The Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram (also Government College of Law, Thiruvananthapuram) at University of Kerala is one of the most prestigious institution imparting undergraduate and graduate legal education in India.
Established in 1875 by the then Maharajah of the erstwhile Princely State of Travancore, the college has produced some of the finest legal minds, including Indian Supreme Court Judges, more than half a dozen sitting Judges of the Kerala High Court, Union Ministers/legislators, academicians, bureaucrats etc. The first woman Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Fathima Beevi is an alumnus of the college,so also noted academician Dr. N.R Madhava Menon.
The Government of His Highness Maharaja of Travancore on 31 January 1875 sanctioned “the Organisation of a Law Class in connection with His Highness College at Thiruvananthapuram to enable candidates from Travancore to present themselves for the Law Examination of the University of Madras and to encourage others to pursue the study of Law systematically”. The order sanctioning the scheme directed that it shall be worked on the same lines as the Class attached to the Presidency College at Madras. Mr. W. E. Ormsby, Barrister-at-law, then a Judge of Sadur Court of Travancore was appointed Professor of Law in His Highness the Maharajas College. He opened the class on 9 February of the same year. In 1877, His Highness College was affiliated to the University of Madras in the Faculty of Law.
The class was thus continued till 1894 when in conformity with important alterations in the by-laws of the Madras University regarding the B.L. Degree Examination, the institution was re-organised on an entirely different footing. The Law Class which till then was working as a part of His Highness College and the Professors whereof were treated as members of that College was raised to the status of an independent College under the designation of “His Highness Maharaja’s Law College, Thiruvananthapuram”. A complete set of rules was also sanctioned by the Government for the control and regulation of work in the college. The rules prescribed the qualification required for the members of the teaching staff.
The Law College was maintained by His Highness Government and the management of the college was vested in the Principal acting directly under the orders of Dewan of Travancore till the end of 1908. In 1909 the College was placed under the Director of Public Instruction and in 1910 it was placed under the control of the High Court. With the inauguration of University of Travancore in 1938, the College was transferred to the control and supervision of the University.
In August 1949 the college was shifted to Ernakulam to fit in with the new set up arising out of the integration of erstwhile State of Travancore- Cochin and the location of the High Court of the united State at Eranakulam. In 1954 it was again brought to Thiruvananthapuram, leaving at Ernakulam a sister college and was housed in the current premises in the Highland Bungalow on the Barton Hill.Under the University Act of 1957, the college was transferred to the control of Government of Kerala. In 1961 Government made the Thiruvananthapuram Law College a permanent institution.
In 1962-63 a full-time Post-graduate course was introduced with M. L. Degree and LL.M was started in 1971. Three Year LL.B course was started from 1967-68 & Five Year LL.B. Course was introduced from the academic year 1984-85.
Admissions to both undergraduate and post graduate programs at the Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram are through a highly competitive entrance examination conducted by Commissioner for Entrance Examination, Government of Kerala.
Courses of study
B.A., LL.B (Integrated)
Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram offers an undergraduate five-year integrated LL.B. program which, upon completion, qualifies the student to sit for the bar to practice law in India.
This course is a double degree Integrated course comprising B.A (English Literature) and LL.B degrees.The bachelor’s degree in B.A. and Law shall consist of regular course of study for a minimum period of 10 Semesters in Five Years and shall consist of 14 papers in B.A. and 31 papers in Law.
LL.B (3 year Course)
Government Law College also offers a three-year LL.B. program which, upon completion, qualifies the student to sit for the bar to practice law in India. The course of study for the bachelor’s degree in Law (LL.B) shall consist of regular course of study for a minimum period of 6 semesters in three years and shall consist of 20 compulsory papers, 4 compulsory clinical papers and 6 optional papers in Law.
Masters in Law (LL.M)
Government Law College offers post graduate Law degrees in two lines of specialization: Criminal Law and Science, Technology and Law. The normal duration of the LL.M. programme shall be four semesters. Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram was one of the few colleges to run a LL.M Programme in International Law.
LL.M (Evening Batch)
Sanction accorded by Government of Kerala and orders issued to start a 20 student batch from 2015-16.
The Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram is housed in the Highland Bungalow of Mr.Barton, British Chief Engineer of erstwhile Princely State of Travancore. Many new blocks we later added in the 5 acre beautiful green campus in the heart of the city.
Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram library is one of the oldest law library in the country. The spacious and magnificent College Library is an important resource center, primarily intended to provideundergraduate and postgraduate readers with the books they need for their studies. The Government Law College library is known for its rare collection of books and treatise on various subjects not limited to law. It holds over 27,000 books and 5000 periodicals.The library is fully automated, and book circulation is maintained through Library-cum-Identity Cards with the help of a barcode system.
Noted academician and alumnus Prof. (Dr.) N.R. Madhava Menon promised handing over his collection of books to the college library, during his speech at the 140 years celebration of the college in March 2015.
Research Center in Law status has been accorded to Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram by the University of Kerala. The college has requested for the formation of a chair named Malloor Govinda Pillai Chair on Criminal Law . A proposal for formation of Justice K.K Mathew Chair on Constitutional Law is also pending with the government
Prof. (Dr.) N.R. Madhava Menon announced in March 2015 that he would be available to guide the research programmes at the college
The Hostel Block inaugurated by the then President of India, Shri.Fakaruddin Ali Ahmed as a men’s Hostel is now converted as a Women’s Hostel. The admission is made by the Warden for students from second year of study onward. The male students are now accommodated in a separate block at University Hostel for Men at Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram.
Moot Court Competition
Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram hosts an annual national level moot court competition- All India Moot Court Competition for Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer Trophy.
Over the years, Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram team excelled in various national level moot court competitions.Including winning the XV All India Moot Court Competition 2012 for Adv. T. S. Venketeswara Iyer Memorial Ever Rolling Trophy conducted by Govt. Law College, Ernakulam Moot Court Society. Winning multiple best memorial awards and individual awards.
The Government Law College quizzing team is well known in the quizzing circuits of Kerala. They brought glory to University of Kerala by bagging the First Runner Up trophy in the 2013 National Youth Festival held at Kurukshetra in Haryana. The team also got First Prize in South Zone Inter-University Youth Festival held at Bangalore in 2013. The Quiz Club hosts quiz within the college from time to time.
National Service Scheme
The National Service Scheme is an Indian government-sponsored programme under the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Government of India. Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram has two NSS Units. In 2012, Best Programme Officer of N.S.S. for University of Kerala was awarded to Assistant Professor K. Hareendran of Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram. The N.S.S. unit has been actively involved in many social service activities in rural area and has organised many legal aid and legal literacy programs in addition to forest conservation, environmental protection and blood donation camps
Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram magazine is brought out annually by the college union. The Student Editor is chosen by an electoral college consisting of all students of the college, and the Staff Editor is nominated by the Staff Council headed by the college Principal. Dr. N.R. Madava Menon was the student editor during 1954-55.
Internal Quality Assurance Cell (I.Q.A.C.) is soon coming out with a student edited in-house journal devised to escalate the quality and to upsurge the academic talents of the student community. The Student Law Journal is aimed for the promotion of reading, writing and research among students and act as a powerhouse in outsourcing the craft and in optimizing the quality of the student community
Kerala High Court Judges (Sitting)
1- Justice. T.R. Ramachandran nair
2- Justice. Chidambaresh
3- Justice. Shafeeque
4- Justice. A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai
5- Justice. Kamal Pasha
Former Supreme Court Judges
1- Justice M. Fathima Beevi (First women SC Judge)
2- Justice K.K Mathew
3- Justice Cyriac Joseph
Former High Court Chief Justice
1- Justice. Padmanabhan Subramanian Poti (Kerala, Gujarat)
2- Justice. K Sreedharan (Gujarat)
Former Kerala High Court Judges
1- Justice. Siri Jagan
2- Justice. Harun Al Rashid
3- Justice. K.P Balachandran
4- Justice N Krishnan Nair
5- Justice. M.R Hariharan Nair
6- Justice A Laskhmi Kutty
7- Justice Harun Al Rashid
8- Justice Anna Chandi (First Female Judge in India)
Former Travancore High Court Judge (Princely state)
1- Justice. P Habeeb Mohammed
Speaker of Kerala Legislative Assembly
Shri. N Shakthan
Former Kerala Legislative Assembly Speakers
1- R Shankara Narayana Thampi (First Speaker of Kerala Legislative Assembly)
2- D. Damodharan Potti
3- K.M. Seethi Sahib
Sitting Members of Parliament
1- Dr. A Sampath
2- N.K Premachandran
3- Jose K. Mani
4- M.I Shanavas
5- M.B. Rajesh
Sitting Member of Legislative Assembly
1- P.C. Vishnunath
Former Member of Legislative Assembly
1- K.G.N Namboothiri (Changanassery)
Cabinet Ministers, Government of Kerala (GoK)
1- Ramesh Chennithala(Home Minister, Kerala)
2- Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan (Sports Minister, Kerala)
1- K Vishwanatham (Gujarat 1973-78)
Former Kerala Chief Ministers
1- R. Shankar
2- C. Achutha Menon
3- P.K Vasudevan Nair
Former Chief Minister of Princely States 1- C Kesavan (Travancore- Cochin)
Former Kerala Ministers
1- M.N Govindan Nair
2- T.M Jacob
3- Mathew T Thomas
4- G Sudhakaran
- E Ahmed(Former MoS, External Affairs)
- Kodikunnel Suresh(Former MoS, Labour)
- Mullapally Ramachandran(Former MoS, Home Affairs)
- Abdul Sathar Kunju(1963 Batch IPS officer and Ex-Kerala Police Chief)
- Malayatoor Ramakrishnan(Former IAS officer and award winning writer)
- Resul Pookutty(Oscar award winner)
- Bheeman Raghu(Actor/ Politician)
- Anoop Menon(Actor/ Script writer)
- Shankar Ramakrishnan(Actor/ Script writer)
- M. Mathew(Former Chief Editor, Malayala Manorama)
- N.R. Madhava Menon (Founder of N.L.S.I.U, N.U.J.S. and N.J.A.)
Shaji Khailas directed and Ranji Panicker scripted, Suresh Gopi starring block buster film Thalasthanam revolves around the politics of Government Law College Thiruvananthapuram.
Shooting also took place in Government Law College for K. Madhu directed Jayaram starring movie Randam Varavu.