The Supreme Court of India: An Empirical Overview of the Institution

Uploaded: 1 month ago; Last updated: 1 month ago ; Date of Publication: 31-August-2018

All India

2010 - 2015

English

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

We use the most extensive original dataset of Indian Supreme Court opinions yet created to provide a broad, quantitative overview of the social identity of the litigants that approach the court, the types of matters they bring to the court, the levels of success that different groups of litigants have before the Court, and the opinion-writing patterns of the various judges of the Supreme Court. This analysis provides foundational facts for the study of the Court and its role in progressive social change.

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Research Report

In this paper, we provide a descriptive account of the functioning of the Court through an empirical analysis of all cases decided by the Supreme Court between2010–2015. The objective of this paper is to understand the social identity of the litigants that approach the court, the types of matter they bring to the court, the levels of success that different groups of litigants have before the Court, and the decision patterns of the various judges of the Supreme Court. Our approach is quantitative and comprehensive, based on a dataset of information drawn from all judgments rendered by the Supreme Court during the years from 2010 through 2015. Our dataset contains information on judgments in over 6000 cases, decided in over 5000 published opinions issued during this time period. Each of the Court’s opinions was hand-coded for information on a wide range of variables, allowing us to compile the largest and most detailed dataset on the Court’s judgments ever collected.