The School Review Commission 2023-24

About the Commission

  • About the Commission
  • Advisory Panel to SRC
  • Stakeholder Consultations

The School Review Commission 2023-24 (‘SRC’) has been appointed by the Chancellor of the University, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India Dr. D. Y. Chandrachud, under Section 14 of the National Law School of India Act, 1986 to review the working of the University and make recommendations for the future of NLSIU and legal and policy education in India. The Commission comprises Prof. Timothy Endicott as the Chair, and Prof. Catherine O’Regan and Prof. David B. Wilkins as Members. This Commission brings together pre-eminent academics who have shaped legal education across three continents and whose experience and insight will help NLSIU reflect on our role and contribution to consolidating the rule of law and constitutional democracy in India.

The Commission

Prof. Timothy Endicott is presently the Vinerian Professor of English Law, University of Oxford and Former Dean of the Oxford Law Faculty for two terms, from 2007 to 2015. Prof Endicott was appointed by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in 2016 to a Cátedra de Excelencia and was a Distinguished Visitor in the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.

Prof. Timothy Endicott

“Serving on this Commission gives us an opportunity to learn about the groundbreaking developments in legal education that are underway at NLS Bangalore, and also to be closely involved in a very exciting future. I really hope that this review will be an occasion for the whole National Law School community to reflect on what can be done, and to look ahead with the highest ambitions and expectations.”

Prof. Timothy Endicott

Prof. David B. Wilkins is presently the Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, and Faculty Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at the Harvard Law School. Prof Wilkins’ current scholarly projects include Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies, where he directs over 50 researchers studying the impact of globalization on the market for legal services in rapidly developing countries including India.

Prof. David B. Wilkins

“This is a pivotal time for the legal profession, both in India and around the world. Since its founding, NLSIU has established itself as a pre-eminent center for teaching and scholarship, producing leaders in every sector of society. I look forward to working with the other members of this distinguished commission, and with the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and the rest of the NLSIU community, to explore how this important institution can continue to build on this rich legacy of accomplishment to prepare the next generations of graduates to meet the challenges of a changing world. ”

Prof. David B. Wilkins

Prof. Catherine O’Regan has been the inaugural Director of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and Professor of Human Rights Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford since 2016. Prof O’Regan’s fifteen-year term as a Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa ended in 2009. Prof O’Regan has also served as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court of Namibia and Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in trust between the police and the community of Khayelitsha, South Africa.

Prof. Catherine O’Regan

“It is an honour to be asked to serve as a member of the NLSIU School Review Commission. I hope that the Commission will provide a valuable opportunity for reflection by the broader NLSIU community on what the NLSIU has already achieved, as well as the opportunities and challenges that the NLSIU will face in the years ahead.”

Prof. Catherine O’Regan

While engaging with the SRC, the Hon’ble Dr Justice D. Y. Chandrachud observed that the NLSIU has done very well as an experiment and succeeded in reshaping Indian legal education. The Chancellor suggested to the SRC that their Review will provide an opportunity for the University to reflect and grow, particularly to not just train students, but also help academics develop their highest potential. The Chancellor further noted that the task before this SRC would extend beyond submission of review findings, and would be a forward glance on the future of NLSIU and of legal and policy education in India.

The Vice-Chancellor of NLSIU, Prof (Dr.) Sudhir Krishnaswamy remarked on the appointment of the SRC, “The Commission brings together pre-eminent global academics who have designed and shaped legal education across three continents. Their experience and wisdom will help NLS reflect on our role and contribution to consolidating the rule of law and constitutional democracy in India. As India grows in global stature, the SRC will help NLS re-position itself in the global conversation regarding the future.”

The SRC 2023-24 shall undertake an extensive review including consultations with all University stakeholders over the coming months as they prepare their Report. For the first time in the history of the University, the Report of the SRC will be released publicly in accordance with the commitment of the Chancellor and the Members to ensure the highest standards of transparency, and to enhance the utility of the Review.

About the SRC

Section 14 of the National Law School of India Act, 1986 mandates the appointment of a School Review Commission comprising three eminent educationists to review the working of the University. Two Commissions have been constituted previously to review the workings of the University. In 1996, an Expert Panel comprising Prof. Marc Galanter, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, and Prof. William Twining reviewed the University and advised on future directions. In 2007- 2008, a Commission was appointed that was chaired by Justice K. T. Thomas, former judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, and included as its members Prof (Dr) Virendra Kumar and Prof (Dr) MP Singh.

The Office of the SRC can be reached at

At the request of the Commission, the Chancellor in consultation with the Government of Karnataka has also appointed an Advisory Panel to guide the work of the Commission. The Chancellor has constituted an Advisory Panel to support and guide the work of the SRC comprising Prof. Poonam Saxena, Ms. Zia J. Mody, and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Siddappa Sunil Dutt Yadav. The Panel comprises eminent members from academia, the legal profession, and judiciary who are based in India and whose vast experience and expertise will benefit the work of the Commission. Below is a brief description of the members of the Advisory Panel to the SRC:

  1. Prof. Poonam SaxenaFormer Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Jodhpur:

Prof. Poonam Saxena is an eminent distinguished legal academic who has led the National Law University, Jodhpur as the Vice Chancellor from (2013-2023) and was formerly the Professor in charge, Law Centre-II, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi (2007-2010). Prof Saxena holds degrees of LL.B., LL.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Delhi.

  1. Ms. Zia J. ModyCo-Founder and Managing Partner, AZB & Partners, Advocates and Solicitors:

Ms Mody is among India’s senior corporate attorneys and is dually licensed to practice law in India and the United States of America. She holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, USA and a Bachelor of Arts (Law) from Cambridge University, UK. Ms Mody has served on multiple review committees constituted by SEBI, RBI and the Ministry for Corporate Affairs.

  1. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Siddappa Sunil Dutt YadavJudge, High Court of Karnataka:

Justice Yadav was appointed as Additional Judge of the High Court of Karnataka  in 2018 and has been appointed as a Permanent Judge  since 2020. Justice Yadav is a graduate of the 1996 batch of the BA LLB (Hons) programme from NLSIU, and the first NLSIU graduate to be appointed as a judge of the High Court of Karnataka.

NLSIU is honoured to welcome the distinguished members on the Advisory Panel to guide and advise the Commission in its review and we are confident that the Report of the Commission will help shape the future of NLSIU and legal education in the country.

The SRC 2023-34 will travel to Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi to hold consultations with various stakeholders concerned with NLSIU and legal education generally from 18th to 22nd March, 2024. Please follow the NLS website for further updates. You may also reach out to the Office of the Commission at 

To access the PDF version of this announcement, click here. 

As part of its review, the Commission consulted with stakeholders within and outside NLSIU to gain a holistic perspective on legal education in India and the legal profession more broadly.

The Commission visited India in March 2024 and travelled to Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi to hold consultations with various stakeholders concerned with NLSIU and legal education generally.

Day 1 & 2: Visit to Bengaluru

Day 1, March 18, 2024:

The National Law School of India University welcomed the School Review Commission comprising Prof. Timothy Endicott, Prof. Catherine O’Regan and Prof David B. Wilkins.

At the NLS campus:

  • The Commission got a glimpse of the NLS classroom experience.
  • They consulted with NLSIU students from across batches and programmes and heard their inputs on the University.
  • They held a fruitful consultation with the faculty at NLSIU. The discussion touched upon faculty development, the curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment.
  • The SRC met with staff representatives from various departments at NLSIU, including People & Culture, the Research Office, Academic Administration Department, Finance Office, PACE, and the Research Centres.

The University hosted a dinner for the Commission to meet with members of the NLSIU Executive Council and key stakeholders from the Government of Karnataka. The attendees included Justice S. Sunil Dutt Yadav, Member of the Advisory Panel; Sri H. K. Patil, the Hon’ble Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs; Mr. Shashi Kiran Shetty, Advocate General; Sri. Srikar M.S, Principal Secretary, Department of Higher Education; and Shri. Vishalaraghu H.L., Chairman, Karnataka State Bar Council.

View images from Day 1 below.

Day 2, March 19, 2024: 

The Commission held a consultation with NLSIU alumni based in Bangalore and invited them to share their views on the development of the University. The alumni included a wide range of people from corporate law firm partners, senior advocates, academics, entrepreneurs in legal tech, public policy advisors, and activists.

The SRC also held a meeting with all the former Vice Chancellors of NLSIU to hear their reflections on the evolution of the University and recommendations for its future. It was a memorable moment in the institutional history of NLS to have all the Vice Chancellors convene for this meeting.

The Commission held small group meetings with faculty representatives (the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the different academic programmes) and student body representatives. These meetings allowed for a more detailed discussion the academic matters and student affairs at the University.

The High Court of Karnataka hosted a reception for the School Review Commission where the SRC had the opportunity to interact with the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Karnataka and other distinguishes judges of the High Court, including Justice S. Sunil Dutt Yadav (member of the Advisory Panel to the SRC) and judges who are alumni of the University.  The Hon’ble Chief Justice shared his inputs on the need for more collaboration between the bar, bench, and academia. NLS alumni who are senior members of the bar also weighed in on this discussion to suggest avenues for collaboration and growth.

View images from Day 2 below.

Day 3 & 4: Visit to Mumbai and Delhi

Day 3, March 20, 2024:

In Mumbai, the Commission consulted with leading partners at the top law firms and senior counsel at corporate houses. The meeting included stakeholders in the regulatory governance sector including senior officials from the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The Commission heard from them on the rapidly evolving nature of the legal and regulatory sectors and how universities can best prepare their graduates to enter such dynamic fields.  The SRC also had the opportunity to have a detailed closed-door conversation with Ms. Zia Mody who is a member of the Advisory Panel to the SRC.

The Bombay High Court hosted an elaborate reception and high tea for the Commission where the Hon’ble Chief Justice and several distinguished judges of the High Court shared their reflections on legal education and the legal profession. The Commission also met alumni based in Mumbai and members of the litigation bar and discussed the need to expose graduates to the wide range of career paths available to them beyond the conventional ones in law firm practice.

View images from Day 3 below.

Day 4, March 21, 2024: 

In Delhi, the Commission held a consultation with the founding partners of top law firms and senior counsel in the corporate sector. The discussion spanned various issues, from the importance of emphasising ethics in legal education to the impact of AI on the legal profession. The SRC held a meeting with eminent legal academics and leaders of public and private law schools in the country. The Commission had an engaging discussion with them on the role of law schools in upholding the rule of law and on improving access to legal education for a wider section of society. The SRC also met a wide range of NLS alumni based in Delhi who offered their reflections on alumni engagement and support for the university as well as the suggestions on updating curriculum and pedagogy. The Commission was invited by the Chancellor, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India Dr. D. Y. Chandrachud, to a private dinner where they had the opportunity to gain his insights on the future of legal education.

View images from Day 4 below.

Next Steps

In addition to the extensive set of stakeholder meetings conducted in March 2024, the Commission also collected inputs from other stakeholders and members of the public via email and an online feedback form. The Commission is currently reviewing all the stakeholder feedback received and will begin formulating their recommendations for NLSIU. The SRC will submit their final report to the Chancellor by early August 2024. The Report shall also be released publicly.

 

The Office of the SRC can be reached at