courts: Law, History and Memory
IV. Visual Justice: Images of Justice in Courts
V. Method of Study
VI. Field Experience
VII. Chapter Plan
VIII. Conclusion
2. The Visual Field of Law
I. Introduction
II. Iconography and Semiotics
III. Relationship between Law and the Image
IV. Images of Justice of the Court and in the Courtroom
V. Judicial Iconography of Courts
VI. Judicial Iconography and the Statue of Justice
VII. Conclusion
3. The Calcutta High Court
I. Introduction
II. History of the Calcutta High Court
III. Establishment of the Calcutta High Court Building
IV. Architecture and Judicial Iconography of the Calcutta High Court
V. Specific Customs Prevalent in the Calcutta High Court
VI. Conclusion
4. The Bombay High Court
I. Introduction
II. History of the Bombay High Court
III. Establishment of the Bombay High Court Building
IV. Layout of the Bombay High Court
V. Judicial Iconography of the Bombay High Court
VI. Conclusion
5. The Madras High Court
I. Introduction
II. History of the Madras High Court
III. Establishment of the Madras High Court Building
IV. Architecture and Judicial Iconography of the Madras High Court
V. Specific Customs Prevalent in the Madras High Court
VI. Conclusion
6. Attributes of Justice
I. Introduction
II. The Name of the High Courts
III. Language
IV. Forms of Addressing the Court
V. Dress
VI. Photography, Video-recording, Live Telecasting and Courtroom Sketches
VII. Ceremony and Ritual in Court Proceedings
VIII. Conclusion
7. Conclusion
I. Law and the Regulation of its Image
II. Access to Justice
III. Law as Heritage
IV. Law, History and Memory
V. Apocryphal Histories and Revised Narratives

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