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New book in heiUP series "Documenta Nepalica"



8 June 2021

The Mulukī Ain of 1854—the law code with constitutional features drafted at the initiative of Prime Minister Jaṅga Bahādura Rāṇā—is the foundational legal text for modern Nepal. It covers almost every aspect of public, criminal, private and religious law, ranging from the organisation of the state and courts to murder and other delicts, the workings of the caste system and the joint family, matters of purity and penance, customary law, widow-burning and witchcraft. As such, the Mulukī Ain is a unique source not only for the political, social, and economic life of 19th-century Nepal, but also for the place of traditional Hindu jurisprudence in South Asian legal cultures.

A recent publication, co-edited by
Dr. Rajan Khatiwoda,
Dr. Simon Cubelic, and
Prof. Axel Michaels with the title "
The ‘Mulukī Ain’ of 1854: Nepal’s First Legal Code,” offers a complete translation and a detailed study of this important legal text. Besides providing new perspectives in Dharmashastra studies, the volume contributes to shed light on Nepal’s constitutional development as a modern nation state. The publication stems from a cooperation between the research unit
"Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Premodern Nepal" (Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) and the
National Archives of Nepal.

The volume is part of the series
Documenta Nepalica, edited by the same research unit and published by Heidelberg University’s publishing branch,
heiUP. The aim of the series is to disseminate research results on historical documents and related texts from Nepal and the Himalayan region, with particular emphasis on the intellectual history of legal and political thought in Sanskrit and Nepālī. You can access and download the book