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Role of Contextualism in Constitutional Interpretation: The Expanding Circles from AK Gopalan to in re Article 370

Ishwara Bhat delves into assessing the value of context, in all its aspects – factual, linguistic, textual, historical, structural, political and social – while interpreting the Constitution. While it supplements and gathers support from other rules of interpretation, it cannot supplant them. It is realistic and comprehensive. While the context varies from case to case, enduring constitutional values guide the pursuit of justice. Despite criticisms for lacking an independent theory, the ability to integrate socio-legal values has bolstered its strength and credibility. However, during crises and emergencies, contextualism is prone to yielding to authoritarianism unless grounded in human rights values. Constitutionalism should counteract the types of extra-constitutional authoritarianism witnessed during the emergency period.

CALJ Volume VIII Issue II_P. Ishwara Bhat
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