AUTHOR – SAGNIK BHAUMIK
COLLEGE – S. K. ACHARYA INSTITUTE OF LAW
UNIVERSITY – KALYANI UNIVERSITY
“The capacity to learn is a gift.
The ability to learn is a skill.
The willingness to learn is a choice.”
- Brian Herbert
The term “legal education” – which broadly refers the professional course for the students or the individuals associated with legal profession, is an interdisciplinary, dynamic, never-ending & ceaseless learning procedure. Legal education in India is basically regulated by the Bar Council of India. Bar Council of India is a statutory body and it has been established under Section 4 of Advocates Act, 1961.
In the today’s world, significant growth of legal education is noticeable; as well as numerous educational institutions are being established to recognize that spirit of the law aspirant. But, a prior written approval of the Bar Council of India must be obtained in order to establish any law department of any educational institution in our country.
Section 7(1)(h) of the Advocates Act, 1961 prescribes the functions of Bar Council to promote legal education. This Act also directs the Bar Council to lay down the “standards of legal education” to be maintained by all those educational institutions by consultation with universities and State Bar Councils.
Section 10(1)(b) of this act also directs to constitute a standing committee namely “legal education committee” which will consist of 10 members.
In this regard, the Bar Council of India is also empowered under section 49(1)(d) of this Act to make rules regarding the “the standards of legal education”.
ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN LEGAL EDUCATION
Technology is the sum of techniques, skills, knowledge, innovation & cultivation of the brain. Day by day information technology is being upgraded. In fact, this modern technology has been converted into an inseparable part of our everyday lifestyle. However, it is needless to say that - even in our legal sector also, technology plays a very effective role & especially during this COVID 19 pandemic, technology is the only possible option right now.
POSITIVE ROLE & IMPACTS OF TECHNOLOGY IN LEGAL EDUCATION:-
Revolutionary development of information technology has unfolded new horizon of legal education. It is, therefore, obvious that numerous positive impacts of those technologies are in force. Some of those can be referred hereunder –
1. VIRTUAL CLASSES & E-LEARNING :-
Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the legal education provided by all the law colleges and law departments of educational institutions has been compelled to suspend for uncertain period.We must keep in mind is that – a lawyer is not born; rather a lawyer is made by the ceaseless efforts of the professors and dedication of the students during the complete course of legal education. Here, continuous study is the only factor.That’s why virtual classes by using next generation information technology becomes the only possible way of teaching and learning procedures.
2. TO ACCESS E-BOOKS, BARE ACTS, etc. :-
Law is not a static subject to be confined within a particular jurisdiction. It is totally dynamic in nature which includes interdisciplinary bonding with various fields in and around law. For the purpose of legal study, the students need to access lots of books, Acts, legal provisions etc. Obviously it may not be possible for them to buy each and every books. Herethe online giants search engines and various legal websites can easily help a lot in legal educations by providing access of those Bare Acts in .PDF/ .DOCS format. But obviously, the students need to judge the authenticity of those contents before believing or applying in practical fields.
3. UPDATES ABOUT LATEST JUDGMENTS& DECISIONS OF COURTS:-
According to Art 141 of Indian Constitution – the laws declared by the Supreme Court of India shall be binding upon all the courts within the territory of India. So, being in touch with all the latest judgments declared by the Supreme Court of the high Courts, is one the basic criteria on the part of legal education. Here also, the use of information technology takes the lead. So many apps, websites, groups, pages actively provides all those latest updates in daily basis.
4. USE OF DIGITAL SIGNATURE / ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE :-
Section 3-A & Section 5 of INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2008 provides concepts and legal recognition of electronic signature respectively. It is too much important in the era of information technology as because for the purpose of any online form fill-up for admission to a law college, any online transaction, or online agreements those verified digital signatures can be used if required.
5. AUTHENTICATION& LEGAL RECOGNITION OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS
Even section 3 & 4 respectively provides authentication and legal recognition of electronic records that also may help in legal education when the students or legal professionals need to use any documents in form of electronic records. It will have the same value before the eyes of law just like any handwritten, typewritten or printed form of that documents.
6. USE OF ASYMMETRIC CRYPTOSYSTEM & HASH FUNCTIONS
This 2 process secure the highest attainable safety measures for sending and receiving any electronic records that involves the “key-pair” i.e. the combination of private key and public key. However, it is used only for the professional purposes provided u/s 3 of I.T. Act, 2008. Rather, for the purpose of legal education students also
7. GET IN TOUCH WITH CURRENT AFFAIRS, G.K, DAILY NEWS & TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
For most of the legal profession a compulsory paper containing G.K & current affairs are there. So students must keep that knowledge up-to-date. Here technology like plays a very vital role to provide all these within our hands.
8. TIME SAVING & FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED FOR THE LAW STUDENTS
Moreover, what is the most significant element is that – for a developing country like India, a large number of the total population belong to the below-poverty level. For those students it become quite impossible to purchase those costly law books. If the information technology was not with us, then maybe lots of hidden talents with the eyes full of dream would not be able to chase after their goal.
However, surely lots of negative impacts are also with us just because of the easy availability of that same information technology.
NEGATIVE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY ON EDUCATION
1. INDIA IS NOT READY ENOUGH TO ACCEPT THAT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY-
It is the fact that our country is not ready enough to accept the use of technology. Neither we have that infrastructure nor the majority group of people not aware about its usages.
2. ONLINE CLASSES CAN NEVER REPLACE THE PHYSICAL CLASSES
It is obvious that the importance of face-to-face learning in classroom can never be replaced by online classes. It may be temporary helpful, but it can never be the permanent solution.
3. OVER ADDICTION OF TECHNOLOGY EVEN CAN HAVE ADVERSE EFFECTS ON STUDY
If we have a look on the reports of various survey, then it is clear that the over addiction of technology can affect the legal education. It will cause reluctance & the students will loss concentrations on legal education.
4. SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKING (S.N.S) CAN CAUSE LACK OF CONCENTRATION ON STUDY
Social media networks are the widely accepted instances of information technology. Though lots of positive impacts can be found but the over addiction of social media can be too much dangerous for the students.
5. OFTEN THEY ARE BEING INVOLVED IN VARIOUS FORMS OF CYBER OFFENCES THAT MAY DESTROY THEIR EDUCATION AS WELL AS THE ENRIRE CAREER
Being too much associated with social media platforms can often lead to destroy the career of the teenagers. Now a days numerous growth of cyber-attacks are occurred. Even often the students are being engaged in some criminal conspiracy and cyber offences. That’s why some incidents like “BOYS LOCKER ROOM” are happening.
6. EFFECT OF TECHNOLOGY ON PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH THAT MAY HAMPER STUDIES OF THE STUDENTS
And last but not the least, those social media platforms have made us unsocial and detached with friends and family which have the adverse effects on one’s physical, mental, as well as psychological developments. Finally that will surely affect their education.
From the previous discussion, it can be concluded that – use of information technology plays a very vital role on legal education. However, it is partially true that the information technology unfolded both the positive and negative impacts. However, we always should try to be cautious about its implementation in our lives just because in the era of competition among each other for the classroom education, we should not forget that -
“EDUCATION IS WHAT REMAINS AFTER ONE HAS FORGOTTEN WHAT ONE HAS LEARNED IN SCHOOL”
----- ALBERT EINSTEIN