Legal imagination and social reform: Navtej Johar revisited

Uma, Saumya and Sreenath, Samudyata (2020) Legal imagination and social reform: Navtej Johar revisited. NUJS Law Review, 13 (3).

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A central concept in the Navtej Singh Johar judgement of the Supreme Court is that of ‘constitutional morality’. Through its framing of ‘constitutional morality’ juxtaposed with and pitted against ‘societal morality’, the judgement sought to bring about a transformation within the realm of ‘the social’. While the term and content of ‘constitutional morality’ have been the subject of intense legal discourse, emanating from Navtej Johar and in jurisprudence thereafter, the ramifications of the term ‘social morality’ and its relationship with the law have been inadequately addressed in public discourse. It, therefore, becomes important to examine what the courts imagine when they talk of ‘the social’ to fully understand the extent to which they can bring about such transformations. In this article, we examine if the separation between constitutional morality and societal morality, as advocated in Navtej Johar, is philosophically and practically tenable and desirable. To do this, the article engages with the assumptions made by the courts in their framing of ‘constitutional morality’ and examines the validity of these assumptions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Social reform | Societal morality | Navtej Johar | Constitutional morality | Transformation
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2022 09:02
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2022 09:02
Official URL:


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