Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Real Incognito

Well, I have something to say again. And this time it’s something about the way we are taught. And no, this will not be a praise session of our college. This is about something I think should be done in every law school there is in the country. And, well, yeah, probably many do it too.

We had a 10 day holiday when Andhra was boiling against the Telangana Bill, 2013. So, after three unsuccessful attempts to take the classes on three consecutive days, we were given a holiday. And we went home. Simple. First part of the post ends here.

So, going home was a very happy time to meet my family and friends. And apart from all that, there was work too. Yes, work. You must be thinking, “Work?! During a holiday in the first semester when very few classes have been done?! This guy is mad.”

Well, no. I’m not mad. Nah, let me correct it. I’m ‘hopefully’ not mad. My duty was to go to the court and see, analyse and learn things. I took in all I could, attended many hearing sessions just by sitting there and watching the lawyers argue, judges listen, parties tensed. The sight of the courtroom was not a very pleasing one. I’d rather say it was a very VERY unpleasant one. Shabby rooms and piles of paperwork just lying there didn’t make it any better. But I sat and saw the atmosphere in the courtroom nevertheless. Second part of the post complete. I’ll just take a few more minutes of your valuable time.

Next up would be the district consumer court. This was not at all aesthetically unpleasing as the one I mentioned above. And yes, I saw young lawyers practicing here! Yay! I sat and observed session here too. Learnt how adjournments are taken, how things are presented in a consumer court and all that I could see. Oh, and yes, who took me to all these places? Dad. Yes, I owe him a lot. Third part of the story complete. But what’s worth reading in my post if you don’t have something to think about?

Well, see, the thing is, frankly, you cannot learn law unless you go to court, unless you see how law is interpreted and implemented actually in the real world. The scenario is quite different from what we see in class, things are not as ‘holy’ and ‘just’ as it seems. So, attending court is a very necessary thing for all law students irrespective of their ultimate goal being corporate or litigation or joining the judicial services or something else. Law is pretty much like other science subjects. You just cannot get the essence of it unless you have had practical classes of it. And no, moot courts aren’t the same as attending hearings. Not at all. So why should the engineering guys have practical sessions every day and we sit here delving into books without ever visiting a courtroom? Not fair.

And why am I saying this today? Because we had the honour of hearing a speech from the Hon’ble Chief justice of Andhra Pradesh Mr. Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta himself today. And his opinion was the same. But he had a point which I didn’t still start doing – the art of drafting. Yes, it’s an art. Finely choosing the right words to express something in the legal language is really a fine art. And you need to learn that too, again irrespective of where you ultimately join. Completing the legal education requires this to be fulfilled I believe. And unfortunately, we never have classes on improving our drafting skills, which should have been there from the first year itself. The ones who can do it by themselves- well and good, and what about the ones who don’t improve their drafting skills?

So, I think every university should mandatorily have these practical sessions and drafting classes included from the first semester itself in the ‘legal methods’/’legal principles’ course.

And yes, an advance happy Ganesh Chaturthi to everyone. :)

-Debadatta Bose
Student, Semester I, DSNLU


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