The new campus of the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) in Gandhinagar was inaugrated by the Vice President of India Mr. M. Hamid Ansari. The Vice President lauded the the significant progress the university had made in the last six years in education, research, training and extension activities to achieve its vision of becoming a world class law university.
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Ansari said, ” I commend your initiative to establish centres of excellence in specialised areas such as private and public international law, foreign policy and security studies, environmental law and climate change. Equally impressive is your effort to assist professionals, the judiciary and the government in reducing the backlog of cases. ”
He recalled, ” It is relevant to remember an observation made in 1927 by Justice Felix Frankfurter of the United States Supreme Court: “In the last analysis, the law is what the lawyers are. And the law and the lawyers are what the law schools make them.This statement remains valid to this day. It emphasizes the centrality of legal education for the effective functioning of a democracy and for upholding the Rule of Law.”
Mr. Ansari said that the role of legal porfessionals in the society is expanding, “The Working Group on Legal Education of the National Knowledge Commission Working Group felt the role of legal professionals has expanded beyond that of advocates in courts and includes legislators, judges, policy makers, public officials, civil society activists as well as legal counsel in the private sector. Hence the role and public function of law schools has vastly changed since independence. Besides meeting the needs of the Bar, law schools are expected to cater to the growing requirement of non-practising law graduates in trade and commerce, and non-profit oriented work. This is reflected in the preferences of the graduating students.”
Finally raising the issue of ethics he said, ” Besides teaching and research, the academia is an arena for inculcating a culture of professional responsibility, ethical behaviour and public and community service among legal professionals. It is the place to make young entrants to the profession realise the importance of social responsibility in the practice of law and emphasise the social functions of legal institutions. The behaviour of young students here remains the guiding light for their later careers as lawyers and judges. It is here that one should be made to realise that the legal profession should be a helping and caring one, and not a selfish or exploitative one. I am confident that the Gujarat National Law University would lead in imbibing a culture of community and public service among its graduates and adopt a leadership role in emphasising professional excellence and ethical conduct. ”
Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) is a statutory university established by the Government of Gujarat in the year 2004 and has yearly intake of 160 students.