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N.R. Madhava Menon: A pioneer of legal education

N.R. Madhava Menon instrumental in setting up top legal institutions

N.R. Madhava Menon, noted legal educationist, passed away on Wednesday at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.

He was 84. He is survived by wife and a son. Mr. Menon had been ailing for the past one week.

He is known for his pioneering works in modernising legal education by establishing National Law Schools in various parts of the country.

Called the father of modern legal education in India, he was the founder director of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, and the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, besides the founder Vice Chancellor of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS).

Born in 1935 in Thiruvananthapuram, Mr. Menon obtained his B.Sc. and B.L. degrees from the University of Kerala. He took his LLM. and PhD from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and MA from Punjab University.

Five-year LLB

He started his practice at the Kerala High Court in 1956. He later pursued academics and joined the AMU as faculty member in 1960 before working as Professor at the Campus Law Centre of Delhi University. Mr. Menon moved to Bengaluru at the invitation of the Bar Council of India to set up the NLSIU and launched a new model of legal education, the five-year integrated LLB programme, at the school.

He also served as member of the Law Commission for two terms. He was a member of the Committee on Criminal Justice Reform and the Committee on Restructuring of Higher Education in India.

Mr. Menon was given Padma Shri in 2003 for his outstanding contribution to public services. He has to his credit several books on legal education. He served as chairman of the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, for two terms after settling down in the capital.

Condoling Mr. Menon’s death, President Ram Nath Kovind said, “Sorry to hear of the passing of Prof. N.R. Madhava Menon, educationist, scholar, and a pioneering spirit behind modern legal education in India, beginning with the NLSIU.”

Governor P. Sathasivam said that as an authority in legal and constitutional matters, he used his limitless erudition to build world- class institutions and to enlighten generations of students.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his message, said Mr. Menon gave a new direction to the legal education field in the country.

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