Best Practices

Best Practices for 2018-19

Best Practice I

  1. Title of the Practice: Judgment Writing Competitions
    We organize the following two Judgment writing competitions for the students: 

    1. Judgment Writing Competition in memory of Late Judge P.N. Behere and
    2. Alternate Judgment Writing Competition (National level)
  2. Objectives of the Practice: The activity aims at
    • Developing Justice Delivery Skills
    • Understanding Judge’s role in justice delivery process
    • Imparting skills of authoring judgments and honing writing skills
    • Delivering comprehension skills of complicated facts and to framing issues of law
    • Developing Impartial and Neutral listening skills
    • Promoting unbiased, fair and just reasoning among the students
    • Imparting a better understanding of the original and appellate level of justice system
    • Inculcating skill of presenting precise, articulate and systematic arrangement of concepts and arguments
  3. The Context:
    The Judgment Writing Competitions are unique in terms of its forms of proceedings. Judge P.N. Behere was known for his brief judgment and timely disposal of cases. The Competition is organized in context of imbibing these rare qualities of judge i.e. efficient brevity and precision with punctuality. The challenge before today’s legal education is not merely creating adversarial lawyers, but equally efficient judges. Current legal education and BCI’s emphasis on adversarial aspects of justice delivery system has led to creation of robust mooting culture. This leads to students preferring lucrative litigations or corporate practice over Judiciary. In light of these challenge, the Judgment Writing Competitions aim at inculcating the skills of the judging in the students, by putting them in the role of judges. The unique format of these competitions is structured to trigger the practical and intellectual needs of students.
  4. The Practice:
    1. Judgment Writing Competition in memory of Late Judge P. N. Behere: In this competition, the case outline is circulated one-week prior to the competition for students to undertake preliminary research and acquaint with the subject matter of the case. The brief (provided 2-3 days before) consisting of pleading, affidavits of the parties and documents are circulated a day before the competition. On the day of the competition, the event is conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the proceedings are conducted before the participants who observe and make notes. The proceedings are akin to real-time court proceedings wherein the advocates argue and plead their side before the presiding judge. At the end of this, the floor is open for questions from the participants. In the second phase, the participants are given a stipulated time of three hours to write their judgment including brief facts, questions before the court, summary of arguments, reasoning and final order. The venue is Library and all material and facilities of the college are at the disposal of the participants to research and access. Then the judgments are sent for assessment to judges and senior lawyers. The first and second prizes are given to winners and a special prize is reserved for the best Marathi Judgment.
    2. Alternate Judgment Writing Competition: The Competition expects the participants to author an alternate judgment based on the screened case. The first edition was Intra College and later editions are national level. Brochure of the competition with citation of the case and rules is given publicity on prominent law blogs and website of the college. Invites are sent to law schools across India. The participants are required to write an Alternate Judgment by a specific date. The competition has two rounds:
      1. First Round – All alternate judgments received are assessed, and top 5 or 10 are selected for the second round.
      2. Second Round – Student authors of these 5-10 judgments make oral presentations of their judgments in ILS Law College.

    Panel of experts listen to the presentations and select the top three performances.

  5. Evidence of Success: Following outcomes of the activities are the evidence of its success:
    1. The successful execution of these competitions for consecutive eleven years (Judgment Writing) and four years (Alternate Judgment Writing) has let students shift from the dominant culture of mooting to Judgment Writing.
    2. These two activities have received appreciation and contribution from the Bar as well as Bench in following ways:
      1. The competitions are mostly inaugurated and presided by the judges of Bombay High Court
      2. The judges of Bombay High Court have acted as presiding judges in the activities
      3. Senior Lawyers participate in it and argue the case before the presiding judge. This consequentially has benefitted the students and participants who get an opportunity to audience the arguments of senior lawyers
      4. The students are exposed to new and contemporary areas of law every year
      5. These competitions motivate students to choose judiciary as a career
      6. We have witnessed many students entering into the field of subordinate judiciary
      7. From the year 2019-20, the college has planned to organize this competition at the National Level
      8. The participation of LL.M. students in Judgment Writing Competition is on a rise
  6. Problems Encountered and Resources Required
    1. Judgment Writing Competition
      • Drafting a brief by recreating facts, evidences and arguments from both the sides based on an imaginary or existing case. We employ intellectual and expert resources of the practicing lawyers and faculty in charge in creating the brief.
      • Evaluation of the judgments by experts whose availability due to professional commitments is a challenge. We seek assistance from State Judicial Academy and retired judges for evaluation of the judgments
    2. Alternate Judgment Writing Competition
      • Selection of relevant and appropriate judgment: The faculty in charge screens the judgments which are brief, having relevant and issues capable of being analysed.

      Common Problems for both Competitions: The traditional and robust culture of mooting emphasizing on the adversarial aspect of justice delivery system, which is outcome of the existing pattern of legal education. Students are inclined towards mooting as compared to these activities. We encourage and incentivize students to participate in these competitions.

  7. Notes
    • Considering the syllabi designed by the Bar Council of India and Savitribai Phule Pune University, it is observed that there is no module dedicated to the teaching of Judgment Writing.
    • In adversarial administration of justice system, the role of a skilled judge is important and hence, this kind of training is imparted through these competitions
    • These competitions, contribute towards the process of nation-building, by motivating students to become good judges.
      These competitions are Best practices of ILS and tailor-made in structure and form, therefore are models to be adopted by other institutions.

Best Practice II

  1. Title of the Practice – Establishment of Centres and Cells
  2. Objectives of the Practice – ILS institutes various Centres and Cells with an object of:-
    • Bridging the gap between the academic curriculum and the needs of the profession.
    • To impart experiential learning to the students by practical exposure of the activities of Centres and Cells.
    • Addressing the cross-cutting issues like gender equity, sustainability etc.
    • Taking Learning beyond classrooms.
  3. The context
    The academic curriculum of Legal Education in India is mostly theory based with a very minimal emphasis on practical or skill orientation. As much is importance of the doctrinal studies, equally important is the experiential learning. The academic learning has to be complemented and supplemented with the practical skills and application in real practice. This leads to a challenge of making legal education merely a degree gathering event.
    To overcome this challenge, ILS nurtures the culture of conceptualizing such complementary and supplementary activities in the form of variety of Centres and Cells to make legal education socially relevant.
    The structured academic syllabus creates a plan for studying and not for learning. The Centres and Cells are voluntary activities conducted by teachers and students with maximum of academic autonomy and freedom, hence making it a learning experience.
  4. The Practice
    • Teachers and students are designated for the joint initiative of executing the activities of the identified Centre or a Cell. Mostly the centre or cell in instituted at the proposal of the teacher or students.
    • The aims and objectives of the Centres or Cells are identified clearly.
    • Activities are planned in advance for the whole year.
    • The plan is executed in a systematic manner.
    • Grant of funds and support of academic and physical resources.
    • The activities are based on research orientation, community service, training focussed and activity driven.
  5. Evidence of Success: Following factors reflect the success of these activities
    • Consistently running for years
    • Students and Teachers participate voluntarily.
    • The quality publication of the Research outcome of the activities (for eg. WSC publications, Public Law Bulletin etc.)
    • Confidence posed in the quality of activities: by International Funding Agencies who funded the activities sumptuously, by Bombay High Court through nomination of the judges to participate in activities and by State Women’s Commission by publishing and circulating the Research outcome of the Women Studies Centre in the form of Manuals.
  6. Problems encountered and resources required
    • Lack of Financial Resources – All the activities of Centres and Cells at ILS are conducted without charging additional fees from the students. This consequently limits the scope of the activity. We overcome this by soliciting sponsorships in the form of knowledge partnership or media partnership. Further, the deficit is met by the Indian Law Society
    • Availability of Limited time schedule – The large variety of activities leads to clashes of time schedules, thereby making is difficult for students to choose one over the other activity.
    • To overcome this, the students are advised to plan their participation in activities by prioritizing a particular activity at a particular stage of their academic schedule, and to span the activities throughout the program.
  7. Notes
    Most of these Centres and Cells aim at addressing the cross-cutting issues of Gender Equity, Environment Consciousness, Inclusiveness and Professional Ethics. Following are the Cells/ Centres in the academic year 2018-19: –
Alumni Cell Cyber Law Cell ILS IPR Cell
Animal Law Cell Equal Opportunity–Cum-Enabling Cell UGC sponsored Women’s Studies Centre
Centre for International Law Gender Studies Cell Legal Aid Centre
Centre for Public Law History Club Moot Court Society
Competition Law Cell Human Rights Cell Placement Cell
Competitive Exam Forum ILS Cultural Cell ILS Social Sciences Cell
Corporate Law Cell ILS Debating Society ILS Environmental Law Cell – Hariyali
Criminal Law Cell Centre for Human Rights