Syllabus of UPSC CSE Law Optional

Aspirants need to cover the syllabus on time so that they also have some time left for the revision of the same and in order to cover the same wisely choosing the books and giving time to each topic is very important. The Law Optional has been made of two papers with equal marks each, covering different topics.

UPSC Optional Paper Syllabus for Law- Paper I


Constitutional and Administrative Law 

  • Constitution and Constitutionalism: Distinctive features of the Constitution.
  • Fundamental rights - Legal Aid; Public interest litigation; Legal services authority.
  • Directive principles, Relationship between fundamental rights, and fundamental duties.
  • Relation with the Council of Ministers, the Constitutional position of the President.
  • Governor, Power of Governor.
  • Supreme Court and High Courts: (a) Powers, functions, and jurisdiction, (b) Appointments and transfers.
  • Centre, States, and local bodies: (a) Distribution of legislative powers between the States and the Union, (b) Administrative relationship among State, Union, and Local Bodies, (c) Local bodies, (d) Eminent domain - Common property - State property - community property.
  • Legislative powers, immunities, and privileges.
  • Services under the Union and the States: (a) Conditions of services and Recruitment; Administrative tribunals; Constitutional safeguards. (b) State Public Service Commissions and Union Public Service Commission - Functions and Power(c) Election Commission - Functions and Power.
  • Emergency Provisions.
  • Amendment to the Constitution.
  • Principles of natural justice - Judicial approach and emerging trends.
  • Delegated legislation and its constitutionality.
  • Constitutional governance and Separation of powers.
  • Administrative action and its Judicial review.
  • Ombudsman: Lokpal, Lokayukta, etc.


International Law

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

UPSC Optional Paper Syllabus for Law- Paper-II


Law of Crime

  • General principles of criminal liability: Mens rea in statutory offenses, Mens rea, and actus reus.
  • Emerging trends as to the abolition of capital punishment and Kinds of punishment.
  • General exceptions.
  • Criminal attempt and Preparation.
  • Abetment.
  • Joint and constructive liability.
  • Criminal conspiracy.
  • Offenses against the property.
  • Offenses against public tranquillity.
  • Offenses against the human body.
  • Offenses against the State.
  • Offenses against women.
  • Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955; Subsequent legislative developments.
  • Defamation.
  • Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • Plea bargaining.


Law of Torts

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


Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law

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


Contemporary Legal Developments

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

That’s all about Syllabus for Law Optional for UPSC CSE. Hope this reading will worth you.
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