The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) says that guidelines issued by the Council of Legal Education, the apex body with regard to the regulation of legal education in the country, had not been adhered to by certain private educational institutions offering Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degrees.
President of the BASL, Udaya Rohan de Silva said that there were more lawyers coming into the profession (according to him, 1200 within the next few months) and they were looking at what measures could be taken to curtail their entry into the profession or to entertain them all and enhance their knowledge
“Certain degree awarding institutes are not properly constituted in terms of degree awarding methods”, he noted while adding that some institutions asked for only the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level examination results as selection criteria for a LLB and proceeded to award the said degree within a very short period of time”, said De Silva.
He said that the BASL’s Executive Committee’s opinion had been sought by him with regard to regulatory guidelines and steps that could be taken in relation to the latter which will then be conveyed to the Council of Legal Education of which De Silva is a member by virtue of his holding office as the president of the private and unofficial bar.
He pointed out that products of these institutions lacked knowledge and understanding of local methods and local syllabuses had not been gone into during their studies.
“There are a lot of mushrooming universities offering various types of LLB degrees. The Council of Legal Education has given the necessary guidelines but these haven’t been adhered to because these institutions have been accepted by the Council of Legal Education as law degree awarding bodies. They must be properly educated. If they are not suitable, they will come to the profession and do harm.
“There must be proper regulatory guidelines in this regard as otherwise there will be problems at the Sri Lanka Law College in terms of both, quality and quantity,” De Silva further explained.