The term, public interest litigation has now become quite familiar to us. Today number of litigations wish to name themselves as public interest litigation, or rather, as somewhat involved with the left legalism. A rough definition of public interest ...
The term, public interest litigation has now become quite familiar to us. Today number of litigations wish to name themselves as public interest litigation, or rather, as somewhat involved with the left legalism. A rough definition of public interest litigation would be such as this: a litigation aimed at keeping balance of interests between classes, by representing the minority interests that had never been properly represented or protected throughout history.
However the public interest has not yet been recognised simply as a plain legal concept. It could rather be said that such concept is still in process of formation. In other words, the term 'public interst litigation' does not belong to the league of legal words. Nontheless various phenomena already exist in the scene of legal disputes in terms of phenomenalism.
A research on how the public interest had been determinated and what sort of changes it had undergone historically is intimately related with the question of who should actually decide it. Before the segregation of power in terms of modernization, it had been the monarch or religious leaders, deciding what should be treated as public interests, and what shouldn't. Afterwards as the absolute power of the monarch started to be mitigated, the right to make fundamental decisions of a state was exclusively concentrated to small groups of privileged elites. Here the main authority of public interest decisions came from the law and its systematic rationality. In other words, you could make judgement whether something is private interest or public interest by testifying whether it is lawful or not. Nowadays though, we recognise the fact that public interest does not pre-exist as an 'already established' fact. It is decided by the extent of qualification in terms of human rights, proliferated interests, and civility.
The project of public interest litigation, regardless of its form, brings about structural chages to legal paradigm based upon autonomous rights. The three important points of the project is as such; 1) the changes upon structure of lawsuits, 2) changed roles of the courts, 3) transformation to the restoring of liability. In other words, the question we ought to face is not 'what' form of action would be suitable for the project of public interest litigation. Rather, it is the problem of 'how' such action could represent properly the 'public interest', without being infested by interests of particular political movements.
Without much difficulty, we may perceive all the time, the danger of public interest litigation being politically biased. If I add some exaggeration to it, every single law firm in this country would try to get inolved in at least one or more public interest litigation, in the very near future. Hence the current tendency of extending the conditions of public interest seems rather troublesome.
With the brand new law paradigm brought up by the unique model of public interest litigation, one may succeed politically in enforcing the domicilation of it without much difficulty. However, we can easily foresee that it wouldn't be as easy when it comes down to the matter of legal theory. Apparantly public interest litigation will be one of the most powerful weapon to those involved in civil movement, and that is why it is required to remain cautious of being infested by populization.