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  O RIGIN A ND D EVELOPMENT OF P UBLIC I NTEREST I ITIGATION U.S.A Introduction United States can be said to be the srcinator of the concept of Pubic Interest Litigation. In 1876, the first legal aid office was established in New York City in connection with the famous Gideon‟s  case of USA 1 . The fact of the case were that one Clearance Gideon was sent to the Supreme Court of United States one hand written scrawl informing the apex court that he was a pauper and prayed to the court to listen and act upon his plea. He pleaded about the refusal by the Florida trial court to appoint counsel for his defense contrary to the constitution. The letter was treated as petition and allowed by the supreme court of 9 judges which unanimously by relaxing its procedural law created the history. USA Constitution and PIL Moreover, Article III Section 2 of the American Constitution lays down that judicial power shall extend to all the cases, in law and equity, arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States and treatises made under their authority to controversies between citizens of different states and between a state and citizens thereof. In the case of  Environmental Defence Fund v Environmental Protection Agency 2  a group of scientist filed a suit against the Suffolk country mosquito control commission alleging adverse environmental impact on wildlife by the extensive use of DDT. The court granted a one year ban on the use of DDT which was later made permanent by the county. In the case of United States v SCRAP  3  an environmental group formed by law students alleged that rail road rates increased by the interstate commerce commission would adversely affect the shipment of the garbage which would disturb the environmental balance around Washington. The court granted them standing and relief. Definition of PIL- Ford Foundation USA 1   Gideon v. Wainwright   [1963] 372 U.S. 335. 2  [1999] 167 F.3d 641, 643 3  [1973] 412 US 660.  The Council for Public Interest Law set up by the Ford Foundation in USA defined the public interest litigation- in its report of public of interest law, USA, 1976.28 As, “public interest litigation is the name that has recently been given to efforts provide legal representation to  previously unrepresented groups and interest, such efforts have been undertaken in the recognition that ordinary market place for legal services to significant segments of the  population and to significant interests include the proper environmentalists consumers, racial and ethnic minorities and other”. 4   Liberalization in 1960s and 1970s The period of 1960‘s in USA was an important period of social embroilment duri ng which significant institutional reforms took place, one of which was the evolution of PIL. In 1962, in the landmark case of Gideon v Wain Wright  5 t  , the court treated a hand written scrawl as a  petition. In 1968, in the case of  flast v Cohen 6  , the court allowed taxpayer and ratepayer standing to complain against the spending of federal funds on religious schools even though the plaintiff did not allege that he was sustaining injury greater than the taxpayer. A further step was taken in 1970 in the case of  Association of Data Processing Service Organization v Camp 7 , where judicial protection for the very first time was given to diffuse rights and interest. The next step was taken in office of communications of united church of Christ v FCC  8 , where the expre ssion ‗person aggrieved‘ was understood in a new way as being any person who has „genuine interest‟    in the subject matter rather than a ‗legal grievance‘. Thereafter even the requirement of genuine interest was replaced by only a ‗special ‗or even a ‗sufficient‘ interest in the matter. 9   ―Public interest law‖ is a term that became widely adopted in the United States during and after the social turmoil of the 1960s. It built on a tradition exemplified by Louis Brandeis, who before becoming a U.S. Supreme Court justice incorporated advocacy for the interests of 4    Dattaraj Nathiji Thauvare vs State of Maharashtra  (1992) ILLJ922SC 5  [1963] 372 U.S. 335. 6  [1968] 392 U.S. 83. 7  [1970] 97 U.S. 150. 8  123 US App DC 328 9  See Sierra Club v. Morton [1972] 405 U.S. 727 and Baker v. Carr [1962] 369 U.S. 186.  the general public into his legal practice. In a celebrated 1905 speech, Brandeis decried the legal profession, complaining that ―able lawyers have to a large extent allowed themselves to  become adjuncts of great corporations and have neglected their obligation to use their powers for the protection of the people.‖ 10  In the late 1960s and 1970s, large numbers of American law school graduates began to seek ―relevance‖ in their work—  wishing to have an impact on the social issues that were so visibly and hotly debated within American society at that time. They defined themselves as public interest lawyers in order to distinguish themselves from the ―corporate adjuncts‖ referred to by Brandeis. 11  Public interest law does not describe a body of law or a legal field; the term was adopted to describe whom the public interest lawyers were representing, rather than what matters they would work on. Instead of representing powerful economic interests, they chose to be advocates for otherwise underrepresented individuals. Consequently, a significant current in  public interest lawyering has always emphasized the need to provide legal services to those living in poverty. The term has grown, however, to encompass a broader range of activities of lawyers and non-lawyers working toward a multitude of objectives, including civil rights, civil liberties, women‘s rights, consumer rights, environmental protection, and so on.  Nevertheless, a common denominator for public interest lawyers in the United States and in a growing number of countries remains the ethic of ―fighting for the little guy‖—  that is, representing the underrepresented and vulnerable segments of society. 12  Public interest law is institutionalized in the United States (USA). Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that work to promote and protect human rights using the U.S. legal system, or fight to protect the environment, or advocate on behalf of consumers, call themselves public interest law organizations. A large community of lawyers practices public interest law in the form of providing legal aid free of charge to those who cannot afford to  pay for it. Clinical legal education, which is well established in the United States, provides opportunities for law students to do practical legal work on basic legal matters as well as 10  Edwin Rekosh, Pursuing the Public Interest, A Handbook for Legal Professionals and Activists (; Scott L. Cummings, The Politics of Pro Bono, 52 UCLA L. Rev. 1, 13-14(2004) 11  Joel F. Handler, Ellen Jane Hollingsworth & Howard S. Erlanger, Lawyers and the Pursuit of Legal Rights 24-39 (1978); Note, The New Public Interest lawyers, 79 Yale L.J. 1069, 1069-70 (1970) 12  Scott L. Cummings & Ingrid V. Eagly,  After Public Interest Law , NWU L. Rev. 1251, 1251-1259, 2075-2077(2006)  more complex public interest issues, such as women‘s rights, anti -discrimination law, constitutional rights, and environmental protection, among others. Some law schools have  public interest law centers, which advise law students interested in pursuing public interest law careers. Pro bono programs at bar associations and law firms provide opportunities for commercial lawyers to donate time to public interest law activities. 13  Summing up the movement's history in the United States, Stanford University Law Professor Deborah Rhode writes: ―Public interest lawyers have saved lives, protected fundamental rights, established crucial principles, transformed institutions, and ensured essential benefits for those who need them most....In virtually every major American social reform movement of the last half century, [public interest] lawyers have played an important role. 14   U.K Introduction England is the progenitor of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence and of the strict doctrine of locus  standi . Indeed it is on the basis of laws of England that the Indian case law has developed. Lord Denning is responsible for liberalization of doctrine of locus standi . In England even when the strict rules of locus standi  held its sway, there was a device for vindication of public interest, namely through relator action. Attorney general was the sole guardian of public interest. Acting in the special capacity as guardian of public interest he  played an important role in the administration of justice and possessed wide range or functions. He had a particular role and responsibility as custodian of public law. The Attorney General used to represent public interest for taking action in the public interest through court  proceedings and the judiciary had an abiding responsibility, parrarel to that exercised by attorney general and law officers of the crown in safeguarding the public interest in legal  proceedings brought before the court. The relief sought should have been such as to benefit the public at large or at least a section of public and not the relator action alone. Liberalization 13  ibid 14  Deborah L.Rhode,  Public Interest Law: the Movement and Midlife , 60 Stan.L.Rev. 1, 13-14 (2004)
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