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Report No. 266

C. Reports of previous Law Commissions

12.8 The Law Commission of India, in its 14th Report published in 1958, titled "Reform of Judicial Administration", emphasised on the standard of legal education and portrayed a dismal picture and lamented the system observing that legal education was imparted in large number of schools by part time teachers of mediocre ability and indifferent merits. There was mushroom growth of law colleges. Most of the schools had skeleton libraries. Students were taught how to pass LL.B. examinations by cramming short summaries published by enterprising publishers. Colleges were housed in dingy rooms without adequate trained staff. Such institutions were basically fee collecting centres as there was no institution with proper facilities. There was no regular attendance of students. Thus, the law college had been producing half-baked lawyers who did not even have basic knowledge of law and were considered as drones and parasites.

12.9 On the question of the Bar Council's involvement in the regulation of legal education, it is worth noting that there has been some scrutiny given to the issue of what the appropriate body should be for the governance in higher education. As mentioned in the 184th Report of the Law Commission, the composition of the Legal Education Committee may need to be changed to accommodate specialized and dedicated persons in the education sector while also ensuring that legal education remains relevant to rapid developments in legal practice. The Commission also examined questions relating to standard-setting in legal education, skills and values, globalization and accreditation, ADR training, adjunct teachers from the Bar and the Bench, processes for establishment of law schools, apprenticeship, etc. However, the suggestions contained in the 184th Report have not been taken forward.

12.10 A similar line of reasoning is found in the National Knowledge Commission's Report in 200939 which proposed and explained the need for an Independent Regulatory Authority in Higher Education as well as a Standing Committee for Legal Education with 25 persons representing all stakeholders. As part of this set-up, the Commission also made a number of suggestions regarding quality of education, rating systems, curriculum development, examination system, legal research, faculty talent, legal education finance, international dimensions and usage of Information and Communication Technologies.

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