IN 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan decided a landmark case regarding law education in Pakistan. The judgment contained several points to uplift the quality of law studies, and one of its key features was initiating a five-year LLB programme, abolishing the three-year plan.
Consequently, law colleges across the country adopted an integrated five-year LLB programme. The court, nevertheless, did not put a similar ban on three-year external LLB programmes, which are still continuing through different private education providers.
These programmes are typically offered by law colleges affiliated with international institutions, such as the University of London. The continuation of three-year external LLB programmes has created a systematic discrimination whereby the duration of local LLB degree is five years and graduates from local institutions face at least a two-year loss when they enter the legal profession.
The curriculum of local LLB is quite diverse which contains dozens of additional courses compared to the external LLB programme. The Supreme Court is currently hearing the case of implementation of its earlier judgment and it is expected that this discrimination will also be addressed during the ongoing proceedings.
Dr Hafiz Aziz ur Rehman
Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2022