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Bar Council of India Issues New Guidelines: Check Now!

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has issued a list of regulations and directed legal educational institutions across the country to incorporate them into the curriculum, as well as to use only the three new criminal laws of 2023: Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BNA).

The NEP 2020 provides broad guidelines for enhancing the quality and accessibility of legal education. Legal education in India is governed by the Bar Council of India (BCI), which regulates the legal profession and legal education. The BCI is working towards implementing the relevant and applicable guidelines within the framework of legal education to enhance the quality and effectiveness of legal education in the country.

The Council’s notice ‘comprehensive implementation of legal education reforms, mandatory guidelines, norms, and rules of legal education’ has outlined a number of changes that legal education institutions must implement.

Reminder of Inclusion of Emerging Subjects

All centres of legal education are directed to incorporate subjects such as blockchains, electronic discovery, cyber-security, robotics, artificial intelligence, bio-ethics etc. into their legal education curricula. This is to ensure graduates are well-equipped to handle contemporary legal challenges.

Emphasis on Constitutional Values

Legal education programs should ensure that a profound understanding of constitutional values, including social, economic, and political values, is imparted. Emphasis should be placed on practical applications of these values in legal practice in consonance with NEP.

Contextualisation within socio-economic and cultural realities

All Centers of Legal Education are instructed to integrate socio-economic and cultural contexts into their syllabi, for a nuanced understanding of the law among students to align with NEP.

Bilingual education for accessible justice

To enhance access to justice and minimise delays, institutions offering law education must endeavour to provide bilingual education, using both English and the regional/bilingual language as per NEP.

Promotion of critical and interdisciplinary thinking

All centres of legal education are encouraged to actively involve students in critical and interdisciplinary thinking. Research and collaboration across disciplines to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing legal challenges in accordance with NEP. Integrated 5-year LLB degree course/s have already acknowledged and promoted this aspect since the introduction of the said course w.e.f. year 1986 at NLSIU, Bangalore which was followed by maximum law schools in India over some time

Government and judiciary directive

Keenness has been expressed by both the government and the judiciary regarding the introduction of mediation as a compulsory specific subject, with a particular emphasis on its integration into Legal Education/Law degree courses. This directive for the introduction of Mediation as a compulsory specific subject was communicated by the Bar Council of India through a circular dispatched earlier on 13.08.2020 bearing No.BCI:D:1897/2020 (323/2020).

Implementation directive and compliance

Simultaneously, we draw your attention to the circular dated 25.01.2024, highlighting the necessity of implementing computer education in Legal Education, particularly in 3-year LLB and 5-year Integrated LLB degree programs, both hons and non-hons, which is already a part of Rules of Legal Education-2008. Moreover, a circular BCI: D:465/2024 dated 24.01.2024 has already been issued earlier about this.

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