Supreme Court judge calls for more legal aid clinics
Kochi: The Supreme Court judge K.G. Balakrishnan dedicated the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) to the nation here on Saturday.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Balakrishnan said that more legal aid clinics should come up in law colleges so that free legal aid could be extended to disadvantaged sections of society. Legal education has not been given priority in the country.
The Bar Council of India has failed to streamline legal education. Commercialisation in education has crept into legal education also and colleges without adequate infrastructure and teachers have started coming up in the country.
It is then that a commission headed by former Chief Justice of India A.M. Ahamedi recommended certain guidelines on streamlining legal education.
Delivering the keynote address, Education Minister E.T. Mohammed Basheer called for a change in the attitude of the academic community towards society.
The academic community has become a sort of island without showing any social responsibility. This has to be changed.
He said that there had been lack of qualified law teachers in the State. In fact, there are eminent lawyers. But when it comes to teaching law, qualified teachers are very few.
Those who passed out of law colleges do not take up legal profession. They are in search of other jobs because they do not have the confidence to join the profession.
Universities should provide proper training to law students so that they could be mentally prepared and take up the profession with confidence.
He said the State badly needed introduction of life skill education in view of the reported increase in suicide rates in the State.
He said that law students could suggest areas where new laws had to be introduced. The Government will take their suggestions seriously and make such laws.
High Court judge K.S. Radhakrishnan presided. Bar Council of Kerala Chairman P.G. Thampi; S. Gopakumaran Nair, member, Bar Council of India; and K. Babu, MLA; spoke.