Law Syllabus for IAS Main Optional Subject

Latest Syllabus of Law 2020 - IAS Main Optional Subject.

UPSC aspirants who have studies law or pursuing law or have an interest in studying the subject of law courses should select Law in the optional subject of IAS Mains subject. This will help them to increase the marks score by them. FYI, IAS Mains consists of one optional subject which is to be chosen among the list of optional subjects available (including languages as well). There will be 2 papers on optional subjects. Each paper is of 250 marks each which together counts 500 marks.  Here is the complete topic wise detailed and latest syllabus of UPSC law 2020.

Latest Syllabus of the UPSC Law Paper - I - 2020

Topic 1 - Constitutional and Administrative Law

This is quite a vast topic and covers the entire law from scratch. From the framing of the constitution to its implementation, powers, rights, duties, etc., UPSC aspirants read everything under this topic. The list of sub-topics covered under this broad topic is listed below.

  • Constitution and Constitutionalism - The distinctive features of the Constitution.
  • Fundamental rights - Public interest litigation; Legal Aid; Legal services authority.
  • Relationship between fundamental rights, directive principles and fundamental duties.
  • The constitutional position of the President and relation with the Council of Ministers.
  • Governor and his powers.
  • Supreme Court and High Courts - Appointments and transfer, Powers, functions, and jurisdiction.
  • 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, and community property.
  • Legislative powers, privileges and immunities.
  • Services under the Union and the States - Recruitment and conditions of services; Constitutional safeguards; Administrative tribunals, Union Public Service Commission and State Public Service Commissions - Power and functions, Election Commission - Power and functions.
  • Emergency provisions.
  • Amendment of the Constitution.
  • Principles of natural justice - Emerging trends and judicial approach.
  • Delegated legislation and its constitutionality.
  • Separation of powers and constitutional governance.
  • Judicial review of administrative action.
  • Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal, etc.

Topic 2 - International Law

This is another broad topic that covers several other small topics in it. This focus on the laws formed and applicable world-wide and how India has affected with these laws. It also includes International terrorism which is a hot topic these days.

  • Nature and definition of international law.
  • Relationship between international law and municipal law.
  • State recognition and state succession.
  • Law of the sea: Inland waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, high seas.
  • Individuals: Nationality, statelessness; Human rights and procedures available for their enforcement.
  • The territorial jurisdiction of States, extradition and asylum.
  • Treaties: Formation, application, termination, and reservation.
  • United Nations: Its principal organs, powers, functions, and reform.
  • Peaceful settlement of disputes - different modes.
  • Lawful recourse to force: aggression, self-defense, intervention.
  • Fundamental principles of international humanitarian law - International conventions and contemporary developments.
  • The legality of the use of nuclear weapons; a ban on the testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear - non-proliferation treaty, CTBT.
  • International terrorism, state-sponsored terrorism, hijacking, international criminal court.
  • New international economic order and monetary law: WTO, TRIPS, GATT, IMF, World Bank.
  • Protection and improvement of the human environment: International efforts.

Latest Syllabus of the UPSC Law Paper-II - 2020

Topic 1 - Law of Crimes

In the second paper, the subject deals with the criminal laws and their impact in the country. Since the designation of IAS and IPS is so crucial that they should have an in-depth knowledge of the subject. The topic includes laws of crimes related to property, criminal attempts, human beings, women, etc. The complete list is given below -

  • General principles of criminal liability.
  • Kinds of punishment and emerging trends as to abolition of capital punishment.
  • Preparation and criminal attempt.
  • General exceptions.
  • Joint and constructive liability.
  • Criminal conspiracy.
  • Offenses against the State.
  • Offenses against public tranquility.
  • Offenses against the human body.
  • Offenses against the property.
  • Offenses against women.
  • Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and subsequent legislative developments. 16. Plea bargaining.

Topic 2 - Law of Torts

In this topic, UPSC aspirants acquire knowledge about various laws of torts which include general defense, malicious prosecution, and consumer protection.

  • Nature and definition.
  • Liability based upon fault and strict liability; Absolute liability.
  • Vicarious liability including State liability.
  • General defenses.
  • Joint tortfeasors.
  • False imprisonment.
  • Malicious prosecution.
  • Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Topic 3 - Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law

In this topic, candidates would be able to gain knowledge about social and contractual laws and their nuts and bolts.

  • Nature and formation of contract/E-contract.
  • Factors vitiating free consent.
  • Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable agreements.
  • Performance and discharge of contracts.
  • Quasi- Contracts.
  • Consequences of breach of contract.
  • Contract of indemnity, guarantee, and insurance.
  • Contract of the agency.
  • Sale of goods and hire purchase.
  • Formation and dissolution of the partnership.
  • Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
  • Standard form contracts.

Topic 4 - Contemporary Legal Developments

As you can get an idea from the name itself, this contains the laws relating to intellectual property, media, cyber laws, etc.

  • Public Interest Litigation.
  • Intellectual property rights - Concept, types/prospects.
  • Information Technology Law including Cyber Laws - Concept, purpose/prospects.
  • Competition Law- Concept, purpose/ prospects.
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution - Concept, types/prospects.
  • Major statutes concerning environmental law.
  • Right to Information Act.

Trial by media.