It is unfortunate that all the contents, which have a deep affinity with legal studies, have been discarded in the BALLB courses.
Bachelor of Medicine, and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) are distinct fields of study within the wider scope of medical science education. These two distinct fields of study have been combined to form the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course, an undergraduate medical science degree. The objective of introducing this undergraduate medical degree in medical sciences education is to produce a mid-level medical person who can diagnose the illness, prescribe the medicine, and carry out surgery at a certain level in general. This undergraduate medical degree covers the most relevant and related content/subjects from both the field of medicine, and the field of surgery in a balanced way for the teaching-learning process so as to fulfill the objectives set behind introducing this undergraduate medical degree education.
Similarly, in the field of undergraduate law degrees level, separate fields of study such as Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Business Management (BBM), and Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) have been merged with the Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree and designed as Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law (BALLB), Bachelor of Business Management and Bachelor of Law (BBMLLB), and Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Law (BITLLB) undergraduate law degree, respectively. The goal of integrating these distinct fields of study into the Bachelor of Law degree is to produce legal professionals who can contribute to the development of jurisprudence and efficiently handle disputes that emerge in their respective domains. Among these undergraduate law degree courses, many universities in Nepal offer the BALLB course. The question is often raised to which extent the BALLB course draws the most relevant and related contents from the field of the humanities and social sciences, and other fields of study to fulfill the objectives behind introducing the BALLB course.
BALLB is a worldwide recognized undergraduate law degree. Many universities across the world have found including the different subjects in the BALLB course taking into account the wider legal context of their home and abroad. In fact, the texts and contexts of this undergraduate law degree are determined by the legal system of the country, the demand of the job markets at the national and international level, and recent trends in jurisprudence. Moreover, some subjects, e.g. jurisprudence, moot court, procedural law, interpretation of statutes, lawyering skills and legal process, and some substantial laws of different fields remain the same under the BALLB course of study. Therefore, these subjects form the core courses of the BALLB degree wherever the degree is introduced in universities across the world. These subjects are the essence of the undergraduate law degree.
The foundation courses of this undergraduate law degree are chosen from the subjects introduced under the spectrum of the faculty of humanities and social sciences, and other fields of study. Curriculum designers prefer to select subjects/contents that have a close affinity with legal studies. Basically, they select the subjects and contents that can contribute to enriching the knowledge and skills required for legal professionals to handle the disputes that arise in the wider social, political, cultural, economic, and social contexts of the country, and abroad. For this purpose, subjects such as sociology, political science, economics, history, etc. are covered in the course of the study. Equally, these subjects/contents are supposed to develop the critical faculty in the law students of this undergraduate law degree.
While the elective courses are concerned at this level, the substantial laws from the different domains of law are chosen in the course of study, which are expected to help law undergraduates develop expertise in the particular domain of law. For this purpose, subjects such as criminal law, business law, forensic law, environmental law, human rights law, refugee law, population law, election law, constitutional law, humanitarian law, media law, administrative law, intellectual property rights law, etc. are offered. Students select some of these laws as elective subjects based on their interests. They are expected to advance their knowledge in the chosen laws through their further studies and legal careers.
Most BALLB courses in Nepali universities appear to be poorly chosen and graded, failing to take into account recent jurisprudential trends and the broader legal spectrum. Recent jurisprudential trends are not prioritized in the foundation courses; the elective courses are not designed as per the demands of the job market, and developmental context of the country. Most importantly, the selection and gradation of the contents of the core, foundation, and elective, subjects are poorly organized. As a result, the law graduate seems to have developed scant critical faculty, and the skills and knowledge required for the practice of law.
Literature, logics, and psychology are the subjects which can develop the critical faculty and analytical skills of the students of BALLB level but unfortunately these courses have been discarded in the BALLB courses.
Literature as a mirror of society reflects the innumerable images of human society. Law is one of the parts in the body of literature. The contents of literature are the narratives of justice as well as injustice dispensed by the court of law in particular cases. Therefore, literature plays important roles in bringing law reforms. Reading and analyzing literary texts make legal professionals able to learn a lot of jurisprudence, the science of law. Not only this, legal studies borrow the tools and techniques of interpretation of statutes from literary theory and criticism. Interpretation of statues is one of the important jobs of the legal professionals.
Likewise, law and psychology are two distinct disciplines, but they share many similarities. While psychology's goal is to understand behavior and the law's goal is to control it, both fields establish norms about people's causes. The field of psychology and law uses resources and research methods and findings from social psychology and cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and clinical psychology to examine legal assumptions to evaluate whether they truly work or not and think in ways to expand them (Sales and Krauss, 2015). In the same strain, legal reasoning, perception of issues in disputes, and argumentations are indispensable parts of the legal studies which are studied under the ambit of logic. Legal professionals have to rely on logic to study all these concepts. It is unfortunate that all the contents, which have a deep affinity with legal studies, have been discarded in the BALLB courses.