All India Bar Exam- A Critique

The Bar Council of India (BCI) will hold the first All-India Bar Examination (AIBE) for fresh LLB graduates to get their certificate of practice (sanad) in December 2010, despite criticism from bar associations and the students. The first All India Bar Examination shall be mandatory for all law students graduating from the academic year 2009-2010 onwards. Candidates may apply to appear for the All India Bar Examination only after enrolling as an advocate under Section 24 of the Advocates Act, 1961
Its for the first time a bar exam is going to be conducted in India. I feel that most of the state bar councils are still not accustomed to conducting exams. The bar council may tie up with law colleges, universities like NALSAR, NLSUI, NUJS, etc. to conduct exams in respective states rather than joining hands with Rainmaker, a private firm for the conduct of the exam. This itself is highly questionable as they have not revealed the reasons for selection of rainmaker for the conduct of the exam.

Further Supreme court judgment in this regard (Sudeer's case) will be an impediment in introducing an exam without amendments to the advocates Act. The Advocates Act says that one has a right to practice as an advocate once one gets the law degree. In most law schools students have been recruited by law firms and there is problem for them joining these firms and some firms have taken a step back after the announcement of the bar exam. It is in a very short notice the BCI is conducting this.

The bar council says, All India Bar Examination, is intended to test an advocate’s ability to practice the profession of law in India.
Are they admitting a failure of the present legal education system in India?. I strongly feel, by all means, it is best that the BCI plans the syllabus after consultation with various quarters so that the exam syllabus and exam pattern will very well test the competence of young lawyers. I also need to tell that many of the advocates already in practice do not know the basics of law. And such advocates are causing problem to clients, especially rural people. It would be better if the BCI considers conducting exams for all the existing advocates too and ask them to pass the exams within next few years.

5 comments: (+add yours?)

Leo said...

Well, am not an advocate. If they want to make it mandatory for each student to pass this exam to practice law, they should first start with the ones who are currently practicing. Then, it would be a fair game. May be they are afraid to do this for nearly more than half of them will have to make multiple attempts or would never succeed.
Moreover, privatisation is the key word now. It is, I do not know, may be am wrong, but I strongly feel our education system too would be reduced to a business of making money & profits (It already has. It is going to worsen farther by the pass of each day). Money for sure can buy degrees but fortunately not education and knowledge.
This concern of BCI exam should be a made collective concern and voice so that it could be heard by those who do not apply their thoughts or bothered about the pros & cons except gaining importance, seizing power and making money. Are our law makers listening? They are born with deaf ears and Nelson's eye.
Wish you success in your endeavour.

Leo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leo said...

I am neither a student of law nor do I know the basic rudiments of law. As a commoner, may I scribble a few things that could be a little awry.
Whilst it is good to have a test to certify the eligibility of a person to practice which ultimately affects a common man, it should be made fair. This rule must be applicable to those practitioner of law who had been or are practicing currently. Otherwise, this rule would be ridiculed and holds no good. BCI themselves must have felt that if it is made mandatory for all the legal professionals to pass this eligibility exam most of our friends in the legal fraternity would either will have to make multiple attempts to clear it or would never succeed. They would end up leaving this profession. Could this be a move to protect them?
There is a strong need to emphasise that this exam must be conducted through creditable institutions and not by a private agency. This move would give momentum to the "privatisation" of our education system which in my personal opinion could result in disaster soon. We could see that new universities are mushrooming every day - who knows how many of them would be beneficial for a common man? Who cares? Investing in an educational institution is a very good business sense today. Money could buy degrees but fortunately not education and knowledge. We must thank God for that.
The people who made this decision are not interested in moulding better & qualified generation for the future - a point that they would argue. In that case, this rule should be made mandatory to the existing practitioners too and they should not be spared or protected.
Last but not the least - this move against the decision of BCI must be a made a collective movement and voice so that people sitting on the eyrie including Law ministry hear this loud thunderous voice and take a wise decision (they are born deaf and are known for turning a Nelson's eye on critical issues).
I wish you a colourful success in your endeavour.

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