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Policy shift in LLb education!

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By Aroosa Khalid

Thousands of Pakistani students, who plan to pursue their career in law education, are facing serious problems due to decrease in number of seats in universities and law collages.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has decreased the number of LLB 5-year to only 100 seats in every university/collage while many affiliated collages have not offered admission in five-year program Furthermore, compulsory entrance test by Higher Education Commission (HEC) without proper planning and re-checking mechanism has multiplied the problem.

The overall number of admission seats of LLB three-year program has also been reduced this year. Those institution which offered admission to three-year program they did so due to some ambiguity in SC ruling. The Supreme Court (SC) was moved recently against Pakistan Bar Council’s (PBC) notification restricting three-year degree LLB program and enforcing five-year program, which the lawyer-petitioner claims, had deprived thousands of students from attaining legal education and joining the legal profession across the country. Barrister Zafarullah Khan of Watan Party filed the constitutional petition with the Supreme Court Lahore registry.

The petitioner claimed that the ban on graduates/BA Honors from obtaining admission in three-year LLB program is unlawful and unconstitutional. He said that lowering down admission to the students of FA/ Intermediate instead of graduation is against the law. The petitioner conjointly challenged new amendments introduced in Rule four Sub Rules (i) (ii) (iii) within the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Bar Council’s Legal Education Rules, 2015.

He submitted that modification in these on top of rules was discriminatory, unlawful and up to the violation of basic rights. The lawyers submitted that Rule Ten of Legal Education Rules, 2015, placed restriction on attainment of legal education that is mala fide, discriminatory and based mostly upon ulterior motives whereas Rule thirteen is presumptive since no academic infrastructure is out there in the market is accessible of this level as neither lectures/ teachers nor books are available that may facilitate in analysis in PhD.

He said the legal community is ever learning profession whereas intermediate students have hardly abundant data and command on English to require lectures of the legal education in it whereas graduate students, particularly people who do BA Honors that previously was 2 years graduation program are more competent and additional knowledgeable. However even then they’re being deprived from admission in 3-year program of LLB. This will enhance the quality of standard education if students were permissible in Bachelor of Laws courses for three years period after BA Honors,” he added.

On the opposite hand, the petitioner command, the government has been spending little in education that is currently expected to rise from 5% to 20%. He stated that PBC blamed the mushroom growth of law colleges and universities for poor standard in legal education and education generally. Zafarullah Khan said, In fact, this can be not so, as a result of all the students have passed their examinations and so will be part of profession and there’s large competition to become successful lawyer and also stay moral.

Once an individual qualifies and attains a degree, there’s no need of entry test,

he contended. He more declared that there’s no academic infra-structure in view within the legal community as lawyers’ libraries from high courts to SC gift miserable sight and none of the foreign journals and books are provided there, and if there’s any out there that might be 30 to 40 years old so.

The petitioner requested the court to line aside the Rule no 4 (i)(ii) and Rule No 5 (ii), Rule No 6, Rule No 7 whereas Rule No 10 and Rule 13 being discriminatory and presumptive be declared null and void. He conjointly prayed to the court to permit graduates (degree of holders of BA Honors) be allowed to induce admission in three-year LLB program. He more prayed the court to line aside the notification of PBC increasing amount of 3 year LLB degree to 5 years.

In January 2016, Pakistan PBC extended the length of LLB’s course length from three years to five years, with strict directions to the nonpublic law schools and universities to shut evening programs for law students. PBC dominated that the period of the LLB course shall not be less than five years; no more admission to LLB. (3 years program) are given by any University/Law school.

However, the current 3 years LLB program shall discontinue once three years of enforcement of those Rules. The PBC additionally advised that the amount of students admitted in first year LLB. Program by a University/Law school shall not be over a hundred. Lecturers and students of various law colleges and universities additionally showed mixed reaction over extension in LLB’s course period from three years to five.

They said that the length of five years was already in observe as many students, after their intermediate got admissions in five years program of LLB. However, they said the PBC took this decision in haste as no suggestions were given concerning curriculum development. HEC can take the matter of the affiliation of colleges with universities in its own hands. The decision more declared that no private faculties are going to be given any special treatment or continue the matter of law schools, citing that the standard of the education by colleges holds the utmost importance.

The court further ordered that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan PBC and HEC ought to file a performance report of those colleges and failure of the submission of this report by any college should lead to suspension of that exact institute. It had been further ruled that a sitting judge must teach at these authorized law schools and therefore the affecters of the bar councils and HEC should resort to SC directly. According to the new rules the number of aspirants admitted to the primary year LLB by a recognized university or a school shall not be over one hundred which there shall be only morning classes.

A university or the college progressing to impart the law education for LLM or Ph.D. program shall look out for the previous approval of the PBC. The institutes that are already offering LLM or Ph.D. program shall obtain for approval of those courses from the PBC as well as from HEC among six months of the announcements of the new rules . No university or the degree-awarding institute shall associate any law school following the prosecution of the institutions.

The bar declared that the colleges as well as the degree-awarding institutions providing law education, shall certify and inform the PBC in writing, at the start of each academic year that every and each private law school affiliated together with them, is implementing and following the institutions in letter and spirit. No institutions shall work beneath international or external or distance learning program of any foreign university without obtaining a no objection certificate (NOC) from PBC.

The institutions already doing so shall take an NOC within six months of the implementation of the rules. Keeping in sight the issues faced by thousands of students, the Legal Education Committee of the Punjab Bar Council has suggested the Pakistan Bar Council to increase the 3-year literally Legume Baccalaureus (LLB) program for an additional two years.

Consistent with a press release released by the Punjab Bar Council, chairperson Legal Education Committee Farah Ejaz Baig chaired the meeting. Different members Syed Azmat Ali Bukhari, Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar and Rana Intezar Hussain also attended the session. The committee unanimously determined that the PBC are going to be requested to continue the 3-year Bachelor of Laws program for the students who are set to complete their bachelor’s degrees in 2016 and 2017, so the academic years of thousands of the students listed in regular BA degree aren’t wasted.

Meanwhile students blocked the Mall road to protest against the decision to discontinue the 3-year bachelor of Laws program. They demanded the PBC to right away withdraw its notification during this regard, so the precious academic years of thousands of law students across the Pakistan aren’t wasted.

On January 24th (PBC), during a new policy on legal education within the country, said: “No any admission to law degree (3 years program) are going to be given by any university/law college” and “the period of the law degree course shall not be less than five years”. As a result, the previously educated 3-years law degree program was immediately interrupted at all the universities and colleges in Pakistan.

The PBC had additionally directed all of the law universities and schools to admit solely up to a hundred students within the 5-year law degree curriculum annually, while an education of 12 years was set as a minimum eligibility criteria for the admission.

The decision of PBC directly affects the poor and socio-economic class segments of the society. They’re prolonging the length of the degree by two years, dynamical the evening classes, limiting the amount of students while leaving loopholes that permit the elite to bypass all the principles and regulation with sheer disdain.

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