We strongly advise you to take the time to browse through the law exam questions and group them according to topic. Your mind will develop certain patterns as a result of the procedure, something no pre-made list can accomplish. Please make note of the questions that go along with each note you create so that you can learn how to connect and unlink properly. When revising, this practice is also quite helpful. You must write your responses in light of recent events, as required by UPSC. You won’t be able to create a good response until you read, write, and keep adding new updates as you read fresh material.

Among the optional that significantly affects one’s chances of succeeding in both the UPSC Prelims and Mains is law. This is due to the fact that if you studied enough for General Studies and start reading law-related issues, it is feasible to score quite well in Law. Those aspiring for the UPSC who have a knowledge of law, finance, global trade, management or administration, often choose law as an elective subject. Its popularity is due to the fact that Law and General Studies overlap in the UPSC Curriculum. This implies that studying for one subject rewards in preparing for another, enhancing the probability of success.

Law Optional Paper I

  1. Constitutional and administrative Law: 1. Constitution and Constitutionalism:The distinctive features of the Constitution. 2. Fundamental Rights—Public interest litigation; Legal Aid; Legal services authority. 3. Relationship between Fundamental rights, Directive principles and Fundamental duties. 4. Constitutional Position of the President and relation with the Council of Ministers. 5. Governor and his powers. 6. Supreme Court and the High Courts: (a) Appointments and transfer. (b) Powers, functions and jurisdiction. 7. Centre, States and local bodies: (a) Distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States. (b) Local Bodies. (c) Administrative relationship among Union, State and Local Bodies. (d) Eminent domain-State property-common property-community property. 8. Legislative powers, privileges and immunities. 9. Services under the Union and the States: (a) Recruitment and conditions of services; Constitutional safeguards; Administrative tribunals. (b) Union Public Service Commission and State Public Service Commissions—Power and functions. (c) Election Commission—Power and functions. 10. Emergency provisions. 11. Amendment of the Constitution. 12. Principle of Natural Justice—Emerging trends and judicial approach. 13. Delegated legislation and its constitutionality. 14. Separation of powers and constitutional governance. 15. Judicial review of administrative action. 16. Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal etc.
  2. International Law: 1. Nature and Definition of International Law.2. Relationship between International Law and Municipal Law.
  3. State Recognition and State Succession.
  4. Law of the sea: Inland Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and High Seas.
  5. Individuals: Nationality, statelessness; Human Rights and procedures available for their enforcement.
  6. Territorial jurisdiction of States, Extradition and Asylum.
  7. Treaties: Formation, application, termination and reservation.
  8. United Nations: Its principal organs, powers and functions and reform.
  9. Peaceful settlement of disputes—different modes.
  10. Lawful recourse to force: aggressions, self-defence, intervention.
  11. Fundamental principles of international humanitarian law—International conventions and contemporary developments.
  12. Legality of the use of nuclear weapons; ban on testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear non-proliferation treaty, CTST.
  13. International Terrorism, State sponsored terrorism, Hijacking, International Criminal Court.
  14. New International Economic Order and Monetary Law: WTO, TRIPS, GATT, IMF, World Bank.
  15. Protection and Improvement of the Human Environment: International Efforts.

Law Optional Paper II

  1. Law of Crimes: 1. General principles of Criminal liability : mens rea and actus reus, mens rea in statutory offences. 2. Kinds of punishment and emerging trends as to abolition of capital punishment. 3. Preparations and criminal attempt. 4. General exceptions. 5. Joint and constructive liability. 6. Abetment. 7. Criminal conspiracy. 8. Offences against the State. 9. Offences against public tranquility. 10. Offences against human body. 11. Offences against property. 12. Offences against women. 13. Defamation. 14. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. 15. Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and subsequent legislative developments. 16. Plea bargaining.
  2. Law of Torts: 1. Nature and definition. 2. Liability based upon fault and strict liability; Absolute liability. 3. Vicarious liability including State Liability. 4. General defences. 5. Joint tort fessors. 6. Remedies. 7. Negligence. 8. Defamation. 9. Nuisance. 10. Conspiracy. 11. False imprisonment. 12. Malicious prosecution. 13. Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
  3. Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law: 1. Nature and formation of contract/E-contract. 2. Factors vitiating free consent. 3. Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable agreements. 4. Performance and discharge of contracts. 5. Quasi-contracts. 6. Consequences of breach of contract. 7. Contract of indemnity, guarantee and insurance. 8. Contract of agency. 9. Sale of goods and hire purchase. 10. Formation and dissolution of partnership. 11. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. 12. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. 13. Standard form contracts.
  4. Contemporary Legal Developments: 1. Public Interest Litigation. 2. Intellectual property rights—Concept, types/ prospects. 3. Information Technology Law including Cyber Laws—Concept, purpose/prospects. 4. Competition Law—Concept, purpose/prospects. 5. Alternate Dispute Resolution—Concept, types/ prospects. 6. Major statutes concerning environmental law. 7. Right to Information Act. 8. Trial by media.
  5. Literature of the following languages: NOTE (i).—A candidate may be required to answer some or all the Questions in the language concerned. NOTE (ii).—In regard to the languages included in the Eighth Schedule to Constitution, the scripts will be the same as indicated in Section II (B) of Appendix I relating to the Main Examination. NOTE (iii).—Candidates should note that the questions not required to be answered in a specific language will have to be answered in the language medium indicated by them for answering papers on Essay, General Studies and Optional Subjects.

UPSC Law Optional Syllabus PDF