Shadow of the Raj: Understanding Rule of Law and Emergency in Modern South Asia

13 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2018

See all articles by Amber Darr

Amber Darr

University of Manchester; University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: August 22, 2018


This article reviews Nasser Hussain’s 2003 The Jurisprudence of Emergency: Colonialism and the Rule of Law and explores reasons for which it has come to be regarded as a contemporary classic. The article traces the narrative arc of the book and examines its core themes of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘race’ and their impact on the dynamic between ‘rule of law’ and ‘emergency’ in colonial India. It investigates the relevance of the book for understanding Pakistan and India’s struggles with rule of law and their distinct experiences of ‘emergency’. However, it argues, that despite being rooted in South Asia, the book speaks to the entire post-colonial experience. Finally, it suggests that the material in the book may be examined afresh and extended in comparative legal studies, in examining the role of rule in law in economic development, and the disparity in the relationship between the judiciary and executive in Pakistan and India.

Keywords: colonialism, comparative law, emergency, legal theory, post-colonialism, rule of law, South Asian studies, sovereignty

Suggested Citation

Darr, Amber, Shadow of the Raj: Understanding Rule of Law and Emergency in Modern South Asia (August 22, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Amber Darr (Contact Author)

University of Manchester ( email )

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Manchester, N/A M13 9PL
United Kingdom

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

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London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
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