Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies

The Rule of Law and Emergency in Colonial India

Judicial Politics in the Early Nineteenth Century

Authors: Inagaki, Haruki

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  • Presents the conflict between two principles of colonial rule: the logic of law and the logic of emergency
  • Explores the role of the King’s Court and its conflict with the East India Company in nineteenth-century India
  • Argues that Indians’ everyday use of the King’s Court ultimately led to the curtailing of its power
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About this book

This book takes a closer look at colonial despotism in early nineteenth-century India and argues that it resulted from Indians’ forum shopping, the legal practice which resulted in jurisdictional jockeying between an executive, the East India Company, and a judiciary, the King’s Court. Focusing on the collisions that took place in Bombay during the 1820s, the book analyses how Indians of various descriptions—peasants, revenue defaulters, government employees, merchants, chiefs, and princes—used the court to challenge the government (and vice versa) and demonstrates the mechanism through which the lawcourt hindered the government’s indirect rule, which relied on local Indian rulers in newly conquered territories. The author concludes that existing political anxiety justified the East India Company’s attempt to curtail the power of the court and strengthen their own power to intervene in emergencies through the renewal of the company’s charter in 1834. An insightful read for those researching Indian history and judicial politics, this book engages with an understudied period of British rule in India, where the royal courts emerged as sites of conflict between the East India Company and a variety of Indian powers.


About the authors

Haruki Inagaki is Associate Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan, having previously studied at King’s College London, UK. His research focuses on the history of British colonial rule in India. He is also interested in the comparative history of British and Japanese empires.

Reviews

“Inagaki’s methodical study demonstrates how the Company’s disputes and eventual subjugation of the independent King’s Court in Bombay embedded the logic of state necessity and perpetual emergency into the governing fabric of the British colonial regime. In so doing, it offers a compelling and important new insight into how colonial rule privileged security and political order over the rule of law.” (Mark Condos, Lecturer, King’s College London, UK)
“Britain’s empire did not arrive fully formed in India. Haruki Inagaki’s superbly-researched, well-argued book traces its emergence in a proliferating set of arguments between different groups of British officers, who variously fought with and co-opted Indian elites. It traces the debates which raged amongst British officers about the character of Britain’s presence in India during the early nineteenth century, in doing so unravelling the fractured, debated character of the imperial enterprise itself. British India’s Imperial constitution was, he argues, forged within the opposition between radically different logics of power. Inagaki’s book offers a compelling account of the real life of empire in motion. A vital contribution to the burgeoning field of imperial legal history, it speaks well beyond narrow thematic categories, and is vital reading for anyone interested in the history of empire more broadly and the Indian subcontinent.“ (Jon Wilson, Professor, King’s College London, UK)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-73663-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-73662-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Rule of Law and Emergency in Colonial India
Book Subtitle
Judicial Politics in the Early Nineteenth Century
Authors
Series Title
Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-73663-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-73663-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-73662-0
Series ISSN
2635-1633
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 182
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics