Delay in process, denial of justice: the jurisprudence and empirics of speedy trials in comparative perspective

Krishnan, Jayanth K and Raj Kumar, C. (2011) Delay in process, denial of justice: the jurisprudence and empirics of speedy trials in comparative perspective. Georgetown Journal of International Law, 42 (3). pp. 746-784. ISSN 15505200

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Criminal law scholars regularly maintain that American prisons are overcrowded and that defendants in custody wait long periods of time before having their cases brought to trial. A similar refrain is made of the penal process in India—the world’s largest democracy, an ally of the United States, and a country with a judiciary that draws upon American criminal procedure law. In fact, the situation in India is thought to be much worse. Accounts of prisoners languishing behind bars for several years—and sometimes decades—awaiting their day in court are not uncommon. Many Indian prisons are between 100% and 200% over capacity, where conditions are squalid and the weaker inmates face serious physical harm. In this study, we examine the current state of the Indian criminal justice system. Beginning in 1979, the Indian Supreme Court, referencing the American Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, held that defendants had a fundamental right to a speedy trial. We examine the evolution of the Indian jurisprudence on this matter, which has been quite favorable for defendants. Then we move beyond this line of inquiry by empirically evaluating whether the positive court rulings have translated into tangible changes for the criminally accused. As our findings suggest, there exists a major gap in India between these encouraging judicial pronouncements and how the right plays out in reality, which we believe provides an important perspective for comparative and criminal law scholars.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Criminal Justice | United States-Indoa | Trials Delays | Criminal Procedure | India and United States-Criminal Procedure Compared
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 11:35
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2022 09:58
Official URL:


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