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NUJS legal aid soc launches first legal ed reform journal, calls for papers

Legal aid at NUJS
Legal aid at NUJS
The NUJS Kolkata legal aid society has started the first ever Indian magazine on the subject of legal education reform with articles by Madhava Menon, Ruma Pal and other legal education experts.

On the bi-annual Asian Journal of Legal Education (AJLE), assistant editor Shuvro Sarker said: “Actually there has not been much research about reform of legal education in India. So we wanted to form a journal where practitioners can write to reform legal education in the 21st century. There is no such journal in the Asian region.”

It includes articles by NLSIU Bangalore founding-director professor Madhava Menon, Supreme Court justice Ruma Pal, former NUJS vice chancellor (VC) professor MP Singh and 14 others on its advisory panel.

The other advisors and editors are academicians and scholars from India, the US, the UK, Israel, South Africa, Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Singapore. Patron-in chief professor Ishwara Bhatt – NUJS’ vice chancellor - alongside editor-in-chief NUJS professor Dr Manoj Kumar Sinha and managing editor assistant professor Anirban Chakraborty, also from NUJS, lead the team. Ten student members from the NUJS legal aid society will assist on the editorial board.

Professor Bhatt said: “The requirement of legal education is changing fast, and today we require a focus on more sophisticated types of services especially to meet requirements of the corporate world and also litigation side. Also, traditionally and at present, our legal education can help the poorer sections of the society especially by extending legal aid and spreading legal awareness. We have to try to make it socially relevant and more effective.”

The NUJS legal aid society, which is twelve years old now, is also planning to launch a programme on rural governance and citizen participation this year, said Sarker. NUJS students will be visiting nearby villages to educate villagers about legal aid schemes from the government, and will also be holding night classes.

Bhatt said: “We have had very meaningful activities like helping the human rights violated persons. Victims of human rights violation, they were subjected to various types of harassments. Our students have been actually visiting the spot and trying to help them, and discuss these matters in various forums.”

“Recently the legal aid society discussed the problems of homeless persons. We conducted a seminar and students and even faculty from different parts of India participated. And recently Law Commission circulated the draft bill relating to Khap Panchayats which were reduced to honor killing. The students discussed that bill. They are very much involved in these activities. For our final year students participation in legal society programs is a part of their clinical legal education course”, he said.

AJLE’s first issue under the auspices of NUJS VC Professor Ishwara Bhatt is slated for publication by the end of 2012.

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