LAW OF PRIVILEGES AS AN ANTITHESIS TO GLOBAL DEMOCRATIC POLICIES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

Megha Pillai & Pooja Rao Putrevu
Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad


The Law of Privileges has had a long journey in developing from the Crown Privilege in the era of British dominance to the subsequent concept of Public Interest Immunity, the same change reflecting in different nations in different forms; the United Stated of America calls it the ‘executive privilege’ where as the Indian Government has named it ‘Governmental Privilege’. Further changes in nomenclature can be observed in other Commonwealth countries such as Canada and Australia. Though the jargon varies through the various countries, the concept remains very similar; varying slightly with the variance in forms of government. The most common privilege among these countries is that of withholding the disclosure of documents. It can be believed to an extent that the growing complexity of a modern state increases the secrecy in the Government, this in turn leads to administrative discrepancies. A democratic administration requires a delicate balance of secrecy. Through this research project, the transition of privilege from absolute discretion of the executive to a limited discretion that is subject to the confines of judicial review shall be examined. The impact of these privileges on the accountability and transparency of the Government shall be scrutinised.


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