Comparative Jurisprudence: Unraveling the Doctrine of Proportionality in the USA, UK, and India

  • Selma G.S.
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  • Selma G.S.

    LL.M. student at Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, India

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The expansion of the welfare state and technological advancements have empowered executives and bureaucracies worldwide, necessitating robust judicial review. The principle of Wednesbury reasonableness, dominant in common law countries like the UK and India, has gradually given way to the doctrine of proportionality. This doctrine ensures a balanced approach, minimizing intrusions on citizen rights while upholding legitimate government goals. The UK, unlike India, has not formally adopted proportionality, but elements of it are increasingly evident in judicial reasoning. The USA, on the other hand, relies heavily on a balancing test that shares some similarities with proportionality but operates within a distinct legal framework. Despite adopting proportionality in 2000 (Omkumar v. Union of India), India's application remains limited. This research paper delves into the concepts of proportionality, Wednesbury reasonableness, and the margin of appreciation. It analyzes the shift from Wednesbury to proportionality across common law jurisdictions, comparing the British and American Law. The paper argues for a more robust application in India, drawing insights from the UK's evolving approach, to effectively safeguard human rights. With the administration's ever-increasing influence on individual lives, the doctrine of proportionality offers a crucial tool for judiciaries to check potential excesses of power. This research highlights the progressive trend in Indian courts and emphasizes the urgent need for a more comprehensive implementation of proportionality, informed by the experiences of the UK and USA.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 1174 - 1191


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