Select Page

A Short Treatise on Hindu Law

By Herbert Cowell

The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd

Steve Sheppard, William Enfield Professor of Law, provides an introduction to this reprint of the sole edition of a classic of the British Raj era. As the remarkable architecture of Calcutta is the physical embodiment of the synthesis of India and colonial Britain, so A Short Treatise exemplifies the synthesis of their legal traditions.
Herbert Cowell was an English lawyer who practiced in colonial India in the early 1860s and became a professor of local laws. His Short Treatise grew out of his Tagore Law Lectures of 1870 and 1871 and from a series of lectures delivered to the students of the Inns of Court in 1893.

The work details laws observed by members of the Hindu community in India that were recognized under British rule and incorporated into the colonial legal system. These dealt principally with family organization, land tenure and succession. It dates from a time when Anglo-Hindu law was a mature system at its highest level of sophistication.

Cowell’s work offers the reader a sense of history and a glimpse into how modern Indian law came into being. As Sheppard writes, A Short Treatise bridges “the earliest consolidations of British power in India…to the robust recognition and standardization of religious laws in a secular system that has persisted into the modern Indian state.”

About The Author

Looking for an expert?

The University of Arkansas Campus Experts website is a searchable database of experts who can talk to the media on current events.

Trending Topics:
State and local economy
Environmental economics
Immigration politics

Building a “Swarm” of Manufacturing Robots

The University Relations Science and Research Team

Matt McGowan
science and research writer

Robert Whitby
science and research writer

DeLani Bartlette
feature writer

More on University of Arkansas Research

Visit The Office of Research and Innovation for more information on research policies, support and analytics.

Connect with Us