Suggestions for Reforms at the National Law Universities Set Up Through State Legislations
F. Mustafa, J.S. Sohi, S. Chauhan, S. Kumar and V. Ganjiwale, ‘Suggestions for Reforms at the National Law Universities set up through State Legislations’ (National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, 2018)
129 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018
Date Written: February 21, 2018
The legal education sector prepares the judges, practitioners and scholars of tomorrow. The quality of justice-delivery in the future is dependent on the training and exposure that we are able to provide to present students. Hence, it is important to continuously assess the challenges faced in the delivery of legal education. The present study can be treated as another effort in this direction. The distinctive feature of this particular study is that it has been conducted with the explicit intention of generating actionable recommendations. An instrumental approach will be visible in this report and some readers may find that our discussion foregrounds practical considerations over conceptual analysis. If we turn to the existing literature on these questions, the overarching tendency has been to rely on personalised experiences while framing suggestions for reforms at a systemic level. Many of the prescriptions have been difficult to implement, primarily owing to the immense disparity within our country. There is a perceptible gap between what is discussed in closed-door meetings and the ground realities of a developing society. Therefore, we collected evidence by way of direct interactions with a representative sampling of all the immediate stakeholders, namely those involved in the administration of these institutions (15 participating institutions), faculty members (33 respondents) and current students (849 respondents). Accordingly, our narrative is based on trends that can be inferred from an aggregation of the data that has been generated.
We believe that our study comes at an appropriate time because it has been nearly three decades since the first National Law University was created in India. These institutions were visualized as pace-setters which would serve as models for overall improvement in the legal education sector. It is worthwhile to critically reflect on whether they have been able to perform this stated role. We engaged in such an exercise with considerable enthusiasm since we were also keen to locate our own experiences as teachers at one of these institutions in relation to the evolution of structurally similar institutions. We have presented our report in the form of three substantive chapters followed by a conclusion. This introductory chapter outlines the establishment and growth of the NLUs and proceeds to survey the existing literature related to them. The second chapter engages with questions related to the improvement of access to these institutions. The third chapter presents the core of this report by examining the scope for reforms in academic and administrative processes. The concluding part includes a statement of the actionable recommendations that can be synthesized from the preceding chapters.
Keywords: Legal Education, National Law Universities, Teaching Methods
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