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Analysis of 'Contemporary Legal Development' in Law Optional Syllabus

Contemporary legal development or CLD

It is a topic in law optional syllabus and is most misunderstood . The major reason behind so is that there are lot of acts included in the topic and name itself gives a wrong hint that you have read all the contemporary legal developments that keep occuring in our country and around the world. Both of them is plainly wrong.

We don't have to study all the 'contemporary'' developments but only related to given in the topic prescribed under the same. The world 'contemporary' do not mean last one or two year, it varies according to subject.

For an example PIL in Environmental laws in india have started during 80's and 90's but still it is a contemporary development as it is one the newer use of PIL.

PIL itself is contemporary development as far as fundamental right enforcement is concerned. Having understood this, let's dive in individual sup topic provided in the syllabus and try to understand how to read it as per UPSC requirement keeping in Mind previous year papers.


Topic : Public Interest Litigation. 

Read meaning of PIL from constitution perspective and how it developed during previous decades. Emphasis on need that court felt to develop this concept. How access to justice was becoming to far away from reach of common people. Mostly philosophical arguments.

Then go on to study different uses of PIL in different subjects like environmental, corruption and medical cases. Do remember major case laws with respect to these field.


Topic: Intellectual property rights—Concept, types/prospects. 

Very Long list of IPR laws are present, just identify major Intellectual property like Trade Mark, patent etc and read there meaning in general as well as statute definition, registration. Do not read too much case laws just the basic concepts.

There are some specific concept very popular in a particular Intellectual property like ''passing off'' in trade mark or ''patentability'' in Patent act. Do have a deep look on them.

How IP are doing in time of Internet age and also modern days IPR and farmer right rights conflict.


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

Information technology Act bare act cursory reading and important authority created under the act, its power and function. like that of controller of digital signature.

Philosophical questions like, How far it have been useful and effective in policing digital space as well as conducive in facilitating and governing economy in digital age.


Topic: Competition Law—Concept, purpose/prospects. 

Read basic terms definitions such as combinations, cartel, relevant market, abuse of dominance position etc. There is very rarely case law asked in this topic so don't read that at all.

You can read conflict with this law vis a vis other laws regulating market, specifically sectoral regulator such as SEBI, IRDAI, TRAI etc. Do read power and function of CCI in detail.


Topic: Alternate Dispute Resolution—Concept, types/prospects.

Learn various modes of dispute resolution and focus on comparative study, like which mode is better than which and why. You can also read ADR as remedy from judicial delays and how CPC makes it compulsory for party before it is tried as suit in a court.

Read recent developments like Arbitration council of India and dispute resolution laws in financial sectors.


 Topic: Major statutes concerning environmental law

Just read various principle of environmental jurisprudence like polluters pay principle, intergenerational equity principle etc. have loot at this article for the same. Go through NGT power and function in general as well

Also read interconnection between this topic and PIL, Economic Development and International Environmental laws (in IL Subject).


Topic: Right to Information Act. 

Again no case law based question have been ever asked till date, most of the question related to how this law promotes transparency and governance. Read philosophical aspect. A cursory reading of the law like definition on information and power, function of Information commissions.


Topic: Trial by media. 

Very generic topic, With recent media trial of popular cases have made it a hot topic. Reading good articles of the hindu or The telegraph will suffice. However read this pdf in the meanwhile, that should suffice.


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