Monday, September 03, 2012

Call for second generation reforms in legal education

Union Minister for Power & Corporate Affairs M. Veerappa Moily has called for weeding out mediocrity and inefficiency from the legal education system through “dramatic reform” in terms of scope and quality. Delivering the convocation address at NALSAR Law University here, he said, “We must now emphasise upon the second generation of legal education reforms.” Setting up four national level institutions at regional level as centres of excellence to focus on research and upgrading faculty skills, besides establishing a National Law University in every State were among the recommendations for such reforms.

He also suggested creating a cadre of para-legals in various sectors of legal practice and a National Law Library which could be accessed online by all citizens. Further, the second generation of reforms should focus on expansion, inclusion and excellence. Referring to expansion, he said the need of the hour was to focus on a multi-disciplinary approach and enable more students to access affordable and quality legal education.

Inclusion must focus on creating a system by which a first generation lawyer from a poor background and region could compete with the best. Besides calling for promoting excellence, Mr. Moily said there was also a need to have curriculum reforms in our law schools. “It is important that curricula in law schools across the country emphasise more on practical application of the law rather than learning by rote,” he said. The endeavour should be to make legal as justice education, as an instrument of social, political and economic change and to prepare lawyers competent in the art of advocacy both at the trial and appellate level, apart from being skilled in judicial administration.

NALSAR University of Law’s Vice-Chancellor Faizan Mustafa said NALSAR has come up this year with a new credit system compatible with leading foreign universities and aimed at facilitating easy credit transfer. Chancellor and acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Supreme Court Judge Madan B. Lokur and former Supreme Court Judges U.C. Banerji and S.S.M. Quadri, were among the dignitaries present.

Source: The Hindu, September 3, 2012

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