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    Home > introduction of Bridge Course for foreign Law Degree Holders

     
    introduction of Bridge Course for foreign Law Degree Holders

    NOTIFICATION

    The Bar Council of India vide its meeting held on 5th June, 2016 had approved the following recommendations of Equivalence Committee of the Legal Education Committee.

    The Committee examined the preliminary report on working of the earlier proposal of introducing bridge course and or aprentiship of senior lawyers / law firm and noted that where as the bridge course is in process of being introduced. Some applicants with foreign law degree as first degree has already submitted their completion certificate of required period from lawyers/law firms.

    The Committee after reviewing the whole academic programme of foreign university specifically in United Kingdom as a first bachelor law degree for three years noticed the gap between curriculum prescribed by the Bar Council of India and Legal Education Rules-2008 and programme run by foreign university for three year first degree law course.

    It is now recommended that there should be only one bridge course for Indian students obtaining LLB from United Kingdom and other countries as the three year first degree course. In order to meet the gap between the prescribed curriculum of Bar Council of India and respective universities, it is also noted that some United Kingdom and European countries have LLB as first bachelor degree course over a period of four years.

    In both three year and four year courses, it is noted that social sciences subjects are included. Therefore the recommendation is that the bridge course shall either or be of one year (for those who took four year course) and two year (for those who took three year course). The bridge course shall comprise the following as essential (compulsory papers) and other courses are optional picked up by respective students based upon the gap between the University programme and Bar council of India prescribed programme which are as follows:

    1. Indian legal and judicial systems
    2. Constitution of India
    3. Criminal Procedure Code
    4. Civil Procedure Code and Limitation Act
    5. Indian law of evidence
    6. Property law
    7. Professional Ethics
    8. Optional papers

    The entire programme that is one year or two years as the case may be run in the following National Law Universities.

      1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore
      2. National Law University, Delhi
      3. National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University (NALSAR), Hyderabad

    4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal

    The above Universities are requested to start the programme from 1st July, 2016 and admission may be given semi annually in the bridge course once starting from 1st July and other starts from 1st January.

    The Committee recommends removal of apperentichip / internship from 1st July, 2016.

     

    The meeting considered the report of the office stating that the certificates submitted from Law Firms /Practising Advocates suggesting the completion period with the Firm/Advocates cannot be verified nor is there any procedure for determining whether the Advocate giving the certificate has at least 20 years’ practice. In this respect there is a need for a better way of institutionalizing the procedure what these applicants applying with the pass certificate of three years’ LL.B. as the first Bachelor degree in countries like England, in which country such a degree, too, is not being recognized as a sufficient qualification for practising law.  It is proposed that such applicants either must have one year’s course completed in Institutes for training of solicitor/barrister in England or completed a Master Degree in the foreign country before they take up the one year Bridge Course of the Bar Council of India or there may a four semesters’ bridge course to be designed by the Bar Council of India, if any one comes back to the country after his/her undergraduate first Bachelor degree in Law for three years. The members thought that technically such a proposal has a sound basis. It is resolved that the issue may be discussed in the next meeting in details especially inviting Dr. V.Vijaykumer who drafted a comprehensive note on a bridge course that may require to be readjusted if the course is required to be extended to two years. 

     

    Note : The above decision will be applicable to those students who are taking admissions in foreign Universities from the academic year 2016-17.

     

    The Bar Council of India also approved the following recommendations of the Equivalence Committee vide its meeting held on 30th July, 2016.

     

    The members were of opinion that there has to a discussion on the matter of laying too many by-pass to Indian-applicants going to earn a Law degree from any foreign University in complete violation of the Education Rules, 2008 and then creating pressure-tactics for the Bar Council to make by-pass to cure the lapse under the notified Rules. It has also found the apprentice scheme has been a complete failure for not fulfilling the conditions precedent, there having no system to verify the truth of any statement. It was therefore decided to abandon the scheme and adopt a rule for having a bridge-course for rectifying the gap in the education courses and standards. This course may not be viable to be run in a National Law University/s because of absence of numbers. So such a course is to run only as a stop-gap arrangement.

     

    So it was decided that the bridge course shall be run as a pre-Bar Text condition until the Bar Council notifies the Rules for the Indian students obtaining Law degree from a Foreign University both in its web-site as well as through public notices providing also a warning that there would be no further curative measures available once the applicant comes back with a qualification in law from a foreign University. The aforesaid Rules shall be strictly enforced.

     

    Illustration:  If the notification is given before July 2017, the Rules shall be strictly enforced from those who takes admission on and from 2017. Students admitted up to 2016 could avail of the bridges courses run in India for such students.

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