Most law grads not good, syllabus must change with times, says Law minister

Improving the quality of students graduating from colleges other than National Law Schools and updating curriculum in all legal institutions in tune with the changing times were some of the suggestions given by the Union Minister for Law and Justice, D V Sadananda Gowda on Sunday.

“As law graduates from other institutions outnumber the products of National Law Schools, the quality of legal professionals in India  is not up to the mark. There is an urgent need to improve the quality to the levels achieved by National Law Schools,” he said. With as many as 25 to 30 crore people being direct stakeholders in the legal system in the form of litigants, jurists and judges, the need to bring in changes in the quantity and quality of legal professionals is a major challenge that should be addressed, he added.

Referring to the curriculum and teaching standards of law schools, the minister mentioned some changes to be made to catch up with the rapid developments in the world at large. As an example, he said, the growth in the economy and complexities in transaction now required specialised professionals in commercial law as even the government had taken steps to set up commercial courts. “The crimes relating to information technology are quite technology-intensive which require different specialisation. It is time for specialisation. Hence, even the National Law Schools need to tweak their curriculum...”

The minister also spoke about a plan to bring out a comprehensive amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, to make India a hub of international arbitration on the lines of the UK (London) and Singapore. “This is a dream of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji and me (sic)... this would be taken up in the forthcoming sessions of Parliament and would bring our Act on a par with UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) system,” he said.  Chief Justice of India H L Dattu, who is chancellor of the NLSIU, the chairman of Bar Council of India, former and present chief justices and judges of the Supreme Court and various High Courts were present at the convocation.

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