Government Law College, Ernakulam

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Government Law College, Ernakulam
Law College Ernakulam.jpg
Former names
His Highness Maharajas Law College
Motto Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum
(Let justice be done though the heavens fall)
Established 1874
Principal Dr. Bijukumar B.Sc, LL.M, Ph.D[1]Phone : 0484 235 2020 , 2353915[2]
Location Kochi, Kerala, 682011, India
Campus Urban

Government Law College, Ernakulam, (former name: His Highness Maharajas Law College) is an institution for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate legal education in Kerala, India. It is situated in the heart of Kochi City. Founded in 1874, the college is affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam.[3] The College is a recognised Research Centre in Law under the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam since 2010. The college, which is a premier institution of legal education in Kerala, has a list of alumni including K.G. Balakrishnan (the former CJI of the Supreme Court of India), Mammootty (Noted South Indian Actor), A K Antony and Oommen Chandy (former Chief Ministers of Kerala).


Government Law College's history began 1874 when legal education was started in Kerala by the Maharajah of Travancore sanctioning the organisation of a law class in connection with His Highness College Thiruvananthapuram (now University College Trivandrum). This was intended to enable candidates from Travancore to present themselves for the law examination of Madras University. Those law classes continued until 1894 when the institution was reorganised entirely. The college was raised to the status of an independent college as His Highness the Maharajah's Law College, Thiruvananthapuram, with W.T.A. Cosby, bar-at-law (judge of the High Court of Travancore who was appointed as professor of law in 1892) as the first principal. A complete set of rules was formulated by the government for the control and regulation of work in the college. The rules prescribed the qualification for members of the teaching staff. The college was maintained by the Maharajah of Travancore from the start and managed until 1909, when it was placed under the Direction of the Public Instruction. In 1910, the college came under the High Court of Travancore. With the inauguration of the Travancore University in 1938, the college was transferred to the control of the university. In 1957, the Kerala University was formed and the college came under it. In 1983, with the establishment of Mahathma Gandhi University at Kottayam, the college became a constituent college of that university and is now affiliated to it.

In August 1949, the college was moved to Ernakulam to fit it with the integration of the former states of Thiruvithamkoor and Kochi and the consequent moving of the Travancore-Cochin High Court from Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam. The college has been housed in the old assembly building of Kochi state at Ernakulam since 1949. The college celebrated the centenary of legal education in 1975. In July 1954, a second law college was started at Thiruvananthapuram.

To commemorate the move of the Law College to Ernakulam, the college celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1999. In 1967/68, the three-year LL.B. course was started and the title of the degree of M.L. was changed to M.L. During 1968/69, the two-year B.L. degree course was abolished. A part-time course for the three-year LL.B. started during 1968/69 but was abolished in 2002.[4]


B.A.( Criminology).,LL.B(Hons)[edit]

This is a five-year integrated law course, leading to a B.A., LL.B(Hons) with specialization in criminology. Each year consist of two semesters. The student earns the integrated B.A. LL.B. degree after completing the tenth semester, i.e., upon successful completion of five years.[5]

LL.B degree[edit]

This is a three-year law course, leading to the award of an honours degree. The course structure is divided into six semesters over three years.[6] qualification degree.


The LL.M. course enables students to develop their interests in many of the major areas of law to which they have been introduced in the LL.B. course, and also provides the opportunity to study important aspects of specialized areas of law. The duration of the course is two years.[7] At present, the college is offering instruction in two branches of law in the LL.M degree, mercantile law and law of crime and tort.


The college enrolls over 700 students for the LL.B course and 30 students for the LL.M course. In 2006, the government declared the campus a heritage site and offered Rs. 50,00,000 for its renovation which is still in progress.[8] The library building includes the computer laboratory. All classrooms are equipped with microphones and speakers for better audibility. WiFi is available for the students use.


The Government Law College , Ernakulam has a full fledged library which has more than 37,000 Volumes and 22 periodicals and is the oldest Law Library in the state. The library has subscription to Online Journals such as Manupatra, CDJ Law Journal, SCC Online, Lexis Nexis (India), Lex Libraria and Hein Online. It also has Offline databases of AIR Infotech and KLT Infotech.


Government Law College, Ernakulam has well managed hostel facilities for both male and female students.

Notable alumni[edit]

K. G. Balakrishnan


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 9°58′30″N 76°16′48″E / 9.975°N 76.280°E / 9.975; 76.280