Presentation : Through the Lens of the Law. Court Cases and Social issues in India Article - 2018

Daniela Berti, Gilles Tarabout

Daniela Berti, Gilles Tarabout, « Presentation : Through the Lens of the Law. Court Cases and Social issues in India  », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, numéro spécial Through the Lens of the Law : Court Cases and Social Issues in India, 2018. 〈〉


For anthropologists as well as for historians, law practices and their discursive productions provide a way of studying interactions and decisions in a variety of domains of social and political life—from social and family relationships to issues such as criminality, environmental protection, natural resource management, religious practices, or human rights. The following studies deal with such issues by using the “lens of the law” as a vantage point over society, giving access to sometimes intimate situations otherwise difficult to document for an observer, as well as a filter through which social issues have to be shaped when evolving into court cases. Thus studying how law is used by people and how it impacts their lives is all the more important as, despite delays, poor facilities, and widespread corruption, courts often represent the main if not the only hope for many to redress their grievances. As a consequence the Courts are bustling with an activity that testifies to the vital role they play in society as sites of power that affect every aspect of life therein.

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