BCI Asks Law Education Institutions To Implement Three New Criminal Laws From 2024-25 Session

BCI Asks Law Education Institutions To Implement Three New Criminal Laws From 2024-25 Session

"All centres are directed to incorporate subjects such as blockchains, electronic discovery, cyber-security, robotics, artificial intelligence, bio-ethics," the BCI stated in its circular.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, May 25, 2024, 11:48 AM IST
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The Bar Council of India has issued a circular directing centres of legal education (CLEs) across the country to immediately implement its various guidelines, including introducing mediation as a compulsory subject.

It also said that CLEs will implement the three new criminal justice laws replacing the Indian Penal Code-1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure-1898 and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 from the academic year 2024-25.

The circular dated May 20 and signed by BCI secretary Srimanto Sen was addressed to vice-chancellors and registrars of universities and principals, deans and directors of legal institutions.

It said that the circular was being issued in light of the "transformative vision" of legal education as articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the "collective keenness" of the judiciary and the government for integrating new subjects in legal education.

"The Prime Minister also stated that legal education needs to adapt to the changing times and technologies, focusing on understanding the latest trends in crime, investigation and evidence. In the light of these considerations, the BCI issues this circular to all centres of legal education for immediate implementation," the circular by the apex lawyers' body said.

"All centres are directed to incorporate subjects such as blockchains, electronic discovery, cyber-security, robotics, artificial intelligence, bio-ethics etc. into their legal education curricula as per the vision of the Prime Minister. This is to ensure graduates are well-equipped to handle contemporary legal challenges," it added.

It also sought educational programmes for imparting a "profound understanding" of constitutional values, integration of socio-economic and cultural contexts in the syllabi, promoting interdisciplinary thinking and endeavouring to provide bilingual education, using both English and regional languages.

The circular said, "In line with the evolving legal landscape of the nation, it has been decided to incorporate three new enactments i.e. Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam of 2023 into the curriculum of Universities and Centres of Legal Education starting from the academic year 2024-2025."

Regarding incorporating computer education, the BCI circular said it was already a part of the rules of legal education of 2008.

"Keenness has been expressed by both the government and the judiciary for the introduction of mediation as a compulsory specific subject, with particular emphasis on its integration into legal education or law degree courses," the circular said adding, that the directive was already communicated in August 2020.

Other guidelines included non-approval of law courses through the online mode and via correspondence, the degree courses only being conducted through the regular course following the stipulated time and working hours and the Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree "equating process", in case of foreign degrees by Indian students.

The guidelines also stressed the need for periodic review and compliance with the sanctioned seat strength across the CLEs.

"All CLEs under the BCI's purview are required to adhere to BCI legal education reforms, mandatory guidelines, norms and rules in the design and execution of legal education/law degree programmes. Non-compliance shall result in necessary action. This circular is effective immediately," the circular said.

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