Sri Lanka Law College faces unprecedented difficulties

- Hakeem


By Saman Indrajith

Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem told Parliament yesterday that the Sri Lanka Law College (SLLC) would face unprecedented difficulties and problems if it increased the intake of students on the basis of cut-off marks recommended by the Council of Legal Education.

 Responding to questions raised by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake during previous week’s parliamentary sittings, the minister said that the SLLC commenced its academic year on Jan 15, 2014. The Commissioner General of Examinations who conducted the Law Entrance Examination had submitted the cut-off marks for enrolling students on Jan, 23, 2014, he said.Minister Hakeem said: "These cut off marks were later forwarded to the Chief Justice who is also the chairman of the Council of Legal Education. The Chief Justice has explained to the members of the council that it should determine the cut-off marks considering the current situation in the SLLC and then those cut-off marks should be forwarded to the Principal of the SLLC.

It has been decided that the Council of Legal Education should determine the cut-off marks at 66 and 177 students should be enlisted for the current academic year.  Thereafter considering the number of students to be permitted to enrol, the council considered bringing down the cut-off mark to 65 but that would increase the number of students by 46 to 223.

The Council agreed that the cut-off marks were not feasible as the SLCC could not cater to more than 220 students on practical grounds. Increasing the number of students will have an impact on the quality of knowledge being imparted and the result in lower level of proficiency of students.

It should be mentioned here that the SLCC has been directed by the Supreme Court to enrol a batch of 241 additional students last year. In that year the cut-off mark was 69 and the SLCC had to enrol 309 students and following the Supreme Court decision additional 241 students were enrolled.

Accordingly. the SLLC enrolled 551 students directly. Besides, direct enrolments there is an indirect enrolment of LLB graduates from the universities of Colombo, Jaffna, Peradeniya and the Open University of Sri Lanka. So last year alone the SLLC had over 700 students. It was an unpleasant experience for the SLLC to provide facilities to such a high number of students with available resources. The students had to be divided into two classes and the number of lecture sessions had to be doubled. The SLLC had to find additional teachers, too.

The minister said it was the bounden duty of the Council of Legal Education to facilitate the provision of quality education and maintain the standards of legal profession.


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