DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: THE INDIAN EXPERIENCE
Updated: Jan 19
Author: Kislay Tarun, III year of BBA., LL.B.(Hons.) from Alliance University, Bengaluru
Name of the Book:- ‘Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights: The Indian Experience’
Author:- ‘Dr. Bertus De Villiers’
Publisher:- Bluebook Publishers, 21st Edition, 8 S. AFR. J. oN HUM. Rts. 29.
Year Published:- 1992.
Pages:- The Book(Article) is divided into 49 pages as a whole.
About the Author
This book is a constitutional work by ‘Dr. Bertus de Villiers’ who pursued BA Law, LL.B and LL.D and is a member of the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia. Along with such a post, he is also an Adjunct Professor of the Law School of Curtin University, is admitted as a legal petitioner in South Africa and Australia and also he is a Consulting Editor for the Western Australian Law Reports. Dr. Villiers is a specialist in Constitutional law and has researched and published various books, journals and articles till date relating to constitutional topics such as federalism, human rights and administrative law.
Till date, Dr. Bertus De Villiers has travelled at a very wide stage to undertake research and lecture on political and constitutional developments across various countries. He has published extensively on a wide range of constitutional topics. In recent times, he was invited to Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan to deliver lectures on federalism, decentralization, and minority rights. He was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt scholarship for post-doctoral research in Germany in the years 1994/5. In 2019, he received an Alexander von Humboldt grant for continued research in Germany.
He has various publications to date. A huge number of books, journals, and articles every year. A few of them by the years are listed hereunder:-
ü (2014) “Federalism in South Sudan – Options for power-sharing in the Permanent Constitution” Journal of Asian and African Studies 49(6) 654-671.
ü (2015) “ Accessibility to the law- the contribution of super-tribunals to fairness and simplicity in the Australian legal landscape” University of Western Australian Law Review 39(2): 239-269.
ü (2016) “Accessibility to Law: Adjusting court proceedings to the modern era – novel practices and procedures from Down Under” 14 New Zealand Journal of Public International Law 229-247.
ü (2017) “Getting to settlement quicker and cheaper- Early Neutral Assessment and Judicial Initiated Proposal” February Brief 45-47.
ü (2018) “An Advisory Body for Aboriginal People in Australia – the detail may be fatal to deal” Brief 2018 (March) 7-11.
ü (2019) “Comparative Constitutional Law – the practical effect of constitutional jurisprudence in a world searching for consistency in democratic practices” Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe (18) 1-19
Summary of the Content
Dr. Bertus De Villiers’s present article’s purpose is to create a proper balance between Directive Principles of State Policy and the Fundamental Rights. In the very beginning of this book, Villiers introduces the readers to the debatable topic of fundamental rights going on in South Africa and then he relates it to India that how the overall development of the constitution of our country has provided great lessons to the country of South Africa. As the title of the book consists of a tag:- “The Indian Experience”, in this article, Villiers examines the functioning and background of Indian directive principles and its relationship with the fundamental rights.
The book makes a very good attempt of making the readers aware of how both the fundamental rights and directive principles help in the economical, social and political development of the state and the citizens and how the justice is provided to the people. The background of directive principles is discussed in a wide manner through the historical reminding of the constitution formers and the constituent assembly and how the constitution of India was formed. Dr. Bertus in a very beautiful and descriptive manner pointed out the scope and every clause embedded in the directive principles of the state policy of India along with various International and Gandhian principles which helped form and include the directive principles in the Indian Constitution.
The writer also explains and summarizes the relationship between fundamental rights and directive principles by giving very logical reasoning to every point. In the later parts, he explains how the fundamental rights and directive principles complement each other to serve justice to society. In the concluding part of this article, the writer makes references to a few landmark judgements to prove that the points he explained in the whole article about the directive principles have validity in the constitution of India.
Finally, in the last 3 to 4 pages, Villiers considers Directive Principles as the Spirit of the Constitution.
Critical Analysis and Evaluation of the Book
“Bertus De Villiers’s” ‘Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights: The Indian Experience’ was a neutral layout work. What the reader gets after completing the book is neither a colossal disappointment nor a masterpiece without a breakable record. I liked and appreciated how the book makes a great attempt to balance the importance of both the fundamental rights and directive principles but many a time in the journey of reading it makes the reader get confused about what stands superior for the nation amongst both. I don’t consider it a great idea for what Bertus did by including a list of all the directive principles found in pages 35 & 36 which is divided into various categories of principles. Apart from this, Bertus has come up with a very good introduction where he deliberately compares the debatable and a topic of arguments relating to fundamental rights and the other social and economical development problems going on in South Africa. Later in the introduction part, he also mentions how the constitutional and political development of India offers some great lessons to the country of South Africa. This shows how embraced he is with his Indian experience.
The book is divided into 3 sub-headings to cover up the acceptable length of sub-topics under them. It was a very comfortable and flexible amount of information for me which shall always be fine for a casual reader. To build up the core information provided in under this book’s title, Bertus has explained the background of directive principles and all the related arguments of how these principles were included in the Indian constitution during its formation after a lot of support and criticism as well in a very sensible manner. The citations or footnotes provided on every page of this book was of great help for me while my reading was going on. It helps a reader to get involved in the topic being discussed in the current page more thoroughly. Also, Bertus has provided the original printing of the statements which were once said and addressed by great personalities and constitution formers of our country, this boosts the interest of a reader in moving ahead with the reading of the work and I appreciate this idea and strategy used by Bertus.
The language of the book is kept simple and not so sharp on the readers, the style of Indian English is adopted herein rather than the use of American English. Well, I was expecting a more advanced language style and more strong in-depth delivery of idea, expression and explanation by Bertus as because he has set a bar of his writings and is a great personality who has travelled different countries of this world and packs in a huge bundle of experience. The book is useful for everyone. Still, this book will be a perfect work to go through for light readers, will be of fine and satisfactory performance to casual readers, and can be a bit of lesser expectation outcome for hard or all-time busy readers as their expectations are beyond the level of what this book delivers in knowledge. Being a moderate reader I expect more from the materials I read which are related to my course and the half of this book delivers just the basic idea which a huge number of readers would be least interested in.
Still, it’s a mere fact that this book stands out from the crowd and delivers a pure Indian experience of the directive principles. Bertus has worked so hard to create a beautiful guide for the courts with help of various landmark cases and court procedures in the concluding areas of his work. This was a very beneficial reading for me. It is clearly stated that both the directive principles and fundamental rights are equally important for the functioning of the country.
As a verdict, this book is a hard-work and a beneficial work by Bertus which has helped to gain knowledge and understand the topic in a better and more knowledgeable perspective. I have mentioned all the areas where a slight improvement could have been done and also I have praised and appreciated the areas where the writer has shown his true talent and embraced the readers with the knowledge and expression in the book. Overall, this article is a great piece of art for readers who love books in every sort.
Kislay Tarun is an enthusiastic law student currently pursuing his graduation degree of BBA LLB (Hons.) from Alliance University, Bengaluru. Reading Books which can guide him and assist him in his course line and also for his future endeavours in life has been his core and functional habit. This habit brings out his skill in writing Book Reviews and elaborating his thoughts and expressions in a wider manner. This Book lays down the unique and legal aspect which came out of his mind after reading and exotic Book which compares two elements of Indian Scenario and brings out how the author of the book made his contribution. Kislay's thoughts and expressions in here are not criticizive or suggestive, rather it creates a balance of thoughts in an unbiased manner and hits the clear points on how good or bad the book ge read is.