Inculcate Academic Lawyers to Practice Law

Academic professors in educational institutes have mentored countless students with their knowledge and guidance. Those disciples have shaped the future of this country and brought changes in the society. The field of law has been no different. Now, why isn’t it that the same professors on whose principles these changes have been bought haven’t been allowed fully to implement their knowledge in courts and guide the judiciary and executive to make informed decisions on cases. This is clearly suboptimal use of talent in our country.

Even though there has been slight support which has been given by individuals to showcase faith in academic professors, the Indian judiciary system has majorly neglected this angle of inclusion. India has rarely nominated academic professor to international judicial and legal bodies such as ICJ of UN and the Appellate Body of WTO. Also, the current government hardly opts for law professor to serve as a full-time expert in any of the ministries. Contrary in US, numerous law professors served as judges of Supreme Court.  Additionally, many practicing lawyers teach in universities in UK. We do have acts supporting advocates to teach for limited hours but vice-a-versa engagement is very limited as full-time academic professors are not able to appear in courts.

India’s lawyers and judges have exhibited excellent intellect capabilities and flair. Renowned academics such as Shamnad Basneer, Upendra Baxi, Mrinal Satish, Aparna Chandra and Latika Sarkar have intervened or assisted in judicial matters, gripping court’s attention to take them up. The Courts deserve nothing but the best of law minds for handling complex cases and supporting judgements. History itself is a proof that there have been judgements where courts have heavily relied on academic publications and observations. This academic inclusion would also bring a fresh perspective since law as a profession is heavily intellectual and relies on interpretation, fact of laws and policy inputs. Decision makers must realize that they have to develop a system to incorporate the talent of academic lawyers to serve the nation better. Only then, the synergy among the entire legal system and academia will create euphoric system.

*Author: Chavi Sood, Assistant Professor, IILM Law School