Pak Supreme Court Restores Bar Entrance Examination; Bans 3 Year LLB Courses [Read Order]
“An independent, competent, honest and industrious Judicature requires an equally independent, dynamic, honest and dedicated Bar in order to effectively provide justice in accordance with law to all members of the society.”
Pakistan Supreme court has issued significant directives in the realm of legal education including restoration of Bar Entrance Examination and banning three years LL.B. programme after 31 December 2018.
In a ‘reasons to be recorded later’ order, the bench comprising of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan approved the recommendations are made by a special committee constituted by Pakistan Bar Council with minor modification.
The bench ordered the immediate closure of five law colleges affiliated to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Benazirabad as it is not recognized or authorized by the PBC to offer an LL.B programme. It has also ordered disaffiliation of sub-standard law colleges. It has also directed that the universities and institutions that are not recognized and authorised by the PBC to confer LL.B degree shall not impart legal education to students at LL.M and Ph.D. levels or to admit students to either of such programmes
The top Court also approved the recommendation to ban three-year courses and evening courses. The bench said: “A five years LL.B. programme shall be introduced in September 2019. The current three years LL.B. programme shall be phased out and law colleges throughout Pakistan shall not admit students to their three years LL.B. programme after 31 December 2018.”
The bench also ordered that a Law Graduate Assessment Test (LAW-GAT) of law graduates seeking enrollment to the Bar shall be held on quarterly basis by HECP as the executing institution throughout Pakistan based on a question bank prepared for the Assessment Test.
The order also speaks about Qualification of faculty (permanent and visiting) at law colleges.
- The Dean Law Faculty/Head of Law Department/Principal of law college shall be Ph.D. in law with 8 years law teaching experience/practice experience in High Court or Masters Degree in Law with 15 years law teaching experience/practice experience in High Court or a retired Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court or a retired District & Sessions Judge having 5 years of judicial service to his credit;
- At least five permanent/whole time faculty members/teachers having a Masters degree in law with 5 years law teaching experience/practice experience in High Court or having a Bachelors degree in law with 10 years law teaching experience/ practice experience in High Court; &
- There shall be at least five part-time/visiting faculty members/ teachers having 5 years standing as Advocates of High Court.