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Curriculum of Legal Education to Meet Challenges of Globalization

Our colleges of law do not hold a place of high esteem either at home or abroad,
nor has law become an area of profound scholarship and enlightened research - -
Dr. Radhakrishnan.
The last century of the last millennium was one of the worst in recorded history for
war, conflict between men and men, nation and nation and for flagrant violation of
human rights. On the other hand, the last century of the last millennium has also
generated the romise of imrovement and develoment in the field of science and
technology including communication and information technology and law. That
century also heled us to arrive at new economic, social, ecological and olitical
arrangements all over the world. !ew hori"ons were oened in the field of trade,
commerce, science and technology and law. #arious new areas in the field of law
were oened. The world is heading towards raid rogress in all fields including law.
$lobali"ation has changed dynamism of entire olity and society. !ow the whole
world is giving imortance uon knowledge economy. %ince the develoment of
knowledge economy remains an imortant goal of the develoed and develoing
countries, the establishment of educational institutions of global e&cellence along
with changed new curriculum of global standard ought to become the riority of the
develoing country like 'ndia. (niversities world wide are rearing them to face the
challenges of globali"ation. %ome of the famous (niversities of the world like
)ambridge, *arvard, !ew +ork, O&ford, %tanford and +ale are gearing themselves u
to coe with the changing situation of internationali"ation of education. $lobali"ation
and the changing dimension of the 'ndian economy and olity have thrown u new
challenges before us.
't is in this international and global sectacle, ' am venturing to write on this toic.
This is not meant to be a olemical or critical iece but is an earnest aeal to the
concerned authorities to do the needful in the changed era of globali"ation.
*owever, this aer seeks to address the condition of e&isting legal education in 'ndia
including the effectiveness of the e&isting legal curriculum. This aer e&amines the
related rovisions of $,T% and the effects of $lobali"ation uon legal education in
'ndia. The author also tries to e&amine the effectiveness of the recommendations of
national knowledge commission, in this conte&t, uon the system of legal education
in 'ndia. This aer also highlights some suggestions to imrove the standard of legal
education in the era of $lobali"ation.
Legal education and Globalization:
'n a democratic country like 'ndia, where rule of law is the driving force of the
$overnment, legal education assumes great significance. 'n -eshvanand .harati #%.
%tate of -erala, *on/ble %ureme court held that rule of law is the basic foundation
of our democracy. Rule of law says that .e you ever so high, the law is above you.
0ducation has wider imlication. 't stands for develoment. 0ducation makes men
erfect. 'n the words of %wami #ivekananda 1it is the manifestation of erfection
already in man. ,gain, legal education makes men law- abiding and socially
conscious. 2egal education hels in bringing and establishing socio-economic 3ustice.
)hange is the law of nature and law is the regulator of social change. 't is sine 4ua
non for the develoment of rule of law and a sustainable democratic order. 'n other
words, legal education is the heart and the very soul of the society for administering
rule of law in a democratic country like ours. Therefore, 4uality legal education is to
be imarted to the eole taking into consideration the changing needs of the society
and in the changing era of globali"ation. 'n 5anubhai #ashi vs. %tate of 5aharashtra
*on/ble %ureme court held that ---the legal education should be able to meet the
ever growing demands of the society and should be thoroughly e4uied to cater to
the comle&ities of different situations.
,s er ).Ra3kumar , legal education and its imortance to establish a rule of law
society did not receive any serious riority or attention in the traditional (niversities,
although due to the sheer motivation of students themselves the deartments were
successful in roducing many of the brightest lawyers and some of the best academics
in the country. ,ccording to him, various law schools in 'ndia, however, successfully
challenged this institutionali"ed mediocrity and succeeded in attracting serious
students to the study of law. .ut the lack of researchers in law and absence of due
emhasis on research and ublications in the e&isting law schools have led to the
absence of an intellectually vibrant environment. The reforms of the higher education
system are central to develoing a knowledge based society in 'ndia. 6ithin the
aradigm of such reforms, drastic stes need to be taken to address the numerous
challenges facing legal education in 'ndia ..ecause, law and legal education has an
imortant role to lay in rotecting rule of law and the democracy as a whole.
2awyers are the backbones of the society and they are social engineers.
WTO agreement and Globalization:
The 6orld Trade Organi"ation had come into effect from 7st 8anuary, 799: with
suort of ;: founding member countries including 'ndia. 'ndia signed the agreement
as one of the founder members. The $eneral ,greement on Trade in %ervices <$,T%=
of 6TO agreement consists of si& arts, &&i& ,rticles and ; ,nne&ure. $,T% imose
number of general obligations on signatory countries. ,ll signatory countries are
bound to abide by the rules of the 6TO. $,T% re4uire nations to accord most
favored nation status. ,s er this agreement a member country must rovide both
market access and national treatment to other member countries. ,s a conse4uence,
we cannot revent the entry of foreign lawyers into 'ndia. 'f we do so that will
amount to an infringement of the rovisions of $,T% and 6TO. $lobali"ation has
brought a tough cometition in educational service sectors. 6e are facing tough
cometition not only from within but also from outside the country.
'nternationali"ation and $lobali"ation of the legal rofession and the robable entry
of foreign lawyers into 'ndia in the near future, osses a serious threat to the legal
rofessionals in 'ndia. 6e have to comete with the knowledge of foreign lawyers.
$lobali"ation of the legal rofession is likely to introduce a sea- change in the entire
fabric of law teaching and legal rofession in 'ndia. The rofession of law, today to a
large e&tent, re4uires lawyers to reresent clients not only within but also outside
national frontiers. ,fter the establishment of 6TO and 'ndia gets actively involved in
trade liberali"ation, including trade in legal services <under $,T%=, there is no escae
from allowing e4ual treatment to law ersons from other 3urisdictions. ,s a result of
the unrecedented changes induced by technology and globali"ation, all rofessions
including legal rofession are forced to re- think their method of management and
delivery of services.
Curriculum of Legal education and Globalization:
The legal education in 'ndia is regulated by multile agencies including (niversity
$rants )ommission <($)=, .ar )ouncil of 'ndia <.)'=, The $overnment and the
resective (niversity authorities. >or numerous reasons the 4uality of legal education
in the 79?@/s was not satisfactory. %everal attemts were made to reform curriculum
and stricter controls were imosed by the .ar )ouncils Of 'ndia at various times but
no substantial results were achieved in terms of 4uality, rofessionalism and
cometitiveness in legal education. To come out the roblem the .ar )ouncil of 'ndia
itself decided to establish a model law school in the rivate sector or 3oint sector to
bring reform in the legal education. ,s a result, the !ational 2aw %chool of 'ndia
(niversity was established in .angalore in 79;A. *owever at resent, the number of
national law schools has increased. ,t various times, curriculum of legal education
was changed by the .ar )ouncil of 'ndia. .ut these were not sufficient to meet the
new challenges of globali"ation in the B7st century.
The !ational -nowledge )ommission <!-)= was, however, established by the Crime
5inister of 'ndia in B@@: to recommend and undertake reforms in order to make 'ndia
knowledge based economy and society. The !ational -nowledge )ommission, while
deliberating on issues related to knowledge concets recogni"es legal education as an
imortant constituent of rofessional education. The working $rou on legal
education, inter alias, identified the roblems and challenges relating to curriculum
and recommended changes and reforms relating to curriculum .The reort
recommends the develoment of contemorary curriculum, which is integrated with
other discilines and also ensures regular feedback from stakeholders .The curricula
and syllabi must be based in a multi discilinary body of social science and scientific
knowledge .)urriculum develoment should include e&anding the domain of
otional courses, roviding deeer understanding of rofessional ethics, moderni"ing
clinic courses, mainstreaming legal aid rograms and develoing innovative
edagogic methods . 6ith the advent of globali"ation, it has become increasingly
imortant to include international and comarative law ersectives. ,ccording to ).
Ra3kumar, in the era of globali"ation, we should ay attention in four imortant
factors to imrove the standard of legal education.
These areD $lobal curriculum, $lobal faculty, $lobal degrees and $lobal interactions.
6e have to think globally but act locally. 2aw is one of the most dynamic sub3ects of
the world. Dynamism is the life blood of law ., law which is static cannot survive for
long and will be re3ected by eole for whom the law will be imlemented. %o, to
kee ace with the changing situation of the world we have also to change, by
addition, subtraction, or cancellation, of the e&isting curriculum of the legal education
in 'ndia. Otherwise, in future, it will loose its imortance and will turn into a relic of
the ast.
Some suggestions and conclusion:
The legal education in B7st century should consider the globali"ation and its
imlications on legal field at national and international levels. The .ar )ouncil of
'ndia, the %tate .ar )ouncils, the %tate $overnments, the (niversity $rants
)ommission and the (niversities have a great role to lay for imroving the standard
of legal education in the country. They should work in a comrehensive manner
without any conflict. !ew avenues should be e&lored by the .ar )ouncil of 'ndia
and The (niversity $rants )ommission in the era of comuter alications and
information technology in the legal fields and otential uses of internet in the ractice
of law and legal education. They should find out the ways and means to meet the new
challenges and rovide better tools of research and methodology of learning for the
generations to come. .ar )ouncil of 'ndia, constituted under section E of the
,dvocates ,ct, 79A7, is an ae& body for the entire legal rofession in 'ndia. The
advocates ,ct, 79A7, invests .)' with wide ranging owers to rescribe standards of
legal education for the ractice of law. 'n the oinion of Dr. !. R. 5adhava 5enon,
legal education in 'ndia should be liberated from the dominant control of the .ar
)ouncils and entrusted to legal academics with freedom to innovate, e&eriment and
comete globally.
The recommendations of the !ational -nowledge )ommission, in this regard,
deserve attention of the .ar, the 3udiciary and the $overnment. The reforms initiated
in few law schools all over 'ndia have made only a small dent. *owever, the vision of
legal education is to rovide 3ustice- oriented education essential to the reali"ation of
values mentioned in the 'ndian )onstitution. 'n keeing with this vision, legal
education must aim at rearing legal rofessionals who will lay decisive leadershi
roles maintaining the highest standards of rofessional ethics and a sirit of ublic
service. 2egal education should also reare rofessionals e4uied to meet the new
challenges and dimensions of internationali"ation, where the nature and organi"ation
of law and legal ractice are undergoing a aradigm shift. 0&isting curriculum should
be immediately changed as er recommendation of !ational -nowledge
)ommission. ,ny further delay in this regard will be suicidal. ,ccording to 8ustice
,.5.,hmadi ----- 6e have waited long enough to reair the cracks in the legal
education system of this country and it is high time that we rise from arm- chairs and
start the reair work in right earnest.
.efore ' finish, ' must oine that any overnight solution in this regard is not ossible.
.ut, at the same time, any dogmatic adherence to the old, traditional and e&isting
system would be suicidal in the days ahead. %o, a balance should be maintained in
order to change the entire fabric of legal education system in 'ndia, keeing in mind
the necessity of $lobali"ation. 2et us gird u the loins, to make necessary changes in
the e&isting system, so that 'ndian legal education can face the $lobal challenges