For a UPSC CSE aspirant, the optional subject is also an important subject. In the UPSC mains exam, optional marks have two papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Each paper is of 250 marks which makes a total of 500 marks. The UPSC optional subject list contains 48 subjects in total, one of which is Law.
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SYLLABUS FOR PAPER I
A. Constitutional and administrative Law
- Constitution and Constitutionalism with its distinctive features.
- Relationship between Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, and Directive Principles.
- Fundamental Rights— Legal Aid, Public interest litigation, Legal services authority.
- Constitutional Position of the President and relation with the Council of Ministers.
- Governor and his powers.
- Supreme Court and the High Courts:
- Appointments and transfer.
- Powers, jurisdiction, and functions.
- Centre, States, and local bodies:
- Distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States.
- The administrative relationship among Union, State, and Local Bodies.
- Local Bodies.
- Eminent domain- State property- Common property- Community property.
- Legislative powers, privileges, and immunities.
- Services under the Union and the States:
- Recruitment and conditions of services
- Administrative tribunals
- Constitutional safeguards
- Union Public Service Commission and state public Service Commissions— Functions and powers.
- Election Commission— Functions and powers.
- Emergency provisions.
- Amendment of the Constitution.
- Principle 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: Lokpal, Lokayukta, etc.
B. International Law
- Nature and Definition of International Law.
- Relationship between International Law and Municipal Law.
- State Recognition and State Succession.
- Law of the sea: Inland Waters, Contiguous Zone, Territorial Sea, Continental Shelf, High Seas, and Exclusive Economic Zone.
- 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, functions and powers, 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; ban on the testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear nonproliferation treaty, CTST.
- 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.
SYLLABUS FOR PAPER II
A. Law of Crimes
- General principles of Criminal liability: men’s rea and actus reus, men’s rea in statutory offences
- Kinds of punishment and emerging trends as to abolition of capital punishment
- Preparations and criminal attempt
- General exceptions
- Criminal conspiracy
- Offences against the State
- Offences against the human body
- Offences against public tranquillity
- Offences against women
- Offences against the property
- Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and subsequent legislative developments
- Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
- Plea bargaining
B. Law of Torts
- Definition and nature
- Vicarious liability including State Liability
- Liability based upon fault and strict liability, Absolute liability
- General defenses
- Joint tort fessors
- False imprisonment
- Malicious prosecution
- Consumer Protection Act, 1986
C. Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law
- Nature and formation of contract/ E-contract
- Factors vitiating free consent
- Void, voidable, illegal, and unenforceable agreements
- Performance and discharge of 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
- Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
- Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
- Standard form contracts
D. Contemporary Legal Developments
- Public Interest Litigation
- Information Technology Law including Cyber Laws—Concept, purpose/prospects
- Intellectual property rights—Concept, types/prospects
- Competition Law—Concept, purpose/prospects
- Major statutes concerning environmental law
- Alternate Dispute Resolution—Concept, types/ prospects
- Right to Information Act
- Trial by media