An empowered committee of academicians, chief justices and eminent lawyers should be set up or an independent, autonomous National Council for Legal Education and Research must be created to bring objectivity into the system (Shutterstock)
An empowered committee of academicians, chief justices and eminent lawyers should be set up or an independent, autonomous National Council for Legal Education and Research must be created to bring objectivity into the system (Shutterstock)

Legal education in the country needs urgent reforms: Supreme Court judges

Justice S K Kaul said the quality of legal education has suffered as a result of a large number of "not so great law colleges" and the "crying need of the hour" was to see how legal education can be improved. Similar issues were also raised by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 09:48 PM IST

There is an urgent need for reforming legal education in the country as its quality is being affected due to the "mushrooming" of law colleges, two Supreme Court judges said on Saturday.

"I do believe we are churning out too many lawyers without any analysis of the number of lawyers required," Justice S K Kaul said.

He said the quality of legal education has suffered as a result of a large number of "not so great law colleges" and the "crying need of the hour" was to see how legal education can be improved.

Similar issues were also raised by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Referring to the concerns raised by Justice Kaul and Singhvi, Justice N V Ramanna said, "I welcome this thought-provoking discussion and I agree with what they have expressed. It (legal education) requires urgent and immediate reform."

"I hope something can be done and we can take up this issue in the coming days," he added.

The remarks by the two apex court judges came during an event for the release of the book -- The Law of Emergency Powers -- authored by Singhvi and professor Khagesh Gautam, who teaches law at Jindal Global Law School, on a legal and constitutional study of emergency powers.

Speaking at the event, which was conducted virtually, Singhvi lamented upon the "glaring absence of genuine legal research in large parts of India".

"Part of this is due to the many factories of legal education we produce with hardly any quality control. The negative impact of the stratification of law colleges must be urgently addressed.

"Central universities set up by Parliament operate their law faculty as law schools, while state universities act mostly as affiliating universities which are affiliating colleges set up by private trusts and societies," he said.

He said that the major problem facing Indian legal education, particularly good legal research, was the affiliated law college system.

"Many do not have adequate or qualified faculty or libraries or e-resources and they omit regular classes and examinations," he added and demanded that substandard and mediocre law colleges ought to be closed down.

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