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Strategy for Law Optional Paper in UPSC

People choose Law as an Optional subject in UPSC Civil Services examination because it is high scoring however those choosing law should have its foundation of degree level. With a growing number of Law graduates from top level institutes the number of law students that qualify the UPSC is ever increasing. If by chance you are not a law graduate do start your prepration way ahead of time as the subject a little more vast than many others.

Paper 1
There is a over-emphasis on Constitutional & Administrative Law then the International Law in Paper 1. S you must prepare it well and you may get upto three questions on Constitutional & Administrative Law.
Constitutional & Administrative Law can be prepared from;

  1. VN Shukla's Constitution of India Edited by M.P. Singh (Major Source)
  2. Our Constitution – Subhash C. Kashyap (Minor / Consulted)
  3. The Constitution of India (Bare Act) – PM Bakshi (Always have it, and read it too)
  4. Introduction to the Constitution of India – DD Basu (Read during prelims preparation)
  5. Administrative Law – I.P.Massey (Did while in Law School)

International Law can be prepared from the following books.

  1. International Law - Malcom N Shaw
  2. An Introduction to Public International Law - S. K. Verma SK Verma's book is very shallow but good to begin with and then go on to Shaw but the problem with Shaw is, very less portion can be studied from it actually. This can be compansated by other source material.

Paper II
Paper II consists of 2 Sections. Section A - Law of Crimes (IPC) & Law of Torts; while Section B - Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law & Contemporary Legal Developments

BOOKS FOR Section A -
Law of Crimes (IPC)
1. Commentary on IPC - KD Gaur

Law of Torts
1. Law of Torts – R.K. Bangia
The IPC is very important as questions on it is a regular faeture. In comprision to IPC, Tort portion is small and minimum two questions can be expected from IPC and Trots. KD Gaur is good book for Trot.

Section B covers Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law. Books recomended are; 1. R.K. Bangia – Law of Contract I & II

Contemporary Legal Developments should be to follow the legal news. Follow PRS on twitter. Read policy magazine. It will help in General Studies as well and have legally reasoned opinion on current affairs. Eg. Pardoning Powers, Rape Laws.

It is recomended you must cover these three portions very well. 1. Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law 2.Law of Torts 3.Law of Crimes. For constitution focus on all the areas and also read the complete cases of certain recent judgements for example Ashok kumar thakur case . For international law you can afford to touch 60 to 70% of the syllabus read the important treaties and case laws. For merchantile law and I.P.C. focus on the section its ingredients and case laws. For torts focus should be on case law and the ingredients of a tort for specific torts.

However, dont try to do selective and gamble, as there is only one optional paper now. You must aim to cover almost everything mentioned in the syllabus. UPSC is not sticking to the broad area wise division while clubbing two or more questions into one. There can be unusual combination of 2 or 3 questions from IPC/Contract/Recent Legal Developments etc. So if you don't prepare everything, it is likely that you might not be able to answer every part of the question.

Go ahead and start your preparation with books listed here. If any section of the syllabus is not covered in these books, you can look for other suggestive readings.

Law Books for IAS

Topicwise Listing of Suggested Law Books

Books on Indian Penal Code

- Atchuthen Pillai
- Ratanlal Dhiraj Lal

Books on Law of Tort

- Atchuthen Pillai
- R.K. Bangia
- Winfield
- Ratanlal Dhiraj Lal
- Avatar Singh

Books on Constitutional Law

- V.N. Shukla
- S.K. Kapoor
- J.N. Pandey

Books on Law of Contract

- Avatar Singh

Books on Merchantile Law

- R.K. Bangia
- Avatar Singh
- Pollack and Mulla

Books on Jurisprudence

- P.K. Tripathi
- Dias

Books on International Law

-Malcom N Shaw
-S. K. Verma

MORE Books On Law Optional