Bar Council Proposes New Eligibility Criteria for Judicial Services Exam

In a press release dated 02.01.2021, the Bar Council of India has proposed a new framework for students to appear for the Judicial Service Examination- that applicants would need to have a minimum of 3 years of experience at the Bar.

Reasons for this move

The notification says that “Presently, fresh law graduates are being allowed to sit for Judicial Service Examination throughout the territory of India without having any practical experience at the Bar. Judicial Officers not having practical experience at the Bar are mostly found to be incapable and inept in handling matters…

The inexperience at the Bar is one of the primary and major reasons for delays in the disposal of cases in the sub-ordinate Judiciary.”

The notification also says that this has led to “impolite and impractical” behaviour by Judicial Officers toward Members of the Bar and Litigants.

History of the Exam

As per the notification, in the case of All India Judges Association & others Vs. Union of India, the requirement of 3 years experience at the Bar had been done away with. The Court accepted the recommendations of the Shetty Commission, on the reasoning that with the passage of time the best in the legal field would not be incentivized to join the judiciary. Therefore a fresh graduate must be allowed to sit for the exam, and upon selection must be given training (of one/two years). The Bar Council is filing an application before the Supreme Court to seek a modification of the order.

Recently, Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission had invited applications for appointment of Civil Judges Junior Division in the AP State Judicial Services for Advocates having a minimum eligibility requirement of 3 years as practicing advocate. This has been challenged by way of a writ petition. The Bar Council is also filing an application to get itself impleaded as a party in this case.

Press_Release_dated_02_01_2021

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