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BCI invites wide & 'meaningful' participation in legal ed committee

Meaningful relationships for congenial legal education
Meaningful relationships for congenial legal education

The legal education committee of the Bar Council of India (BCI) yesterday published a notification on its website inviting suggestions for improving legal education, one month after a group of 80 Indian law teachers petitioned to the regulator to “consult more meaningfully” with legal academics while framing legal education policies.

The notification reads: “In order to enhance Legal Education in the country, it is felt, large scale of participation with persons in various fields would be very congenial for the Legal Education in the country.

“Suggestions are invited from persons, academics, students, lawyers, organizations, institutions or any authority [or] individual in legal field or non legal field to suggest ways and means for improving legal education in the country.”

Law teachers from many Indian and foreign universities wrote to the BCI last month expressing concern over the fact that the legal education committee currently has only two academics among its members.

The teachers also took strong exception to the BCI’s view that they have a limited role to play in legal education, and asked for maximum autonomy in taking decisions on legal education policies.

It is understood that the regulator had written back to the teachers stating that it is in favour of “taking all steps to consult more meaningfully”, however, the response did not specifically suggest how it planned to consult more meaningfully.

Law minister Salman Khursheed yesterday said that control over legal education was here to stay with the BCI, while addressing a seminar organised in Delhi by the Indian Law Institute, the BCI, the Supreme Court Bar Association and others.

But he added that due to a change in the core structure of legal education, a balance has to be struck between the BCI and other bodies of an “academic nature” related to legal education.

The tussle over the reins of legal education between the BCI and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, meanwhile, has not come to a conclusive end.

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