Law Optional

Law Optional



Constitutional and administrative Law :

1. Constitution and Constitutionalism:The distinctive features of the Constitution.

2. Fundamental Rights—Public interest litigation; Legal Aid; Legal services authority.

3. Relationship between Fundamental rights, Directive principles and Fundamental duties.

4. Constitutional Position of the President and relation with the Council of Ministers.

5. Governor and his powers.

6. Supreme Court and the High Courts: (a) Appointments and transfer. (b) Powers, functions and jurisdiction.

7. Centre, States and local bodies: (a) Distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States. (b) Local Bodies. (c) Administrative relationship among Union, State and Local Bodies. (d) Eminent domain-State property-common property-community property.

8. Legislative powers, privileges and immunities.

9. Services under the Union and the States: (a) Recruitment and conditions of services; Constitutional safeguards; Administrative tribunals. (b) Union Public Service Commission and State Public Service Commissions—Power and functions. (c) Election Commission—Power and functions.

10. Emergency provisions.

11. Amendment of the Constitution.

12. Principle of Natural Justice—Emerging trends and judicial approach.

13. Delegated legislation and its constitutionality. 14. Separation of powers and constitutional governance.

15. Judicial review of administrative action.

16. Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal etc.

International Law :

1. Nature and Definition of International Law.

2. Relationship between International Law and Municipal Law.

3. State Recognition and State Succession.

4. Law of the sea: Inland Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and High Seas.

5. Individuals: Nationality, statelessness; Human Rights and procedures available for their enforcement.

6. Territorial jurisdiction of States, Extradition and Asylum.

7. Treaties : Formation, application, termination and reservation.

8. United Nations : Its principal organs, powers and functions and reform. 9. Peaceful settlement of disputes—different modes.

10. Lawful recourse to force : aggressions, self-defence, intervention.

11. Fundamental principles of international humanitarian law—International conventions and contemporary developments.

12. Legality of the use of nuclear weapons; ban on testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear non-proliferation treaty, CTST.

13. International Terrorism, State sponsored terrorism, Hijacking, International Criminal Court. 14. New International Economic Order and Monetary Law : WTO, TRIPS, GATT, IMF, World Bank. 15. Protection and Improvement of the Human Environment : International


Law of Crimes :—

1. General principles of Criminal liability : mens rea and actus reus, mens rea in statutory offences.

2. Kinds of punishment and emerging trends as to abolition of capital punishment.

3. Preparations and criminal attempt.

4. General exceptions. 5. Joint and constructive liability.

6. Abetment.

7. Criminal conspiracy.

8. Offences against the State.

9. Offences against public tranquility.

10. Offences against human body.

11. Offences against property.

12. Offences against women.

13. Defamation.

14. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

15. Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and subsequent legislative developments.

16. Plea bargaining.

Law of Torts

1. Nature and definition.

2. Liability based upon fault and strict liability; Absolute liability.

3. Vicarious liability including State Liability.

4. General defences.

5. Joint tort fessors.

6. Remedies.

7. Negligence.

8. Defamation.

9. Nuisance.

10. Conspiracy.

11. False imprisonment.

12. Malicious prosecution.

13. Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law

1. Nature and formation of contract/E-contract.

2. Factors vitiating free consent.

3. Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable agreements.

4. Performance and discharge of contracts.

5. Quasi-contracts.

6. Consequences of breach of contract.

7. Contract of indemnity, guarantee and insurance.

8. Contract of agency.

9. Sale of goods and hire purchase.

10. Formation and dissolution of partnership.

11. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

12. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

13. Standard form contracts.

Contemporary Legal Developments

1. Public Interest Litigation.

2. Intellectual property rights—Concept, types/ prospects.

3. Information Technology Law including Cyber Laws—Concept, purpose/prospects.

4. Competition Law—Concept, purpose/prospects.

5. Alternate Dispute Resolution—Concept, types/ prospects.

6. Major statutes concerning environmental law.

7. Right to Information Act.

8. Trial by media.

How to prepare for law optional for IAS?

Law as an optional subject has a vast syllabus and requires a lot of time to cover it. So it’s always better to start early preparation. Start preparing after the prelims in order to cover the syllabus for the main exam. There are bulky subjects like the Indian Penal Code, constitutional law, etc. which need a lot of hard work and attention. The preparation for the law I paper will definitely help in preparing for general studies II paper.  Here are given few tips that can be used in order to ace through the paper:

1.         One of the foremost tips is to invest time in understanding the concepts. It is important to pay attention to the basics of the particular sections and understand its essentials. Instead of memorizing the facts of the case, instead, focus on understanding the keywords and the law applied in the particular case law’s judgment. Don’t waste time memorizing the case law name but to have clarity behind the concept of the applicable law.

2.         Try joining a test series. It will help you to gain an insight into how exactly your question paper might come in the real main exam. Also test series will help you to identify the mistakes and other lacunas. It will also be helpful to know where you stand in comparison to other candidates. In addition to this, it will provide prior writing experience. Also, you will become good at decision making since you will know what questions to attempt and which one not to attempt. But don’t rely solely on the test series or coaching center. Put in your hard work too for better results.

3.         Choose the law optional if you find it interesting. Since many of the people might tell you that it’s not scoring but if you have an inclination towards the subject then you can definitely study it well and score well also. Also if you initially don’t find it interesting you can develop interest by studying it. Also, the law as optional is one of the most interesting subjects if studied in a proper manner.

4.         A candidate can try reading a topic thoroughly and understand all the concepts related to it. After reading it carefully you can try solving the questions related to it. Especially related to past year question papers. Through these questions, you can get an idea of what all questions were asked and what all are the possible questions that might come in the exam. Thus you will be well aware of the pattern of exams and how to deal with all kinds of questions. This in turn will boost your marks in the final exam. Also, it will add as an advantage since many time’s questions are repeated again in the exam. Thus it will fetch you more marks and thus ultimately you will at a greater advantage than others.

5.         One of the biggest advantages of choosing law is that you don’t need to be an expert in law. The only thing needed is the basic understanding of the subject and rest can be covered by practicing and learning on a daily basis. In addition to this, a candidate needs to focus on revision. He/she should consistently revise whatever they are studying on a regular basis. If they don’t revise that means they will lack the understanding of the questions. To better absorb the syllabus, revision is the most important thing. Revision helps to retain things in a better way and hence learning becomes full of fun.

6.         Another key aspect to keep in mind while preparing is to keep the bare act of the law subject along with reference books. The bare act provides all the sections of the law subject in a more complied and systematic format. It helps to understand the sections of the law subject with deeper understanding. Also while studying from bare act keep the keywords in mind and don’t forget to mention these keywords and essentials of a particular section while writing the answers in the final exam.

7.         Another essential aspect is to be updated to the latest current affairs in the field of law. Focus on the latest developments taking place like any recent amendments, or removal or appointment of judges or latest case laws and their judgments. These all help while writing the answer. Also if you will have good legal knowledge then only you can write about it. Suppose you are asked about the appointment of various judges then if you are thorough with constitutional provisions and current news related to these judges then you will be in a better to write about it.   If you have a good amount of knowledge about the recent news then you can simply put them into your own words and the examiner will be able to analyze that candidate has ample knowledge about the question asked in the paper.

8.         The syllabus of law optional is very limited. It can be covered in a relatively short period of time. Thus if studied with planning then the entire syllabus can be done. Also, the subjects like constitutional law require conceptual clarity, unlike any other optional subjects which need mugging up of facts. Most of the questions are also application based. Thus short syllabus is an advantage and can be covered easily. Set a proper schedule and plan your law optional subject’s syllabus into pieces. Through this entire syllabus will be done within a short period.

9.         Sometimes use of legal terms and Latin phrases may confuse the candidates. So in this case get familiar with such kind words and phrases so that you don’t face the same problem while answering questions. Also if you lack understanding these words then it will be tough to solve questions because you are unable to understand the same.  Also to learn these kinds of phrases try to use them while doing answer writing practice during preparation. This will enhance the quality of your answers. This will enhance the quality of your answers. And the same can be done in writing answers for the final exam. In this way chances of scoring good marks will be high and a candidate can easily ace the final exam with flying colors.