Balancing Power: A Comparative Analysis of Judicial Review in India and United Kingdom

  • Jai Ganesh
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  • Jai Ganesh

    Advocate at Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, India

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This paper presents a comparative analysis of judicial review in the United Kingdom and India, exploring the foundational principles, historical development, and practical applications in each jurisdiction. Judicial review serves as a critical mechanism for upholding constitutional governance and protecting individual rights by ensuring that legislative and executive actions adhere to constitutional and legal standards. In the UK, judicial review has evolved within the framework of an unwritten constitution, relying heavily on common law principles and parliamentary sovereignty. The judiciary's role in reviewing government actions is grounded in the principle of legality and the protection of fundamental rights, particularly through the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law. Despite the absence of a codified constitution, judicial review in the UK plays a crucial role in maintaining the rule of law and checking arbitrary power. Conversely, India's judicial review is enshrined in a written constitution, with explicit provisions granting the judiciary the authority to invalidate legislation and executive actions that contravene constitutional mandates. The Indian judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, has been proactive in interpreting and expanding the scope of judicial review to include social justice and fundamental rights, often invoking the doctrine of basic structure to prevent constitutional amendments that undermine the core principles of the constitution. This paper examines key cases and legislative frameworks in both jurisdictions, highlighting the distinct approaches and underlying philosophies that shape judicial review in the UK and India. By comparing these systems, the paper aims to elucidate the strengths and challenges of each model, offering insights into the dynamic interplay between law and governance. The analysis underscores the importance of judicial review as a tool for safeguarding democracy and promoting accountability in diverse legal landscapes.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 2396 - 2408


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