January 11, 2019 Print

India is the largest democracy in the world. With an increasing population comes the need for more development and freedom. However, outdated and redundant laws stand in the way of such development. Contradictory language and information makes it difficult for an ordinary citizen to access and comprehend legal information with ease. To combat this problem, New Delhi-based Centre for Civil Society (CCS) has successfully facilitated a series of “compendiums,” which map out redundant laws that ought to be repealed to help promote development. These compendiums are an assemblage of economic and legal experts who determine the potential areas needing repeal. When deliberating repeal, CCS focuses on three factors: redundancy, whether or not regulations are outdated in the face of new laws and finally, hindrance to governance, freedom, and development. 

Over the past five years, CCS has held four compendiums covering 11 Indian states. The first was the 'Repeal of 100 Laws' Project in 2014, which aimed to identify laws that should be repealed in order to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs and citizens alike. These laws largely concerned regulatory barriers affecting business owners, outdated labor relations, and unnecessary taxes and licenses. CCS also involves law students from top universities across the country in the curation process with the hopes that the 'Repeal of Laws' project will expose the next generation of lawyers to the need of keeping law books updated.

On Nov. 26, 2018, CCS successfully launched its latest “Repeal Law Compendium.” The compendium was launched during the 'Appeal for Repeal Law Day' event in New Delhi and was a rigorously researched repository of redundant laws across six Indian states. 

CCS is now working to establish the “Appeal for Repeal Law Day” on Nov. 26 as a constitutional practice for the Republic of India. This would allow like-minded organizations, scholars, academicians, and lawyers to celebrate the diversity of India’s legal system and have a constructive discussion around the process of repealing outdated laws. 

CCS advances social change through public policy. Its work in education, livelihood, and policy training promotes choice and accountability across private and public sectors.