Teaching is a noble profession, and more so if it is teaching of law. Law teachers produce legal eagles who are the future politicians, judges, diplomats, lawyers of the country. These intellectuals in turn with their sharp mind help the country to balance conflicting interest in various fora even in international fora representing the country. They help the country to achieve its goal of socio-economic-political justice for common people.
Now the question is what are the required qualifications to be appointed as a law teacher in Universities Institutions and Colleges?
Strictly speaking education is in the concurrent list under Entry 25 of VII Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Legal profession is under Entry 26 of the same list. Thus, both State and Centre have law making power in this regard. The University Grants Commission Act, 1956 (hereinafter mentioned as U.G.C. Act) and Advocates Act, 1961 are two central legislations which deal with appointment of law teacher. They can be appointed in the following ways:-
1. Under Bar Council Rules enacted under Advocates Act, Part IV, under the heading Paper IV; Public interest lawyering, Legal aid, and para-legal services; under 12 th point it is provided that full time teachers of law including the principal of the college shall ordinarily be holders of a Masters degree in law and where the holders of Masters degree in law are not available, persons with teaching experience for a minimum period of 10 years in law may be considered. Part time teachers other than those with LL.M. Degree shall have a minimum practice of 5 years at Bar.
2. Under U.G.C. (Minimum Qualifications Required for the Appointment and Career Advancement of Teachers in Universities and Institutions Affiliated to it) Regulations, 2009 which is enacted under clauses (e) and (g) of sub-section (1) of section 26 and section 14 of the U.G.C. Act, 1956. It provides that- NET/SLET 1 shall remain the minimum eligibility condition for recruitment and appointment of lecturers in Universities/Colleges/Institutions. Provided, however the candidates who are or have been awarded Ph.D. Degree in compliance of abovementioned U.G.C. Regulations, 2009 shall be exempted from requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET/SLET for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professor or equivalent positions in Universities/Colleges/ Institutions.
3. A probable way of appointment of adjunct teachers from the Bar and from among the retired judges under The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2003 under provision of section 4 amending section 7 of the principal Act.
There seems to be existence of diverse legal provisions for the required qualification of appointed law teachers. The U.G.C. was established in the year 1956 by the U.G.C. Act, 1956 and its purpose was to promote and coordinate University education, and for the determination and maintenance of standard of teaching, examination, and research in Universities (Section 12 of the U.G.C. Act). The Advocates Act, 1961 is a special legislation that provides under section 7, clause (h)- to promote legal education and to lay down standard of such education in consultation with the Universities in India imparting such education.
It is clear that special legislation prevails in specific matter. Thus, Indian Bar Council has the main say in consultation with U.G.C. to lay down the required qualification of law teachers for appointment in Colleges, Institutions and Universities. It can also be added that last intention of legislature prevails (Here the Advocates Act, 1961). 2 Again in the U.G.C. pay related orders regarding teachers having Ph.D. Degree has recognized it as a research degree for promotion of quality in higher education. It gives the teachers three increments with one advance increment in salary. So, the purpose of Ph.D. degree is only for research for career advancement. Thus, Law teachers having LL.M. degree cannot be prevented from getting appointed in law colleges, Universities, and government run or controlled institutions as it is the norm which is laid down by the Advocates Act.