Sep 18, 2011 at 11:57am IST

Adapt legal education to changing times: Ex-CJI

BHUBANESWAR: Legal luminaries on Saturday called for urgent steps to cement the cracks in the legal education system in the country in view of the changing needs of  society in the changing era of globalisation. Legal education should prepare professionals to meet the new challenges and dimension of internationalisation where the nature and organisation of law and legal practice should undergo a shift, they felt.
 At the dedication function of SOA National Institute of Law (SNIL), launched by the Siksha O Anusandhan University here, former Chief Justice of India GB Pattnaik said the standard of legal education deteriorated after independence and there was a mushroom growth of institutions.   “Some of the basic reasons are that it has become open to all and sundry with no assessment of the ability of the students,” Justice Pattnaik said.
 He said he would suggest to the Bar Council of India (BCI) and State Bar Councils to improve the standard of legal education by organising workshops on teaching techniques and methodology on a regular basis. The examination system must emphasise more on moot courts on problem solving and drafting and the college and university departments teaching Law should be integrated with the courts and advocates, he suggested.
 On the occasion, BCI chairman Ashok Parija said though there were 900 law schools in India, they did not have adequate faculty to impart legal education to the students. “We did not bother to create faculty of international standards. This is the biggest weakness in our legal education system,” the BCI chairman said.
 He said  the BCI was trying to find 50 PhD scholars in law to be groomed as teachers over six months. They would be sent to law schools and if the experiment succeeded, the country would have 250 very good teachers of law within the next five years.
  Prof. BC Nirmal of Banaras Hindu University, SOA university VC RP Mohanty and Dean of SNIL Prof RN Patnaik spoke. The SNIL which admitted its first batch of students this  session will impart a five-year integrated course in law for arts, science and management students.