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BCI directs law colleges to seek approval for courses every year

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has decided to end the system of granting permanent approval to law colleges and instead will be introducing a system wherein all law colleges in the country will have to seek approval from the council on an annual basis.

BCI has taken this decision due to the continually falling standards of law education in the country. Now, all 850 law colleges in the country will have to seek approval every year to teach law courses. The decision was taken on September 4 during a meeting of the Legal Education Committee of the BCI, which is headed by former Supreme Court judge A.P. Mishra.

As per the Advocates Act, it is compulsory for a person to have studied in a law college that has been approved by the BCI to be eligible for practicing law as a profession. A member of the Legal Education Committee stated that BCI has now taken a strict stance while dealing with all law institutes that do not have the faculty that meets the BCI regulations. On examining documents and records submitted by law colleges, BCI found that in many colleges, certain teachers did not meet the necessary requirements to teach the subject that they were found to be dealing with.

To make its system of granting approval to Law institutes more transparent, BCI has taken another decision directing all law colleges to apply for the approval by way of filling a detailed form on BCI's official website.

Some features of the application form that would help in gauging the eligibility of a law college for getting approval includes; a 45 minute video of a lecture being conducted at the institute that is applying for the approval, each and every detail of the faculty members, infrastructure as well as the number of students that are currently enrolled at the institute for law courses.

The deadline for applying for approval of law colleges will be fixed after BCI finalizes the suitable format of the detailed application form.

Furthermore, the Committee also stated that, no institution will be permitted to impart LL.M. unless it can validly impart B.A. LL.B. integrated programme course which has been recognized by the Bar Council of India and any private institution which puts-up advertisement suggesting it can actually admit students either for the combined integrated B.A. LL.B./B.Com. LL.B./B.B.A. LL.B./M.B.A. LL.B. and L.L.M. or any other degree connected with law including the award of doctorate in law, stringent action will be taken including the initiation of criminal proceedings against the members of the organization/society/trust which has actually misled the members of the general public.

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