Author Archives: Lorenz

A Case for a Customary Right to Privacy of an Individual: A Comparative Study on Indian and other State Practice

by Arvind Pillai, Raghav Kohli

(2017) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 3 at ouclf.iuscomp.org | How to cite this article

Privacy as a concept has been hotly debated with regard to its role in an individual’s personal sphere since antiquity. The inception of international instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, along with institutions such as the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Council of Europe, have made the codification of privacy a global concern. However, despite the inception of these institutions, several states have refused to codify and respect privacy as a fundamental right guaranteed to an individual. Thus, the need arises to highlight the development of a right to privacy as a customary right with the help of widespread state practice around the world. The most recent country to address the question of what status privacy holds in the legislative framework of that state is India. Here a unique identifying number is provided to each citizen based on biometric and demographic information. Known as the ‘Aadhaar’ scheme, this is giving rise to grave concerns about bodily integrity, informational self-determination, and decisional freedom. Indeed, a nine-judge Constitution Bench has just unanimously affirmed that the right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution of India (Justice K S Puttaswamy (Retd.), and Anr v Union of India and Ors (2017) 10 SCC 1)
This article traces the evolution of the right to privacy in India, starting with an exploration of its conception in the Constituent Assembly Debates of the longest Constitution in the world. It attempts to ascertain the intent behind the exclusion of the right to privacy as a fundamental right from the Constitution, and analyses the contemporary position developed by the inconsistent jurisprudence of the Courts in India. Finally, by scrutinizing the practices of states from around the world, it argues that the right to privacy, and in particular data privacy, can be considered a binding principle of customary international law.

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Indigenizing Constitutionalism: A Critical Reading of “Asian Constitutionalism”

by Pranoto Iskandar *

(2017) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 2 at ouclf.iuscomp.org | How to cite this article

The intense rise of the “Rest” has not only significantly wrought the real-world dimensions of the political and economic global landscape, which marked the power shift from the traditional West, but serenely introduced a different kind of intellectualism that challenges the Enlightenment based orthodoxies that have typically supported the liberal tradition. As a distinct scholarly strain, this vantage point of the “other” primarily rests on the binary self-proclaimed indigeneity, i.e. the native values of a society, that eventually challenges the legitimacy of the once well-established notions such as the rule of law, separation of power, secularism and constitutionalism that are the indisputable buttresses of democracy. In that light, this article situates the emerging ni debate on a distinct model of constitutionalism in Indonesia and the surrounding countries as the most current rebellious streak against the liberal constitutionalism. In so doing, more specifically, this article critically examines the application of the indigeneity-based arguments in the context of the discourse on constitutionalism. Rather than speaking for the population that they are purportedly representing, this article finds that the indigeneity-based arguments are no less alien than the liberal model that they despise as both culturally and sociologically estranged.
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