Saturday, November 21, 2009

HC moots 12-point to plan to improve law education

Madras High Court Justice N Kirubakaran, upholding the BCI rules fixing upper age limit for admission to law colleges, said: "Time has come to revamp and upgrade the entire legal education. Fixing age limit is the first step in the right direction."

Among the steps recommended by Justice Kirubakaran is increasing the class hours from the existing four hours to five or six hours a day. Classes shall be held in the morning as well as afternoon so that students would remain glued to their studies. Calling for strict attendance norms, the judge said law classes should not resemble part-time courses conducted in shifts.

A qualifying criterion such as a minimum of 60 per cent marks in Plus-Two for the five-year law course or any degree for the three-year stream should be fixed "so that comparatively more competent, bright and intelligent students would join the course." This would enhance the image of the course, reasoned the judge.

If necessary, antecedents of the students may be verified before their admission, Justice Kirubakaran said, adding that appointment of competent full-time professors/lecturers too is vital.

Stressing the need for law colleges to have adequate infrastructural facilities such as the library, the judge said no new colleges should be opened if the amenities were not available. He favoured the scrapping of the three-year course in a phased manner and said the five-year integrated course must replace the three-year stream.

Justice Kirubakaran said legal education should be equipped to face new trends and challenges, and wanted judges of the Supreme Court and high courts to be involved in the process of preparing syllabus or other activities like lectures, seminars and workshops.

Besides ethical and moral values, law students should be exposed to mass contact programmes such as court visit, social services and legal workshop. Police officials could be invited to lecture on probe and prosecution, he said, adding that such interaction would bring down the incidence of police-lawyer clashes in future.

Justice Kirubakaran made these recommendations while dismissing a writ petition filed by one M Santhosh Antony Vareed, who wanted the court to relax the upper age limit for admission to law colleges.
Source - Times of India

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