West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
|The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences|
|Motto||Yuktiheena Vicharetu Dharmahnih Prajayate
(Judgment Devoid of Logic Destroys Dharma)
|Chancellor||Justice P. Sathasivam, ex-Chief Justice of India|
|Vice-Chancellor||Prof. (Dr.) [[ P Ishwar Bhat.]]|
|Location||Kolkata, West Bengal, India|
|Campus||Urban, 5 acres|
Coordinates: The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS or NUJS) is an autonomous law university offering courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is in Salt Lake City of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. NUJS is considered one of the best amongst the elite national law schools in India built on the five-year law degree model proposed and implemented by the Bar Council of India.
The university offers a five-year integrated B.A./BSc. LLB (Hons.) degree programme at the undergraduate level and a Master of Laws (LLM) programme at the postgraduate level. Admission to the former programme is through the Common Law Admission Test, a highly competitive, nationwide common entrance examination, held jointly by fourteen of the seventeen national law schools. NUJS also offers MPhil and PhD degrees.
- 1 History
- 2 Academic reputation
- 3 Vice chancellors
- 4 Faculty
- 5 Schools and research centres
- 6 Degrees and courses
- 7 Infrastructure
- 8 Student Juridical Association
- 9 Legal Aid Society
- 10 Mooting achievements
- 11 Alumni
- 12 References
- 13 External links
NUJS was established in 1999 by the Bar Council of India, in conjunction with the government of West Bengal. The founder-vice chancellor was professor N.R. Madhava Menon, a former professor of law of Delhi University and founder-director, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, who is credited with revolutionizing the field of legal education in India, by starting the concept of "law schools", as opposed to the traditional law colleges prevalent before.
Other eminent personalities without whose help and active intervention the university could not have been founded, include Sh. Jyoti Basu, a former chief minister of West Bengal who was a Middle Temple barrister; Sh. Somnath Chatterjee, a former speaker of the Lok Sabha, also a Middle Temple barrister and a leading member of the Calcutta Bar Library; and Justice Chittotosh Mookerjee, a former chief justice of the Calcutta High Court and the Bombay High Court and the (acting) governor of Maharashtra. Justice Mookerjee was the university's honorary treasurer and has been associated with the work of the university since its inception in 1999. The NUJS is an autonomous university.
In the first two years of its existence, NUJS did not have a permanent campus. Classes, which started in 2000, were held at Aranya Bhavan, where the Environment Ministry of the government of West Bengal is located, and the first batches of students started living in government flats. On 28 October 2002, the university's present-day permanent campus was inaugurated by the then chief justice of India, B. N. Kirpal. In 2006, NUJS was allotted a 50-acre (200,000 m2) plot in Rajarhat, an upscale township, which is being developed by the West Bengal government.
According to professor Mahendra P Singh, one of the university's ex-vice chancellor, it is NUJS's "endeavour to teach students the value of social justice so that they can help the weaker sections of society." The majority of graduates choose to work at firms that practice corporate law, rather than as litigators, academia or in NGOs. In an article written for The Hindu, Dr Ajay Gudavarthy, a former teacher at NUJS and NLSIU, criticised both institutions as being "tailored for the corporates" and argued that they could end up as "professional institutions without social relevance."
LexisNexis Halsbury's Law Monthly rates NUJS as a Tier One law school, jointly with the NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, and the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, and states that NUJS's "placement process is at par with the other two colleges in the top tier." In 2009 Outlook (a major current affairs and culture magazine) ranked NUJS as the second best law school in India (behind NLSIU). In 2008, in a ranking conducted jointly by the Wall Street Journal and Mint (a business newspaper of the Hindustan Times group), NUJS was rated as the third best law school in India (behind NLSIU and NALSAR), with the best "pedagogic systems and process" amongst all law schools in the country. Overall, the survey awarded NUJS a score of 607 out of 800, while NLSIU and NALSAR achieved scores of 621 and 609 respectively. In 2010 Lawyers Update magazine ranked the faculty at NUJS as the best in India.
However, the news magazine India Today ranked NUJS sixth in 2007, fifth in 2008 and eighth in 2009, below law schools that Halsbury's Law Monthly classifies as Tier Two and Tier Three institutions. In 2006, India Today did not even feature NUJS (along with a few other national law schools) in their rankings. Further controversy was created when Outlook ranked NUJS fifth in 2010 from second in 2009. This demotion led to exchanges of claims and counter-claims between a faculty and student led group at NUJS and the Outlook editors.
The popular press has described NUJS as "one of the top three NLUs" (The Hindu); "one of the most prestigious institutions for legal education in the country" (The Telegraph); and a university whose students' moot court achievements "put Kolkata on the world map in less than three years" (The Times of India).
|No.||Vice chancellor||Took office||Left office||Career highlights at NUJS|
|01||N. R. Madhava Menon||1999||2003||Founder VC of NUJS • Founder of Legal Aid Society.|
|02||B. S. Chimni||2004||2006||Founded NUJS National Moot competition.|
|03||Mahendra Pal Singh||2006||2011||Tieup with foreign universities • Focus on infrastructure improvement • Abolition of school libraries and consolidation of central library • Overhaul of examination system.Ushering in a culture of legal research and quality publication. Establishing the NUJS Law Review as the only Quarterly legal journal amongst all the National Law Schools in India.|
|04||P. Ishwara Bhat||2012||Incumbent|
The faculty members include former judge of the Supreme Court of India Justice Ruma Pal, who was the Ford Foundation Professor of Human Rights. The former governor of Mizoram and CBI director, Dr. A.P. Mukherjee taught criminal law here. There is an IPR chair headed by Shamnad Basheer who is a well-known name in the field of intellectual property and this is sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. However he left after having conflicts of interest with the present VC. The faculty includes Oxonians, a Rhodes scholar, a Commonwealth Scholar, a Fulbright scholar, a Felix Scholar and three Chevening Scholars.
Teachers in NUJS have attended Western universities like Columbia University, University of Oxford, Vanderbilt University, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of Nottingham, University of Essex amongst others. Lecturers educated in India are alumni of institutions such as NLSIU, NALSAR University of Law, Jawaharlal Nehru University and, in a recent trend, NUJS itself. NUJS faculty has published in journals like European Intellectual Property Review, International Journal of Biotechnology, Journal of World Investment and Trade, Yale Journal of Law and Technology among others.
In addition to lectures by permanent faculty members, the university organises lectures and interactive seminars attended by jurists, lawyers and academicians from India and abroad. NUJS has four major annual lectures: K.C. Basu Endowment Lecture (Law & Economics), Durga Das Basu Memorial Lecture (Constitutional law), Ford Foundation Lecture (Human Rights) and Convocation Address. Visitors who have delivered other lectures include Lord Robin Auld, Sir Igor Judge, Justice Zakaria Yacoob from the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, Professor Upendranath Baxi, Ram Jethmalani, Indira Jaising, Vandana Shiva, Bibek Debroy, Jayati Ghosh, Helmut Goerlich, David Nimmer and Manoranjan Mohanty.
Professors from Kolkata's other institutions visit the campus and take classes. Professors from institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, the Indian Statistical Institute, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Presidency College, Kolkata, St. Xavier's College, Calcutta and Jadavpur University often visit NUJS.
Schools and research centres
NUJS is organised into a number of schools of study, each independent in conception and operation, yet integrated through programmes of teaching, research and extension activities:
- School of Criminal Justice and Administration.
- School of Economic and Business Laws.
- School of Legal Practice and Development.
- School of Private Laws and Comparative Jurisprudence.
- School of Public Law and Governance.
- School of Social Sciences.
- School of Technology, Law and Development.
- Centre for Gender research Law.
- Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Studies
- Centre for WTO Law
- Ford Foundation Chair on Human Rights
- Ministry of Human Resource Development Chair on Intellectual Property Rights
The schools and the centres undertake projects which are funded by the government of India, the Department of Economic Affairs, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme and the Ford Foundation, among others.
Degrees and courses
B.A./B. Sc. LL. B (Hons.)
The admission shall be based exclusively on the performance in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). However, to qualify for admission, the candidate:
- Must have passed the Higher Secondary School Examination (10+2) or an examination equivalent thereof, securing, in aggregate, not less than 50% in all the core subjects and English put together.
- Must not have completed 20 years of age as on day of admission.
The five-year undergraduate course is divided into ten semesters and enrolls 125 students every year. The students represent almost all states of India and a few join from foreign countries. This programme offers advanced legal education with an emphasis on critical thinking and self-enquiry on the one hand and acquisition of practical skills and knowledge on the other.
The LL.M degree course is a two-year post graduate course. This programme is interested in attracting students who either wish to join academia or seek to acquire advanced research skills before joining the legal profession. The admission is based exclusively on the performance in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). To qualify for admission, the candidate should have secured LL.B. degree or its equivalent from a recognized university, having obtained not less than 55% marks in the aggregate.
The LL.M. programme comprises a range of compulsory and optional courses and a dissertation to be completed within four semesters. In the first semester, the students are expected to complete four compulsory courses. In each of the second and third semesters, they have to complete four optional courses respectively. These courses are identified by the Post Graduate Council (PGC) in consultation with its Faculty Council. Students are allowed to make their suggestions regarding choices/preferences of any subject or subjects to the PGC which is given due consideration. A dissertation is to be written in the fourth semester on an approved topic under a Faculty, who is appointed by the PGC. The students are expected to make presentations on their dissertation one month in advance to their submission and also take up independent teaching assignments on certain subjects.
NUJS offers three research programmes: M. Phil, PhD and LL.D.
The M. Phil degree programme is designed for legal academics, i.e., students who wish to pursue sustained independent study and research and are planning careers in law teaching.
The Postgraduate Council (PGC) constitutes an Advisory Committee of three members for each M.Phil student. Each student will be under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The candidate will be eligible for receipt of the degree only if he/she completes the prescribed requirements of the course within a maximum period of three years.
The PhD and LL.D degrees are two of the most advanced law degrees. The candidates to these degrees are expected to produce a thesis that will constitute a substantial and valuable contribution to legal scholarship. Since the doctoral programme is designed to train law teachers, having the opportunity to practice teaching skills is critical. The candidate is therefore given teaching assignments in addition to making presentations before the faculty community.
Diploma and post-graduate diploma
NUJS, in collaboration with iPleaders, offers a diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws, which has students from 10 different countries. This was the university's most successful distance education program, and is available through an android app apart from online Learning Management System. Students in the course include bureaucrats, CEOs, journalists, law firm partners and investment managers.
On 29 April 2013, Vice-chancellor Prof. (Dr.) P. Ishwara Bhat issued a letter of intent for educational institutions, to enter into a MoU with NUJS for its Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws course. This benefits the partner institution to a greater extent in terms of quality upliftment. It is seen, that by acquiring such practical skillsets at an early stage, students catapult their careers to a farther height.
NUJS used to offer a post-graduate diploma program in business law (in partnership with Rainmaker, the firm which provides logistical support in conducting All India Bar Exam), which has been now discontinued. NUJS offers corporate training course on company law to Larsen & Toubro, one of India's largest engineering and construction conglomerates, Post-Graduate Executive Diploma in Business Management and Law (in partnership with IIM Shillong), Post-Graduate Diploma in Nuclear Law in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy, space law, human rights law, etc.
Campuses and hostels
The Salt Lake Campus consists of an academic block and three residential blocks. The latter comprises two separate, seven-storied halls of residence for girls and boys and a double-storied faculty accommodation house-cum-guest house. The university's academic block, christened after B.R. Ambedkar, is a four-storied octagonal structure that opens inwardly to a lawn. The building houses classrooms, a library and reading room, two conference halls, offices and an auditorium.
NUJS's main campus is located on a 5-acre (20,000 m2) plot in Salt Lake City, overseeing the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. The National Institute of Fashion Technology and the College of Leather Technology border the Campus. The Hyatt Regency and the ITC Sheraton Sonar Bangla, two of Kolkata's largest luxury hotels are situated close to the Campus. The Salt Lake Campus was designed by the architectural firm Ghosh,Bose and Associates, which also designed the Hyatt Regency. Like the Hyatt Regency, NUJS' central building is an example of the Modernist school of architecture, characterised by minimalist design and open spaces. The front facade has a large, standalone, Neo-Doric style column that also acts as a support (this has been nicknamed by students as the "Pillar of Justice").
NUJS's Rajarhat Campus is yet to be built. No significant construction has been undertaken and the land lies vacant.
Admission to the hostels is conducted simultaneously with admission to the university. Although most students reside in the hostels for the entire duration of their course, some local residents choose to live off campus in their homes. The hostels have a mess serving vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. Every floor of the six- storeyed hostels has 26 single rooms and 12 double rooms. Hostel rooms are equipped with round-the-clock internet access.
The hostels have their own rules of discipline, which are primarily administered by the wardens in association with students. Self-governance is encouraged for which powers are delegated to select student representatives. The hostel mess is managed by a Mess Committee managed by the residents themselves. There is a doctor available for consultation, who visits the hostel regularly. This apart, the university organizes medical help whenever needed through tie-ups with hospitals located in the Salt Lake area. The Corporation Bank, a public sector undertaking, has opened a branch inside the campus and offers banking facilities, including an ATM facility.
The university has a large law library. It also has a considerably large social science section. journals such as the Harvard and Cambridge Law Reviews, the law reviews of the respective National Law Universities of India, such as the NLSIU, GNLU and NALSAR, the journals of the Indian Law Institute and the Bar Council of India and reputed social science journals such as the Social Scientist, Indian Economic and Social History Review, and the Studies in History are also kept in the library.
NUJS also holds institutional memberships with leading libraries in the cities such as the British Council Library and the American Information Resource Center. Besides this, law students from other universities are encouraged to use the library for research and study.
The NUJS library houses over 20,000 titles and, owing largely to a donation from the estate of the late Justice Durga Das Basu, contains many rare books of historical importance. The reading room has computers linked to major Indian and international online legal databases. The library is wi-fi enabled, so that students are able to access the internet from their personal computers while researching. In addition to the main library, each School of the University has its library.
The Salt Lake Campus has limited sports facilities and the University authorities have attempted to compensate for this by arranging a tie-up with the Sports Authority of India, whose sports complex is located a few metres away from the University. The campus has facilities for indoor sports, and has a gymnasium for use by the staff and students.
The NUJS hosts a number of inter-college events. The Sports Committee of NUJS organizes one of the most popular inter-law college events in the country, known as Invicta. Law colleges from across the country participate in this three day sports festival, held in January every year. The events forming part of the meet are football, cricket, lawn tennis, athletics, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, badminton, chess, carrom, cycling and throwball. The events are held at venues around the campus, such as the Sports Authority of India Complex, Bengal Tennis Association complex, Salt Lake Stadium (athletics), as well as the campus itself.
Student Juridical Association
The student body of the University is known as the Student Juridical Association (SJA). The SJA has an elected President and Vice President, along with two administrative office bearers, the Administrative Secretary and the Treasurer. The SJA has an Executive Council which is constituted by representatives from the various Student Committees of the SJA and an elected Class Representative from each of the five batches of students. The Student Committees of the SJA are committees for encouraging, organising and playing an administrative role in extracurricular activities within the student body. Such committees include the Moot Court Society, Cultural Committee, Literary and Debating Society, Sports Committee, etc.
The university through SJA publishes its own student-run peer reviewed law journals, the bi-annual Journal of Indian Law and Society". Another peer-reviewed journal launched by the University in 2011 is the Journal of Telecommunication and Broadcasting Law.
The NUJS Law Review is the official publication of NUJS and is funded directly by the University. It is independent of the SJA and its publications. It has a dedicated team of 6 editors chosen from amongst the students of NUJS. Professor M.P. Singh is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of NUJS Law Review, which is India's only quarterly law journal published by a National Law School. Conceived by Professor Singh himself, the NUJS Law Review prides itself on its unique model of functioning with an in-house team of authors who are rigorously groomed to undertake editing and managerial responsibilities of NUJS Law Review.
Legal Aid Society
The Legal Aid Society has undertaken the following categories of activities:
- Legal Aid Clinic and Counseling: The Legal Aid Clinic has been set up as a permanent body to provide free legal advice and resolution of disputes without long drawn and expensive litigation. This is done by providing legal and para-legal assistance. The clinic is presided over by the faculty advisor, Shri N. Konar, a former judge. Assistance is also provided by other former judges in the faculty. The clinic has been functional since 9 November 2002 and has tendered advice to several cases.
- Human Rights and Public Education: For empowering people through legal education and instilling in them consciousness about their rights and duties. This is done through field visits in semi-urban and rural areas as well as publicized seminars and workshops within the university itself.
- Youth for Social Justice: A social awareness program that targets young people with the objective of ingraining in impressionable minds a sense of social justice.
- Law Enforcement Assistance: This subcommittee works with law enforcement authorities such as the police, Government, pollution control board, for providing an interface to people to promote legal awareness and law-enforcement.
- Para Legal Services and Training: The purpose of this activity is to build relationships with other agencies that work in the field such as NGOs, to facilitate exchange of information. The Society seeks to provide training and services in the form of documental consultancy and research to these agencies.
- Public Interest Advocacy Support services: In the form of documentation, obtaining empirical data and other allied research are to be provided for public advocacy of popular concerns and public interest litigations.
- Lok Adalat and ADR assistance: As part of its goal to encourage alternate dispute resolution, the Legal Aid Society organizes Lok Adalats in association with the W.B. Legal Aid Authority. Till date one Lok Adalat, specially for women was held in November 2003.
Students have won numerous encomiums at national and international Moot Court competitions. In 2003, NUJS became the only Indian and second Asian college to win the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, held at Vienna. In 2005, the University Moot team won the Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot, which is held each year in Hong Kong. The NUJS Moot teams have been regularly been reaching the 'advanced rounds' of the competition, from its debut in 2003. In 2013, NUJS won the Pan Asian Award at the Vis (East) Competition. In 2005, NUJS also emerged as winners at the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Stetson University Law School in Gulfport, Florida, USA after winning the India rounds organised by Surana and Surana Moots. In May 2010, students of the University won the ELSA Moot Court Competition. The NUJS team has also performed well at the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot at Washington D.C. In 2004-05, the NUJS team won the Jessup (North Zone) National Rounds and participated at the International Rounds at Washington D.C., where they proceeded to the 'advanced rounds', and in the year 2011, they came out as the quarter-finalists in this prestigious moot court competition.
Besides the above, the moot team has been a semi-finalist at the Asia Pacific Round of the Manfred Lachs International Space Law Moot at Sydney, Australia. In the last two editions of the biennial Commonwealth Moot Court competition, NUJS has won the national rounds on both occasions, thereby, earning a chance to represent India at the International rounds. They have been finalists and semifinalists at the International Rounds. In 2006, NUJS was selected as one of the teams to represent India at the ELSA WTO Moot Court at Geneva, Switzerland and were semi-finalists in the oral rounds of the same. In 2010, NUJS won the world rounds of the ELSA WTO Moot Court.
The university scored a hatrick at the NLS International Moot Court Competition on International Commercial Arbitration sponsored by Clifford Chance in May 2010 — winning it every year since its inception in 2008.
Over the years, the University Team has also won accolades at the Bar Council of India Moot, Raj Anand Intellectual Property Moot, M.M. Singhvi — Bar Council of India Moot at NLU Jodhpur, K.L.A. Moot, and several other national moot court competitions.
A large number of graduates of NUJS have been recruited by premier law firms of India and abroad by way of a student run campus recruitment process. Recruitment for the batch graduating in 2008 marked the advent of international law firms including Magic Circle firms who have picked up students for Training Contracts at Allen & Overy, LLP, Clifford Chance, LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, LLP, Linklaters, Herbert Smith, LLP among others. The domestic law firms which have recruited students from NUJS include Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, Khaitan & Co, Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB & Partners, Trilegal, and many others. Among companies, ICICI Bank, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Sons, Infosys and many more have recruited from campus. SEBI the capital markets regulator in India has also recruited students from NUJS. Some graduates, albeit a minuscule number, pursue careers in litigation by joining the chambers of Senior Advocates in the Supreme Court of India or High Courts & Trial Courts. Some graduates have also embarked on a career in law teaching. NUJS graduates have been recruited by the School of Law, Singapore Management University, NLS and NUJS itself as assistant professors and lecturers.
Some graduates prefer not to sit for the recruitment process. Instead, they decide to pursue higher education at the some of the premier universities in the country and abroad. Graduates have received many prestigious scholarships at premier universities abroad, including the Felix Scholarship to Oxford University, the Vanderbilt Scholarship (NYU), Shell Centenary Scholarship (Oxford), the J.N. Tata Endowment Scholarship, the Chevening scholarship and the Rhodes scholarship.
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