Supreme Court judge Justice J Chelameswar, whose dissent against the functioning of the Collegium has become public, Saturday said there was a need to adapt legal education as the needs of the legal environment has undergone a major change.
“The needs are changing day by day and it needs to be recognised in the teaching of law,” Chelameswar said, adding that legal educators need to consider the changing legal environment and requirements and accordingly adapt education. He, however, refused to reply to questions by mediapersons over his not attending a Collegium meeting and the letter he shot off to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) on the issue that has snowballed into a major controversy. Separately, CJI T S Thakur, in his reaction to the controversy, told PTI: “We will sort it out.”
Addressing the Eighth Law Teachers’ Day function here, Chelameswar said “numerous law colleges have come up in the country and a number of them are producing excellent lawyers.
A great teacher is one who captures interest of the students. “On this occasion, I wish to say that the ultimate result of legal education is to contribute towards betterment of the legal system. The answer to improving the system lies in good quality education. Legislative drafting is one area that needs
special attention in this country,” he said while presenting the awards in various categories.
The judge said a good lawyer is the one who knows how to approach the law as the nature of litigation has changed substantially in the last decade.
Supreme Court judge, Justice A K Sikri, who was the Chief Guest at the event, emphasised on the changing trends in legal profession and said there was a need for advocates to be well equipped with the knowledge and skills of international laws and the cyber world.
He also said reforms were required in legal education to match up with the changing scenario in the field of law due to globalisation. “India has embraced globalisation and there has been a shift in the laws relating to family disputes, IPR, patents, international arbitrations etc. “Laws in our times were traditional but today knowledge of Information Technology law, cyber law, biotechnology and genetic engineering, international trade and global standards etc all these are needed. Reforms in legal education are required,” he said in the inaugural session on ‘Trade in Legal Services’.
Expressing similar views, T K Vishwanathan, consultant to the President of India and former Law Secretary, termed law as a noble profession and said there was a need for more people in the professions with skills and knowledge. “Students these days know more than teachers due to the accessibility of information through cyber space. So we need more skilled teachers who have to put in more effort,” he said.
The event was organised by Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and Menon Institute of Legal Advocacy Training (MILAT) in which Justice A B Rohatgi Award was presented to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who could not attend the programme. Lalit Bhasin, lawyer and President of SILF, said “the role played by eminent law teachers and schools in promoting quality legal education in the country has ensured that India on Saturday is a justice driven society with a strong legal backbone. Legal education works not only as an instrument of social control but also as instrument of social change.” The event also marked the signing of an MoU between SILF -MILAT and Lloyd College of Law on holding National Selection Moot Court Competition in November-December every year to select the five best teams 2016 onwards from whom SILF-MILAT Jury will select the best law students of the year.
They will be given the opportunity to study LLM programme Penn State University of Law, USA with a full fee waiver.