Our Constitution is a reflection of our collective self-identity. It was adopted and enacted on November 26, 1949, and it has been a constant guide in our socio-political and legal interactions.
On the occasion of the 71st Constitution Day, a distinguished lecture on the topic ‘Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments’ was hosted at Institute of Law, Nirma University. The lecture was delivered by Prof. David S. Law, who holds the Sir Y. K. Pao Chair in Public Law at The University of Hong Kong.
Prof. Law began with outlining an analytical framework for study of judicial review. He argued that though the basic structure doctrine is more popularly addressed as the sole standard of judicial review of constitutional amendments, the same might not be taken as a strict rule. He stated that while protective review might revolve entirely around the basic structure analysis, transformative review of amendments would indulge in challenging constitutional interpretations that act as a restrain on furthering the transformative needs of society.
Prof. Law also pointed out that there is no such thing as the ‘final word’ in constitutional politics; politics itself implying an ongoing process without an end. Hence, judicial review by Courts and amendments by Parliament serve as a constant dialogic process, whereby institutions indulge in constitutional politics. The ubiquity of this dialogic process, however, is not a call for resignation from study of practice of judicial review of constitutional amendments.
The need was also highlighted for constitutional democracies to address the problems of basic necessities faced in day to day life by the populace. We also ought to take serious steps in the furtherance of a substantive democratic culture, where the necessities and interests of the people are actively addressed.
Earlier, Prof. (Dr.) Purvi Pokhariyal, Director & Dean, Institute of Law Nirma University in her introductory remarks talked about the importance of the Constitution Day and quoted Dr. B R Ambedkar, “However good a constitution may be, if those who are implementing it are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a constitution may be, if those implementing it are good, it will prove to be good”
The participants were lead by Dr. Vikash Kumar Upadhyay, Assistant Professor at the institute into reading of the Fundamental Duties as stated in the Constitution, and a pledge to abide by it. Dr Tarkesh Molia, Associate Professor delivered the vote of thanks and Prof. Mr. Sukrit Garg delivered the concluding remarks at the event.