LAHORE: The Punjab University (PU) has introduced a five-year LLB degree programme to replace the three-year programme. The university has directed its affiliated colleges to follow the new guidelines.
The decision has been made in line with Pakistan Bar Council’s (PBC’s) decision to revise the degree programme. To this end, the Pakistan Bar Council Legal Education Rules of 1978 and the rules of Affiliation of Law Colleges and PBC (Recognition of Universities) Rules, 2015, had earlier been consolidated in a single set of rules. The Pakistan Bar Council Legal Education Rules, 2015, were then promulgated.
According to PBC rules, an LLB degree programme shall not be less than five years. The ongoing three-year programme shall discontinue three years after enforcement of the amended rules.
On July 26, the PU registrar had issued a letter to the affiliated colleges stating: “This is to inform you that as per Legal Education Rules, 2015, promulgated by the Pakistan Bar Council, the LLB 3 years (morning/afternoon and evening) programmes have been discontinued with immediate effect. However, the students already enrolled during the previous sessions will complete their degrees according to the number of chances available to them under the Punjab University Examinations rules.”
It said the affiliated law colleges across the province would offer admissions to the five-year (morning) programmes under the annual system for the 2016-2017 session.
Under the Legal Education Rules, 2015, the number of students admitted to the first year of LLB has been restricted to 100. The rules state that a university or college shall not admit more than 100 students and that there shall be only morning classes. However, the PU has yet to make the admission rules. A spokesperson for the university said the rules would be announced soon.
The PU registrar has told the affiliated colleges that candidates with FA, FSc or equivalent qualification are eligible to apply for the five-year LLB programme. It said the age limit of candidates, after passing the intermediate or equivalent examination, should not be more than 24 years on the closing date of submission of application forms. The colleges have been directed to go through the Legal Education Rules, 2015.
Separately, the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) is in the process of making standard operating procedures (SOPs) for affiliated law colleges across the province. According to commission officials The Express Tribune spoke to, colleges will be inspected for availability of qualified faculty, assurance of student attendance and facilities required by the commission.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2016.