The Bar Council of India (BCI) has decided to scrap the one-year LL.M. course which was introduced in India in 2013 from the next academic session. A new entrance test is being introduced named Post Graduate Common Entrance Test in Law (PGCETL) for admission to masters legal programmes.
The newly notified BCI Legal Education (Post Graduate, Doctoral, Executive, Vocational, Clinical and other Continuing Education) Rules, 2020 stated that the post-graduate course in law leading LLM has to be of two years with four semesters.
The Bar Council of India has clarified that only the LLB students will be allowed to appear for the LL.M. exam.
The graduate students of any other stream irrespective of individual law subject studied as part of other courses including Company Law, law subjects under MBA will not be allowed to appear for LL.M. exam.
The admission to LL.M. will be through Post Graduate Common Entrance Test in Law (PGCETL) conducted by the BCI and once the BCI introduces PGCETL it shall be mandatory to admit the students from the merit list of the Test.
LL.M. which is obtained from any foreign university shall be equivalent to LL.M. obtained in India only after obtaining the LL.B. degree from any foreign or Indian University eligible to be recognized as LL.B. degree in India.
The Rules stated, “However, one-year LLM. degree obtained after an equivalent LL.B. degree from any highly accredited foreign university may entitle the person concerned to be appointed as a visiting professor in an Indian University for at least one year so as to consider such one-year LLM. degree with one year teaching experience as a Visiting Faculty/internee faculty/clinical faculty the Master degree obtained on one year term may be considered equivalent.”
LL.M. Program shall be the direct responsibility of a University and cannot be sourced out to any affiliating institutions. The rules specified, to offer an LL.M. course including student teacher ratio should not exceed 1:10.
The Rules seek to enhance and upgrade the efficiency of legal education and profession. The rules also propose to conduct para-legal technology & court management courses of suitable duration to facilitate para-legal works and court-management to cover updated education and training of legal field.
The Rules for LLM exam will come into force from the date notified by the BCI.
Read the Circular here: