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|His Highness the Maharajas Government Law College, Ernakulam|
|Motto||Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum|
(Let justice be done though the heavens fall)
|Principal||Dr. Regunathan K R, Ph.D Phone : 0484 235 2020 , 2353915|
The Government Law College, Ernakulam (full name: His Highness the Maharajas Government Law College, Ernakulam) is an institution for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate legal education in the city of Kochi, Kerala, India. Founded in 1874, it is the first law college in the state of Kerala and also one of the oldest law colleges in India. The college is affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam. The College is a recognised Research Centre in Law under the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam since 2010. The college, which is a premier institution of legal education in Kerala, has a prestigious list of alumni including K.G. Balakrishnan (the former Chief Justice of India), Mammootty (Noted South Indian Actor), A K Antony (Former Union Defence Minister of India) and Oommen Chandy (former Chief Ministers of Kerala). It is popularly known as Ernakulam Law College (എറണാകുളം ലോ കോളേജ്) or Maharajas Law College.
Government Law College's history began in 1874 when legal education was started in Kerala by the Maharajah of Travancore sanctioning the organisation of a law class in connection with His Highness College Thiruvananthapuram (now University College Trivandrum). This was intended to enable candidates from Travancore to present themselves for the law examination of Madras University. Those law classes continued until 1894 when the institution was reorganised entirely. The college was raised to the status of an independent college as His Highness the Maharajah's Law College, Thiruvananthapuram, with W.T.A. Cosby, bar-at-law (judge of the High Court of Travancore who was appointed as professor of law in 1892) as the first principal. A complete set of rules was formulated by the government for the control and regulation of work in the college. The rules prescribed the qualification for members of the teaching staff.
The college was maintained by the Maharajah of Travancore from the beginning and managed until 1909, when it was placed under the Direction of the Public Instruction. In 1910, the college came under the High Court of Travancore. With the inauguration of the Travancore University in 1938, the college was transferred to the control of the university. In 1957, the Kerala University was formed and the college came under it. In 1983, with the establishment of Mahatma Gandhi University at Kottayam, the college became a constituent college of that university and is now affiliated to it.
In August 1949, the college was moved to Ernakulam to fit it with the integration of the former states of Thiruvithamkoor and Kochi and the consequent moving of the Travancore-Cochin High Court from Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam. The college has been housed in the old assembly building of Kochi state at Ernakulam since 1949. The college celebrated the centenary of legal education in 1975. In July 1954, a second law college was started at Thiruvananthapuram.
In 1967/68, the three-year LL.B. course was started and the title of the degree of M.L. was changed to LL.M. During 1968/69, the two-year B.L. degree course was abolished. A part-time course for the three-year LL.B. started during 1968/69 but was abolished in 2002.
To commemorate the move of the Law College to Ernakulam, the college celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1999.
This is a five-year integrated law course, leading to a B.A., LL.B professional degree with specialisation in Criminology. The course include papers of Forensic Science, Political Science and Public Administration along with Criminology. Each year consist of two semesters. The student earns the integrated B.A. LL.B. degree after completing the tenth semester, i.e., upon successful completion of five years. This course was introduced in the academic year 2011 - 2012
This is a five-year integrated law course, leading to a B.Com., LL.B (Hons). Each year consist of two semesters. The student earns the integrated B.Com. LL.B. degree after completing the tenth semester, i.e., upon successful completion of five years. This course is being introduced from the academic year 2016-17.
This is a three-year law course, leading to the award of an honours degree. The course structure is divided into six semesters over three years. qualification degree.
The LL.M. course enables students to develop their interests in many of the major areas of law to which they have been introduced in the LL.B. course, and also provides the opportunity to study important aspects of specialized areas of law. The duration of the course is two years. At present, the college is offering instruction in two branches of law in the LL.M degree, mercantile law and law of crime and tort.
The main block of the law college is the grand old legislative hall of Cochin Legislative Council. In 1949, when the college was shifted from Trivandrum to Ernakulam, the legislative hall became the part of His Highness the Maharaja's Law College.
The college enrols over 700 students for the LL.B course and 30 students for the LL.M course.
In 2006, the government declared the campus a heritage site and offered Rs. 50,00,000 for its renovation which is still in progress. The library building includes the computer laboratory. All classrooms are equipped with microphones and speakers for better audibility. WiFi is available for the students' use.
The Government Law College, Ernakulam has one of the oldest law libraries in the country today. The institution has a full-fledged library which has more than 37,000 Volumes and 22 periodicals and is the oldest law library in the state of Kerala. The library has subscriptions to online journals such as Manupatra, CDJ Law Journal, SCC Online, Lexis Nexis (India), Lex Libraria and Hein Online. It also has offline databases of AIR Infotech and KLT Infotech.
Government Law College, Ernakulam has both men's and women's hostels. The men's hostel which is metaphorically named House of Lords is a live and cheerful space in the city. It often finds a mention in the dailies as a hub of creative activities and out of the box thinking. It accommodates 80 students. The women's hostel is placed adjacent to the college campus which is also a happy space where about 30 students stay.
In 2016, in a reply to a RTI application sent by one of the student, Bar Council of India stated that the five-year integrated B.A. (Criminology) LL.B (Hons) course which started in 2011 is not recognized by UGC which means that the students will not be eligible to get enrolled as Advocates, even if they complete the Course successfully. After the University made necessary changes to the syllabus, the course was given recognition. The Course was replaced with five-year integrated B.Com LL.B degree for new batches from academic year 2016-17.
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