Bhubaneswar: Urgent steps are needed to repair cracks in the legal education system in the country keeping in view the changing needs of society in the era of globalisation, former Chief Justice of India GB Patnaik has said.

“Legal education should prepare professionals to meet the new challenges and dimension of internationalisation where the nature and organisation of law and legal practice should undergo shift”, Justice Patnaik said.

He was speaking at the dedication ceremony of the SOA National Institute of Law (SNIL), launched by the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University (SOAU) here on Saturday.

The SNIL, which admitted its first batch of students this academic session, will impart a five-year integrated course in Law for Arts, science and management students.

Stating that the standard of legal education deteriorated day-by-day in the country after Independence, he said there was mushroom growth of institutions imparting legal education with no method of assessment of quality and much less a strict examining system for providing the degree.

“Some of the basic reasons are that it has become open to all and sundry and there is no check with regard to the ability of the students at the time of entry into Law Colleges”, Justice Patnaik said.

Secondly, teaching facilities and techniques are outdated and the examination system for conferring the Degree of Law continued to be traditional with little improvement in adopting the pattern of some well known Universities. Besides, there is an acute shortage of quality teachers.

“Lack of researchers in Law and the absence of due emphasis on research and publication in the existing Law Schools have led to the absence of an intellectually vibrant environment”, the former chief justice observed.

Emphasizing that high quality of legal education was a pre-requisite and such need had been felt not only in the developing and under-developed countries but also developed nations, Justice Patnaik said he would suggest to the Bar Council of India and State Bar Councils to improve standard of legal education by organising workshops on teaching techniques and methodology on a regular basis.