The Contribution of Civil Society in Legislative Process

AuthorPratapsinh B. Salunke,Vijay A. Chavan
DOI10.1177/0019556120130404
Published date01 October 2013
Date01 October 2013
Subject MatterArticle
THE
CONTRIBUTION
OF
CIVIL
SOCIETY
IN
LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
VIJAY
A. CHAVAN AND
PRATAPSINH
B.
SALUNKE
The sovereign fanction
of
the Parliament is to make, amend
or
repeal the laws, where welfare
of
the people should be at
focal point.
In
relation to the Parliament, the process
of
law
making
or
the legislative process, may be defined as 'the
process by which a legislative proposal brought before
it,
is
transmitted into the law
of
the land'.
In
light
of
the Lokpal
movement it can be said that the role
of
the civil society has
become momentous
in
the legislative process.
"Man's
capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's
inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary"
-Reinhold
Niebuhr
INTRODUCTION
ACCORDING TO Jeremy Bentham, "the public good ought to be the object
of
legislator; general utility ought to be the foundation
of
his reasonings".
1
In an indirect democratic polity,
if
the duly elected legislators fail to achieve
desired public good, the civil society has to play an important role in
securing this objective. To know the true good
of
the community is what
constitutes the science
of
legislation; the art consists in finding the means
to realise that good.
2
According to
W.
Friedmann, "the state is indeed the
organised power
of
the community, equipped with a steadily increasing
armory
of
instruments
of
actions, and, as such,
it
is opposed to the
unorganised groundswell
of
public opinion",
3
but the real question is, when
this so called unorganised public opinion backed by great force
of
general
public, whether the state should oppose it
or
respect it? A Latin maxim
Vox
1
Jeremy Bentham,
'The
Theory
of
Legislation", Lexis Nexis, Butterworths, Wadhwa,
Nagpur,
l()lh
Reprint, 2010) p.1.
2
/bid
3
W.
Friedmann, "Law
in
a Changing Society", Universal Law, Delhi,
2•d
ed.,
41h
Reprint
2008, p. 21.

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