Unitedworld School of Law Renews Focus Towards Legal Education Amid COVID-19
Ahmedabad: Among the many issues raised in the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is the ability of law to respond to the crises. Like global economy, legal systems too have come under immense stress. Regular functioning of courts has been hampered, the businesses are halted resulting in contracts being terminated and the threat posed by insolvency laws is real especially in case of startups. Nevertheless, law can also be used as a potent weapon to contain the effects caused by the crisis such as COVID-19 pandemic or to technological advancements. In preventing the economic fallout, the role of legal education cannot be undermined. Law Schools like the Unitedworld School of Law (UWSL) have been able to absorb the shock and is quickly equipping the students to navigate from the normal legal rules to adapt to the crisis-mode as warranted by the present situation.
“There is no denying in the fact that the pandemic has adversely disrupted the education sector. In this background, the challenge before the legal education is twofold: At global level, they should to be able to visualize how the international business transactions particularly cross border mergers, compliance with international taxations, adherence to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on International Trade and protection to World Intellectual Property regime are to be understood and applied in the light of ongoing crisis that too in a virtual online setup,” says Prof. Umamahesh Sathyanarayan, Advisor, (UWSL).
Corporate Laws, in particular, play a significant role in this context as much depends upon how well businesses are able to navigate through the current crisis. The Government of India is taking the concrete steps to ensure that no overseas investors whether be it Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) or Foreign Director Investors (FDI) face any difficulty due to ongoing pandemic and to ensure that the business go on as usual. Also, the government is willing to provide as much relaxations and exemptions in corporate and taxation legal regimes to ensure that overseas investors as well as domestic investors does not face any difficulty in conducting the national and transnational business transactions.
UWSL is a constituent college of Karnavati University, which has introduced various seminars and offerings on the pandemic and its effects for its six colleges – namely, the Unitedworld School of Business, Unitedworld School of Liberal Arts & Mass Communication, Unitedworld Institute of Design, Unitedworld School of Computational Intelligence and UWSL.
The curriculum and pedagogy for each College of Karnavati University is quite responsive to the contemporary needs. UWSL, for instance, has taken a lead in facilitating and imparting quality legal education in tune with the requirements global economy especially in the time of pandemic. “The concept of ‘open economy’ will be a great opportunity for future lawyers to work in. Law students have the opportunity to play a key role at a time when India is seeing an internationalization of transactions with many foreign investments,” says Mr. Ritesh Hada, President, Karnavati University.
UWSL’s conceptual framework is built around the notion that ‘law is interdisciplinary’ and the core of UWSL’s legal education training is built on its tradition of promoting excellence and research in Law and Economics.
Among other initiatives to train students in Corporate Law, Karnavati University’s Institute Innovation Council – an in-house innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem – empowers students to handle all aspects of client representation. The roles and responsibilities assigned to students include developing and maintaining strategic planning, legal research, drafting and filing patent applications. “This exemplifies UWSL as a modern gurukul which is more experimental than traditional legal education in India. We provide an atmosphere where students perform Merchant of Venice with equal ease of arguing in a courtroom or coding a computer program. Our advanced curriculum and pedagogy has made our graduates highly employable and sought after,” says Mr. Hada.
Other initiatives by UWSL
UWSL has endeavored to incorporate certain crucial legal reforms introduced by the Government of India as part of the stimulus package announced in five tranches. The notable inclusions in our curriculum are encapsulated below;
Reforms under Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, where COVID-19 pandemic is treated as an event of ‘Force Majeure’.
Amendments introduced to the Companies Act, 2013.
Amendments introduced to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to ensure better price realization to our farmers.
Enhancement of minimum threshold for initiation of insolvency proceedings.
Ease of doing business reforms including the mechanism introduced for speedy disposal of commercial disputes.