Friday, January 14, 2011

Legal Education In India Needs Reforms

Legal education in India is still governed by traditional fields like criminal law, civil laws, corporate laws, etc. A majority of law colleges still follow the traditional syllabus. Contemporary topics like cyber law, competition law, private international law, etc are taught in very few law colleges of India. Further, even if these subjects are taught in some colleges, practical aspects of the same are seldom taught in these law colleges.

Surprisingly even after the graduation in law, subsequent higher legal education is an exception than the norm. Very few students opt for masters and doctorate degrees. This is undermining the research capabilities of India in legal fields.

Surprisingly, concepts like lifelong learning in India (LLI) or continuing legal education in India (CLE) are still not much known in India. Even the law ministry is not very enthusiastic regarding CLE.

The present legal education is regulated by the bar council of India (BCI) that instead of improving the quality of legal education imposed the bar examination upon fresh law graduates. Fortunately, it has been postponed and may never see the light of the day.

Both BCI and law ministry must come out with a clear legal education reform policy that meets the requirements of contemporary times. For instance we need institutions like PTLB that provide practical techno legal trainings and education.

Further, with the growing use of information technology, e-learning and online platforms can further strengthen the legal education and training in India. This would also extend the reach of qualitative law colleges and institutions to areas where opening of traditional law colleges is not possible.

Law minister Veerappa Moily must urgently draft a concept paper on legal education reforms in India and include many concepts and areas that are still missing from the legal education of India.

India Needs A New And Better Cyber Law

Cyber law of India has become a nightmare due to growing interference of industrial lobbying in India. Thanks to the cyber criminal friendly nature of our information technology act, 2000 (IT Act 2000), now any cyber criminals can commit almost any cyber crime and go free.

This is so because the information technology amendment act, 2008 (IT Act 2008) has made almost all cyber crimes bailable i.e. the cyber criminals are entitled to bail as a matter of right.

Experts feel that, India does not have strong and effective cyber laws to deal with crucial issues like critical infrastructure, cyber security, cyber forensics, etc. India is blind towards cyber law, cyber security and cyber forensics requirements. The IT Act, 2000 is a poorly drafted law and badly implemented legislation. It is weak and ineffective in dealing with growing Cyber Crimes in India as it is the most Soft and Cyber Criminal Friendly Legislation of the World, says Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Techno Legal ICT Law Firm Perry4Law and Supreme Court Lawyer.

Another aspect that has made the present cyber law of India unconstitutional is absence of privacy laws and data protection laws in India vis-à-vis e-surveillance and Internet censorship powers. In the absence of Privacy and Data Protection Laws and Unaccountable and Unregulated E-Surveillance Provisions under the amended IT Act 2008, the E-Surveillance, Internet Censorship and Website Blocking Powers cannot stand the “Constitutionality Test” of Constitution of India, opines Praveen Dalal.

The fact is that ministry of communication and information technology (MCIT) has not been performing the functions and duties entrusted to it by Indian government. MCIT needs a complete overhaul and scrutiny of prime minister’s office (PMO).

To start with, MCIT must urgently start the initiative of drafting a new and effective cyber law of India. Once that is done, we can get rid of the bane named information technology act, 2000.