What is the Bar Council of India?
The Bar Council of India is a statutory body which was formed by Indian Parliament under the Advocate act of 1961. It was formed to regular and represents the legal practice and legal education in India. It is responsible for performing regulatory functions by prescribing standards of professional conduct, etiquette and exercising disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. The members of BCI include elected lawyers of India in order to represent the bar.
Why BCI is important?
It grants recognition to universities which provide qualification to advocates in the degree of law and therefore sets standards for legal education. Anyone with such recognized law degree can be enrolled as an eligible advocate in state bar council.
Through the Advocates Act of 1961, the state bar council has the power to formulate their own rules concerning such enrollment of advocates. Once admitted by state bar council they can take the All India Bar Examination passing which allows them to practice law as advocates in high courts and lower courts within the Indian Territory.
Rights, privileges, and interests of advocates are representative functions of the BCI as it provides financial help by creating funds in order to organize welfare schemes. Other than this there are various committees of Bar Council of India which makes recommendations to the council.
These are the executive committee, legal education committee, disciplinary committee, advocate welfare committee, legal aid committee, building committee, rules committee, finance committee, special or oversee committee and all India Bar Examination committee. The members are elected from the council for these committees.
The Bar Council of India plays a necessary role as it promotes legal education and set the standards of consultations with Universities and State Bar Council. Until the early 1920s, there was limited opportunity for a better legal education in India. The BCI through the establishment of National Law school of India started an evolution of legal education.
What are the major works of BCI?
Under section 7 cover of the bar council’s regulatory and representative mandate for the legal profession and legal education, the statutory functions are to lay down standards of conduct and etiquette of advocates. It safeguards the rights, privileges, and interests of advocates. It promotes and supports law reform and disposes of any matter asked by State Bar Council. It organizes legal aid for the poor. It also manages and invests the funds of Bar Council and provides for election running members. The bar council can constitute the funds for the purpose of giving financial aid to poor, disabled or other advocates, giving legal aids and establishing law libraries.
The Directorate of legal education was established under the bar council of India for legal education, teachers training, legal research, seminar and workshops, specialized professional courses, etc.
The bar council of India trust was also started by Bar Council of India as a charitable trust on April 27, 1974. It wants to improve legal education and at present has mandated in establishing quality schools and legal research. Other functions include providing legal aid to a disadvantaged side, a publication for students on law, and activities which promote welfare of legal professionals.
Recently proposed activities of the Bar Council Of India includes publication of law journals, Indian bar review to be published once in 3 months, a lawyer’s edition on latest cases, internship programs to be offered to needy and deserving students, scholarship schemes to be offered to needy and deserving students, new publication division and casebooks as well as translations. Another task of the council is to set in motion insurance scheme for lawyers, accept grants and donations, get new editing staff, and participate in international conferences and to identify brilliant lawyers to represent Bar Council at international conferences.