The penultimate semester provides for two optional papers with a choice of three subjects for each of the two. Although all of the six subjects aid to broaden the horizons of a law student in significant ways, one must opt for the one which does justice to their aptitude as well as their interests. In an attempt to help the upcoming fifth years, TBP has come up with a post which specifically provides for the individual experiences of students’ who have studied these subjects.
The choices for the FIRST optional paper are:
1. Criminology, Penology and Victimology
2. Intellectual Property Law
3. Probation, Parole and Prison Administration
Criminology – Kudrat Dutta Chaudhary
‘I opted for Criminology in my 9th Semester because I found the subject matter of the field extremely interesting. I find myself being inclined to psychology, social work and policy and I felt that studying criminology gave me the deeper understanding of the root causes behind the commission of crimes which is what lawyers have to deal with in their everyday professional life. In terms of difficulty I thought that the subject was easy because I loved studying about the various theories of crime causation and different types of crime in general. But I feel that it might get a little technical with the number of criminologists and their schools that one has to memorise, if one doesn’t have an interest in them. There is a book available for the subject so one’s notes are sorted. We also had a lot of healthy discussions in class over almost every topic and everybody was actively involved in them, which went to further add on to the collective perspective of all the students. The only problem we faced was the fact that there was confusion in whether we’d be getting the old syllabus or the new syllabus in the exam and hence we had to study both of them even though both were absolutely opposite to each other. I am sure that problem won’t be there this year. Whether the subject is scoring or not- Well one can’t say because it’s not based on defined bare acts but like maybe Insurance Laws are, but is very subjective. A deep understanding of this subject is extremely beneficial, which if used well during pleadings can help one’s client at the stage of sentencing. I really recommend taking Criminology if one intends to get into Policy, Litigation or Judicial/Civil Services because I feel that it’s a must for one to know the ‘Why’ behind the What of every crime that has happened in order to understand it better.’
Intellectual Property Law – Anonymous
The number of people who opt for IPR in their fourth year has been declining year after year. Most of the students choose IPR because of their interest in diverse aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; however, the university prescribed syllabus focuses primarily on patents. One would not be studying anything outside of the prescribed syllabus, so make sure you carefully go through the syllabus before you make a choice. As far as classroom teaching goes, half of the things that were taught to us during the classes were not even remotely related to the syllabus. The syllabus is very restricted and precise, while IPR as a branch of law is much broader. The syllabus exclusively deals with Patents, failing to touch upon any other aspect of IPR; therefore, if patents do not interest you as much, you should probably opt for another subject. The syllabus is also not very functional or practical while dealing with IPR matters in real life. A separate course on IPR would perhaps teach you more on the subject than what you’d learn through the prescribed syllabus. As such, there are prescribed books and the syllabus is relatively easy.
Prison – Anonymous
For those who are Keen on taking lighter subjects for the final year, Prison administration should be your go-to choice. If you’re lucky enough to have Bajirao Rajwade Sir in charge of the subject, rest assured the class will be interactive and interesting. It covers basic topics like prisoner rights, parole, probation, bail. The units are interlinked in a very convenient matter, making the subject easy to tackle if you’re studying at the last moment. Not to forget is that, this subject is pretty scoring which is always a plus.
The choices for the SECOND optional paper are as follows:
1. Private International Law
2. Human Rights Law and Practice
3. Offences against Child and Juvenile Offence
Private International Law – Rachita Trehan
So it’s definitely a much easier option for starters since the concepts for all topics are pretty much the same. Private international law- is very significant with respect to current issues around the world. You’ll find out whether two people – citizens of different countries and being residents of one, will be bound by which law. Or if a person commits a crime and flees to another nation- what jurisdiction applies to it. Similarly, the Vijaya Mallya case, how would it effect the jurisdiction. So it’s a very interesting yet a very easy subject. The downside however is, a proper book is not available so a lot of times you have to see things online. Arvindeka ma’am taught us. And we were more than about 20 kids in the class. Also, the general result of class was really good.
Human rights- Manini Aswal
Scoring, Interactive, Relatable. Though mind you it’s a complete theoretical subject, therefore rote power is a must. Lectures usually start with a very interactive discussion of the topic or any information related to it in the newspaper etc. The book by H.O Aggarwal is essential to get going. The preparation should cover international as well as national perspective for better scoring. As far as the teacher is concerned, the subject is taught by Tejinder Ma’am. Get your ‘A’ game on. Lastly, be on time for the lecture or else kiss your attendance a sweet goodbye!
Offences against Child and Juvenile Offence – Harsimrat Thind
Juvenile justice is an easy subject. It mainly deals with IPC provisions and 3 acts. This subject does have a book ‘Offences against children and juvenile offence- by: SK Chatterjee. It more or less covers the whole syllabus. The subject is very general hence there is a lot of material available on the internet as well. The subject does require cramming as there are 3 acts which mainly only deal with the bare provision and no explanations as such. But the added advantage is that there are no case law hassles. Apart from that it’s is a very scoring subjects. Marks usually come in 80’s if you’ve studied the matter. It’s easier for those who have an interest in criminal law as a lot of IPC provisions are to be studied to cover the syllabus.
This guide was created by Ojas Kainthla, Fourth Year.