The Basic Structure Doctrine and its German and French Origins - A Tale about Migration, Integration and the Waters of Forgetfulness

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One fascinating aspect of the Indian basic-structure doctrine for a German lawyer is that its origin and development were influenced by the German scholar, Dietrich Conrad. This paper therefore focuses on Conrad’s work and his French and German sources for the argument that there are implied limits on the amending power. It describes the journey of this idea to India and specifies which parts of these prior theoretical works were lost in time and space, which survived, and which were developed further.Finally, there is acomparison between the justification for the basic-structure in the Kesavanada judgment and the earlier German and French theoretical works. The main thesis is that the Indian basic-structure doctrine is a powerful example of how to justify implied limits on constitutional amendment based on a rule-of-law approach that is firmly rooted in the idea of a democratic and constitutional state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45 - 61
JournalIndian Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 505029 International law
  • 505003 European law
  • 505011 Human rights
  • 505

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