PM calls for reforms in legal education

Current system a sea of institutionalised mediocrity, says Manmohan Singh

PM calls for reforms in legal education

PM Manmohan Singh and Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan at the inaugural session of National Consultation for Second Generation Reforms in Legal Education at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

New Delhi:

Inaugurating a two-day national consultation on second generation reforms in legal education, Manmohan Singh said: “We do have a small number of dynamic and outstanding law schools, but I am afraid there remains an island of excellence amid a sea of institutionalised mediocrity.’’

“We are not even marginally nearer to profound scholarship and enlightened research in law,” he said, quoting Dr S Radhakrishnan, philosopher and former president of India.
Expressing his views on justice delivery system, he said: “One expects even experienced and established legal luminaries, judges and other law professionals to submit to periodic and continuing legal education programmes without standing on pomp or seniority.’’

Revolutionary changes
There are revolutionary changes taking place in information systems, communications and technology which require corresponding changes in the legal system, the Prime Minister said. 

Highly specialised areas such as intellectual property law, corporate law, cyber law, cyber crimes, human rights law and international commercial law require specialised training and skills that should be imparted by our law schools, he added.
For ensuring the rule of law in our country and a better economic environment where contracts were easily enforceable, Singh said, India must ensure that our law teachers, advocates, corporate lawyers, legal advisers, judicial officers and legal facilitators are of a high standard.

“This is possible only if there is dramatic reforms and improvement in the scope and quality of our legal education system,” he said.
Chief Justice of India K G  Balakrishnan said there is a compelling need to promote research activities in all law colleges for inculcating critical thinking among future legal practitioners.

“We need to strive for bringing about uniformity of standards in legal education and transparency in the recruitment of teachers and admissions,” he said.
Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said the second generation reforms will concentrate on “expansion, inclusion, and excellence” in legal education.
Moily said expansion will focus on a multi-disciplinary approach encouraged across the board to enable more students to access affordable and quality legal education, establishing four national institutions as centres of excellence and setting up of a national law university in every state.

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