Law Syllabus for IAS Mains-Optional Paper

UPSC law
Written by Dr. SS

We are giving in this post  UPSC mains syllabus of  ‘Law’ which is one optional subject of UPSC Mains Examination. To appear in UPSC Civil Services Mains exam, you need to have complete awareness about  UPSC Mains Syllabus and exam pattern.  To get complete information, you can check given links.

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Law Syllabus for UPSC Mains

UPSC LAW Syllabus

Syllabus of Law for PAPER – I

Read IAS Preparation Strategies.

 Constitutional and Administrative Law

  1. Constitution and Constitutionalism: The silent features of the Constitution.
  2. PIL-Public interest litigation, Legal services authority, Legal Aid
  3. The relationship between fundamental rights, fundamental duties and directive principles DPSP.
  4. President and his constitutional position and relation with the Council of Ministers.
  5. Governor and his appointment and his powers.
  6. Judiciary: Supreme Court and High Courts:
  • Appointments and transfer of judges.
  • Powers, functions and jurisdiction of judiciary.
  1. Centre, States and local bodies:
  2. Distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States Govts.
  3. Local bodies and their role.
  4. The administrative relationship among Union, State and Local Bodies.
  5. Eminent domain – State property – community property- common property.
  6. Legislative powers, immunities and privileges.
  7. Services which comes under the Union and the States:
  8. Recruitment and conditions of services; Administrative tribunals and Constitutional safeguards.
  9. UPSC and State Public Service Commissions – their power and functions
  10. Election Commission– Its Power and functions.
  11. Emergency types and provisions.
  12. Methods of Amendment of the Constitution.
  13. Natural Justice: Principles, Emerging trends and judicial approach.
  14. Legislation delegation and its constitutionality.
  15. Separation of powers and governance.
  16. Judicial review of the administrative action of machinery.
  17. Ombudsman: Lokpal, Lokayukta, etc.

International Law

  1. International Law: Nature and definition.
  2. Relationship: Between international law and municipal law.
  3. State succession and State recognition.
  4. Law of the sea: Inland waters, contiguous zone, territorial sea, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, high seas.
  5. Individuals: Nationality, concept of statelessness; Human rights and their enforcement.
  6. The territorial jurisdiction of States, asylum.and extradition.
  7. Treaties: Formation, termination, application, and reservation.
  8. United Nations: Its principal organs, functions, powers and reform.
  9. Dispute settlement by peaceful way  – different modes.
  10. Lawful recourse to force: self-defence, agrees on aggression, intervention.
  11. International humanitarian law : Fundamental principles– International conventions and contemporary developments.
  12. Use of nuclear weapons; The legal way, the ban on the testing of nuclear weapons; CTBT, Nuclear – non-proliferation treaty.
  13. International terrorism, hijacking, state-sponsored terrorism, international criminal court.
  14. New international economic order and monetary law: GATT, WTO, TRIPS, IMF, World Bank.
  15. International efforts for  Protection and improvement of the human environment:


Law of Crimes

  1. General principles of criminal liability: Mens rea and mens rea, actus reus, in statutory offences.
  2. Kinds of punishment and latest trends as to the abolition of capital punishment.
  3. Preparation and criminal attempt.
  4. General exceptions.
  5. Abetment
  6. Joint and constructive liability.
  7. Criminal conspiracy.
  8. Offences against the State.
  9. Offences against public tranquillity.
  10. Offences against property.
  11. Offences against the human body.
  12. Defamation
  13. Offences against women.
  14. Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and related legislative developments.
  15. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  16. Plea bargaining.

Law of Torts

  1. Nature and definition.
  2. Liability: fault and strict liability; Absolute liability.
  3. General defences.
  4. Vicarious liability including State liability.
  5. Joint tortfeasors.
  6. Remedies
  7. Negligence
  8. Nuisance
  9. Defamation
  10. Conspiracy
  11. Malicious prosecution.
  12. False imprisonment.

Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and latest amendments.

Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law

  1. Nature and formation of contract/Contract.
  2. Factors vitiating free consent.
  3. Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable agreements.
  4. Performance and discharge of contracts.
  5. Consequences of breach of contract.
  6. Quasi- Contracts.
  7. Contract of indemnity, guarantee and insurance.
  8. Contract of the agency.
  9. Sale of goods and hire purchase.
  10. Partnership and its Formation and dissolution.
  11. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
  12. Standard form contracts.
  13. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

Contemporary Legal Developments

  1. Public Interest Litigation.
  2. Intellectual property rights – Concept, prospects and types.
  3. Information Technology Law and Cyber Laws – Concept, purpose/ prospects.
  4. Competition Law- Concept, prospects and purpose.
  5. Alternate Dispute Resolution – Concept, prospects and types.
  6. Major statutes concerning environmental law.
  7. RTI- Right to Information Act.
  8. Trial by media

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