Law Syllabus Subject For UPSC

UPSC offers 48 optional subject choices to the UPSC aspirants. Law is one of the 48 optional subjects of UPSC IAS Mains Exam. The aspirants who belong to background of law, finance, international trade, administration can choose this subject as their optional for the UPSC Main exams.

The law is scoring subject because its syllabus overlaps with the Prelims and Mains GS Papers. Law as an optional subject has a vast syllabus. The aspirants should start preparing for optional after the prelims in order to cover the syllabus for the main exam. The Law Optional Syllabus contains topics like the Indian Penal Code, constitutional law, etc. which need a lot of hard work and attention.

Law Syllabus Exam Pattern: –

The UPSC Mains optional papers carry a total weightage of 500 marks divided among two Papers of 250 marks each. In this article, we have provided the Law optional syllabus for UPSC IAS Mains 2020.

How to prepare for law optional for IAS?

  1. The aspirants should only choose the law optional if they find it interesting.
  2. The aspirants should not waste time memorizing the case law name but to have clarity behind the concept of the applicable law.
  3. Practicing Mock test will help you to gain an insight into how exactly your question paper might come in the real main exam.
  4. A candidate can try reading a topic thoroughly and understand all the concepts related to it.
  5. Analyse the past year question papers. Aspirants can get an idea of how the questions are being asked and what is the scope of the syllabus.
  6. While preparing for Law optional aspirants should 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.
  7. The aspirants should focus on revision of topics. 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.

Paper I Syllabus:

  1. Constitutional and administrative Law 
  2. Constitution and Constitutionalism:
  • The distinctive features of the Constitution.
  1. Fundamental Rights—Public interest litigation; Legal Aid; Legal services authority.
  2. Relationship between Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, and Fundamental Duties.
  3. Constitutional Position of the President and relation with the Council of Ministers.
  4. Governor and his powers.
  5. Supreme Court and the High Courts:
  • Appointments and transfer.
  • Powers, functions and jurisdiction.
  1. Centre, States and local bodies:
  • Distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States.
  • Local Bodies.
  • Administrative relationship among Union, State and Local Bodies.
  • Eminent domain-State property-common property-community property.
  1. Legislative powers, privileges and immunities.
  2. Services under the Union and the States:
  • Recruitment and conditions of services;Constitutional safeguards; Administrative tribunals.
  • Union Public Service Commission and StatePublic Service Commissions—Power andfunctions.
  • Election Commission—Power and functions.
  1. Emergency provisions.
  2. Amendment of the Constitution.
  3. Principle of Natural Justice—Emerging trends and judicial approach.
  4. Delegated legislation and its constitutionality.
  5. Separation of powers and constitutional governance.
  6. Judicial review of administrative action.
  7. Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal etc.
  1. International Law
  2. Nature and Definition of International Law.
  3. Relationship between International Law and Municipal Law.
  4. State Recognition and State Succession.
  5. Law of the sea: Inland Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and High Seas.
  6. Individuals: Nationality, statelessness; Human Rights and procedures available for their enforcement.
  7. Territorial jurisdiction of States, Extradition and Asylum.
  8. Treaties: Formation, application, termination and reservation.
  9. United Nations: Its principal organs, powers and functions and reform.
  10. Peaceful settlement of disputes—different modes.
  11. Lawful recourse to force : aggressions, self-defence, intervention.
  12. Fundamental principles of international humanitarian law—International conventions and contemporary developments.
  13. Legality of the use of nuclear weapons; ban on testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear nonproliferation treaty, CTST.
  14. International Terrorism, State-sponsored terrorism, Hijacking, International Criminal Court.
  15. New International Economic Order and Monetary Law : WTO, TRIPS, GATT, IMF, World Bank.
  16. Protection and Improvement of the Human Environment: International Efforts.

Paper II Syllabus:

  1. Law of Crimes 
  2. General principles of Criminal liability: men’s rea and actus reus, men’s rea in statutory offences.
  3. Kinds of punishment and emerging trends as to abolition of capital punishment.
  4. Preparations and criminal attempt.
  5. General exceptions.
  6. Joint and constructive liability.
  8. Criminal conspiracy.
  9. Offences against the State.
  10. Offences against public tranquility.
  11. Offences against human body.
  12. Offences against property.
  13. Offences against women.
  15. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  16. Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and subsequent legislative developments.
  17. Plea bargaining.
  1. Law of Torts
  2. Nature and definition.
  3. Liability based upon fault and strict liability; Absolute liability.
  4. Vicarious liability including State Liability.
  5. General defences.
  6. Joint tort fessors.
  7. Remedies
  8. Negligence
  9. Defamation
  10. Nuisance
  11. Conspiracy
  12. False imprisonment.
  13. Malicious prosecution.
  14. Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
  1. Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law
  2. Nature and formation of contract/E-contract.
  3. Factors vitiating free consent.
  4. Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable agreements.
  5. Performance and discharge of contracts.
  6. Quasi-contracts.
  7. Consequences of breach of contract.
  8. Contract of indemnity, guarantee and insurance.
  9. Contract of agency.
  10. Sale of goods and hire purchase.
  11. Formation and dissolution of partnership.
  12. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
  13. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
  14. Standard form contracts.
  1. Contemporary Legal Developments
  2. Public Interest Litigation.
  3. Intellectual property rights—Concept, types/prospects.
  4. Information Technology Law including Cyber Laws—Concept, purpose/prospects.
  5. Competition Law—Concept, purpose/prospects.
  6. Alternate Dispute Resolution—Concept, types/prospects.
  7. Major statutes concerning environmental law.
  8. Right to Information Act.
  9. Trial by media.