ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-20
- Best Practice: Judgement Writing Competition organized in memory of Late Judge P.N. Behere
- Aims and Objectives:
- develop decision making skills
- understand the complicated facts and author judgement
- inculcate ability to formulate and draft questions of law
- develop ability to listen impartially and with neutrality
- promote fairness and just reasoning among the students free from any prejudice and bias
- The Context:
The Judgment Writing Competition is unique in terms of its forms of proceedings.
Judge P.N. Behere was known for his brief judgement and timely disposal of cases. For inculcating these qualities in students and to cherish the memories of Judge P.N. Behere, the Judgment Writing competition is organized every year.
The format of this competition is structured in such a way that the practical and intellectual needs of students are met with respect to legal proceedings.
In this competition, the case outline is circulated one-week prior to the competition for students to undertake preliminary research and acquaint themselves with the subject matter of the case. The brief (provided 2-3 days before) consists 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.
Phase I – the proceedings akin to real-time court proceedings are conducted before the participants who observe and make notes, 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.
Phase II, the participants are given a stipulated time of three hours to write their judgement including brief facts, questions before the court, summary of arguments, reasoning and final order. all material and facilities of the college are at the disposal of the participants for 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.
- Evidence of Success:
- Judgment Writing Competition in memory of Late Judge P. N. Behere is most often presided by the judges of Bombay High Court
- The drop-out rate from these two competitions has decreased in the last five years
- Every year we provide the participants with different legal problems and the topics encountered are unique
- For the last five years, we have witnessed many students entering into the field of subordinate judiciary
- The successful execution of these competitions for consecutive eleven years (Judgment Writing) has let students shift from the dominant culture of mooting to Judgment Writing
- The participation of LL.M. students in Judgment Writing Competition is on a rise
- Problems Encountered and Resources Required
- The Judgment Writing Competition is restricted to students of IV and V B.A. LL.B and II and III LL.B. and LL.M. because Law of Evidence and Procedural Laws are not studied by the first three years of B.A. LL.B and I year of LL.B.
- Judgments are very lengthy and it is a great disincentive for students to engage with research. However, we have been able to overcome this challenge by screening crisp judgments.
- These competitions are not as popular as the Moot Court competitions and this affects the participation too.
- The judgments being delivered by the Supreme Court and High Court, students find it tough to transcend beyond the frame of judgments
- 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, by motivating students to become good judges, contribute towards the process of nation-building
- Title of the Best Practice: ILS Legal Aid Activities
- provide free legal aid to weaker and disadvantaged sections of the society
- increase legal literacy in rural and urban areas
- make people aware of their legal rights and empower women, children, senior citizens by making them aware of the laws enacted for their protection
- provide services of an advocate for conduct of legal proceedings before any Judicial or quasi-judicial authority
The constitutional guarantee to fundamental rights is an empty shell in absence of legal aid. Right to legal aid itself is a fundamental right.
ILS Law College established its Legal Aid Centre in 1976 much before Article 39 A was added to the Indian Constitution.
The activities of the Legal Aid Centre serve the twin purpose of giving free legal services to poor and needy and to impart practical training to students of Law.
The activities of the Centre are a reflection of our commitment to the underlying principles and ethical implications of the Legal Service Authority Act, 1987, and further Advocate Act, 1961, as Legal Aid activities inculcate the value of promoting pro-bono legal aid.
- The Practice:
- Legal Aid Clinic: Under the supervision of two teachers and a group of students, the in-house legal aid clinic is conducted throughout the week between 1 pm to 2 pm. Students of II and III year LL.B, LL.M. and II year to final year B.A. LL.B are involved.
- Off-campus Legal Aid Clinic: 4 off-campus clinics are run in Tadiwala Raod, Hadapsar, Market Yard and Karve Institute once a month. These clinics include – issuance of notices on the letter-head of college, giving of hearing to parties, attempts of reconciliation and filing of cases.
- Legal Literacy Camps: Camps inlcude speeches, street plays, one-to-one issues addressed on broad topics such as– laws relating to women and children, RTE, RTI, Human Rights, Family Laws, Consumer Laws, Cyber Laws, Labour Laws, IPR, Land Laws etc.
- Preparation of Literacy material: Students and teachers team up and prepare the legal literacy material in Marathi language for the purpose of dissemination of law and raising legal consciousness during legal aid camps.
- Street Plays: Socio-legal issues are presented before the audience through street plays.
- Legal Aid Award: Incentives are given in the form of three awards like Raghvendra Phadnis Legal Aid award, Professor S. P Sathe Legal Aid award and Legal Aid Centre award
- School Visit: ILS Law College organises camps for school going students on topics like fundamental duties, traffic awareness, POCSO Act, etc.
- Paralegal Programmes: In the last five years, ILS has organised six paralegal programmes in collaboration with Bahujan Hitaya Society and Deepgriha Society to provide training to their social workers.
- Court Cases: College provides free lawyering services to the clients in cases of failed reconciliation. In the last five years, we have filed 24 cases before various courts, including the Supreme Court of India. The Expenditures are borne by ILS Law College.
5. Evidence of Success
For the past 47 years, the activity has been conducted uninterruptedly.
This is evident from the fact that the Sri Lankan delegation considered ILS Legal Aid Programme as one of the model programmes to be followed in Sri Lanka. Foreign scholars like Prof. Bloch, Prof. Clark D. Cunningham included observations on ILS Clinical Legal Education Programme in their research studies. Prof. Jane Schukoskee thought it worthwhile to study ILS Legal Aid Programme in her proposal for Fulbright Scholarship.
ILS Legal Aid Centre has collaborations with organisations including, Deepgriha Society, Karve Institute and Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat for effective implementation of various Legal Aid Programmes.
The college was awarded with the Knowledge Steez Award of Excellence for Contribution in Social Justice and Legal Aid in 2018 and 2020.
In 2019-20, a total of 24 legal aid and literacy camps were organized by HEI.
- Problems Encountered and Resources Required:
- Camps are confined to the areas of Pune district only. We have limited financial resources to organise these camps. With limited manpower, it becomes challenging to maintain continued coordination with the camp location after the camp. So, the college gets professional assistance through alumni who also make the human resources available without charge.
- Sometimes it becomes difficult for college to match time in relation to the convenience of the people specially residing in villages. Through collaboration with NGOs, we try to overcome this hurdle.
- It becomes difficult to hold the camps in villages and slum areas during the rainy seasons.
- ILS Law College nurtures the conception of legal education which is both socially relevant and professionally desirable.
- The scope of legal aid activity is not confined to mere legal literacy. With the involvement of our alumni, we provide legal aid to the needy and although our motto is to solve the disputes out of court, in appropriate cases, the college also offers free lawyering services to the clients.