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Standard Indian Legal Citation recognized by Harvard Law School Library; Gains support from over 140 law schools

Standard Indian Legal Citation recognized by Harvard Law School Library; Gains support from over 140 law schools

Aditya AK

The Harvard Law School Library recently listed Standard Indian Legal Citation (SILC) in its list of legal citation guides for foreign countries. SILC, which was launched last year as India’s own citation system, is the first and only Indian form of citation to be recognised by Harvard. It has since gained support from more than 140 law schools in the country.

SILC Manual focuses on Indian legal sources left out by most foreign citation manuals and methodologies. It is free of cost and is easily accessible online to lawyers and students across the nation.

Founding Editor of SILC, Rohit K Pothukuchi said,

“Things at SILC have been fantastic. We continue to get downloads from people at more and more law schools. We have now crossed registered users at over 140 law schools.”

Speaking about the need for a uniform citation system in India, Pothukuchi added,

“Proper and thorough citation—providing reference to sources relied upon in academic work—is critical to producing good legal research. Unfortunately, good legal citation is far from a reality in a large number of India’s law schools and even amongst legal academia and professionals.”

Professor David B Wilkins, Director – Center on the Legal Profession at the Harvard Law School said,

“In 1926, Erwin Griswold and his student colleagues at the Harvard Law Review published the first edition of “A Uniform System of Citation,” today commonly referred to as “The Blue Book.”  Just as Erwin Griswold would go on to reshape the legal world as Dean of Harvard Law School and Solicitor General of the United States, the Blue Book has reshaped the world of legal citations by bringing much needed uniformity to the field, allowing lawyers, judges, and academics to more efficiently do their work.  Now Rohit Pothukuchi and his colleagues are attempting to accomplish this same goal for India through the Standard Indian Legal Citation.  I have no doubt that future generations of lawyers, judges, and academics in your great country will look back on Mr. Pothukuchi’s work with the same admiration and respect as lawyers in the United States have for Dean Griswold and the uniform approach to legal citations that his Blue Book, now in its 19th edition, continues to provide in mine.”

SILC was first established by Founding Editor, Rohit K. Pothukuchi who led a team of editors that included Shambo Nandy and Debanshu Khettry. Senior editors include Vikrant Pachnanda, Akshay Sreevatsa, Prashant Pranjal and Megha Mathur. According to them,

“A great deal of difficulty existed in appropriately citing Indian legal sources, some of which were obscure. Most western legal citation methodologies were not suited to India.  Also, many students from less privileged law schools do not have access to foreign citation systems, which can be expensive and difficult to use. They often cannot access good research tools. This is what the SILC team wishes to change.”