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Paper - I

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 StatePublic Service Commissions—Power andfunctions.
    (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 Efforts.

Paper - II

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
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FAQs on UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Law

1. What is the syllabus for the UPSC optional subject of Law?
Ans. The syllabus for the UPSC optional subject of Law covers various aspects of Indian and international law. It includes topics such as Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Indian Penal Code, Contract Law, Tort Law, Family Law, International Law, etc. Candidates are expected to have a thorough understanding of these subjects and their application in the Indian legal system.
2. How can I prepare for the UPSC optional subject of Law?
Ans. To prepare for the UPSC optional subject of Law, candidates should start by thoroughly understanding the syllabus and identifying the important topics. They should read standard textbooks on law and refer to recommended study materials and guidebooks. It is also important to stay updated with the latest legal developments and landmark judgments. Regular practice of answering previous years' question papers and taking mock tests will help in developing exam-oriented preparation.
3. Is the UPSC optional subject of Law considered scoring?
Ans. The scoring potential of the UPSC optional subject of Law depends on the candidate's understanding of the subject and their ability to present their knowledge effectively in the exam. While the subject is considered to be technical and requires in-depth knowledge, candidates who have a strong foundation in law and can articulate their answers well have the potential to score well. It is important to have a clear understanding of the concepts and their application in order to score high in this subject.
4. Can I choose the UPSC optional subject of Law if I don't have a background in law?
Ans. While a background in law can be advantageous in understanding the concepts and topics covered in the UPSC optional subject of Law, it is not mandatory. With dedicated effort and thorough self-study, candidates from non-law backgrounds can also prepare for this subject. It is important to start with the basics and gradually build a strong foundation in law. Referring to standard textbooks and engaging in regular practice will help in overcoming any initial challenges.
5. Are there any coaching institutes or online courses available for the UPSC optional subject of Law?
Ans. Yes, there are coaching institutes and online courses available for the UPSC optional subject of Law. These coaching institutes provide comprehensive guidance and study materials to help candidates prepare for the exam. Online courses offer flexibility and convenience, allowing candidates to study at their own pace. It is important to choose reliable and reputable coaching institutes or online platforms that have a track record of success in guiding candidates for the UPSC optional subject of Law.
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