NEW DELHI: A government-funded study by IIT-Kharagpur two years ago had recommended introduction of mandatory Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for lawyers every year to be eligible to practice in any court.
Funded by the law ministry to suggest ways to arrest the declining ethical standards and professionalism among advocates, the study had suggested designing CLE where newly-inducted lawyers at the bar must get at least 16 CLE credits every year comprising 15 hours of classroom studies and workshop training in ethics and professionalism.
For lawyers with more than five years of practice, the minimum CLE credit suggested was 12 every year with optional self-study of 50 hours, which may include study in subjective and procedural law, professional ethics and emerging areas of law.
“Continuing Legal Education ensures that legal and judicial reforms contribute to changing the attitudes and behaviours of lawyers and citizens. For this reason, CLE should be an integral part of legal and judicial reform strategies that are anchored on the rule of law and reflect a country’s societal values,” the study said.
Associate professors Dipa Dube and
Dube, who conducted the study with IIT research scholars in 2017, observed that legal education strengthened professionalism, built public confidence and facilitated consensus and momentum for further reforms.
The project studied practices in the US, the UK,
, Italy, Germany and
where CLE is mandatory for all lawyers, throughout the entire period of their practice at the bar. Advocates in these countries are required to undertake stipulated number of hours of CLE activities accredited by the appropriate authorities to be eligible to practice.
Though India has the second largest number of lawyers in the world, next only to the US, there is no need