Law Main Syllabus
Check out Law syllabus for UPSC Main examination.

Law Mains Syllabus


Constitutional and Administrative Law

  • Constitution and Constitutionalism: The distinctive features of the Constitution.
  • Fundamental rights - Public interest litigation; Legal Aid; Legal services authority.
  • Relationship between fundamental rights, directive principles and fundamental duties.
  • Constitutional position of the President and relation with the Council of Ministers.
  • Governor and his powers.
  • Supreme Court and High Courts: (a) Appointments and transfer. (b) Powers, functions and jurisdiction.
  • 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.
  • Legislative powers, privileges and immunities.
  • 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.
  • Emergency provisions.
  • Amendment of the Constitution.
  • Principles 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: Lokayukta, Lokpal etc.

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, territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, high seas.
  • Individuals: Nationality, statelessness; Human rights and procedures available for their enforcement.
  • Territorial jurisdiction of States, extradition and asylum.
  • Treaties: Formation, application, termination and reservation.
  • United Nations: Its principal organs, powers, functions and reform.
  • Peaceful settlement of disputes - different modes.
  • Lawful recourse to force: aggression, self-defence, intervention.
  • Fundamental principles of international humanitarian law - International conventions and contemporary developments.
  • Legality of the use of nuclear weapons; ban on testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear - non proliferation treaty, CTBT.
  • 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.


Law of Crimes

  • General principles of criminal liability: Mens rea and actus reus, mens rea in statutory offences.
  • Kinds of punishment and emerging trends as to abolition of capital punishment.
  • Preparation and criminal attempt.
  • General exceptions.
  • Joint and constructive liability.
  • Abetment.
  • Criminal conspiracy.
  • Offences against the State.
  • Offences against public tranquility.
  • Offences against human body.
  • Offences against property.
  • Offences against women.
  • Defamation.
  • Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and subsequent legislative developments. 16. Plea bargaining.

Law of Torts

  • Nature and definition.
  • Liability based upon fault and strict liability; Absolute liability.
  • Vicarious liability including State liability.
  • General defences.
  • Joint tort feasors.
  • Remedies.
  • Negligence.
  • Defamation.
  • Nuisance.
  • Conspiracy.
  • False imprisonment.
  • Malicious prosecution.
  • Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law

  • Nature and formation of contract/Econtract.
  • Factors vitiating free consent.
  • Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable agreements.
  • Performance and discharge of contracts.
  • Quasi- Contracts.
  • Consequences of breach of contract.
  • Contract of indemnity, guarantee and insurance.
  • Contract of agency.
  • Sale of goods and hire purchase.
  • Formation and dissolution of partnership.
  • Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
  • Standard form contracts.

Contemporary Legal Developments

  • Public Interest Litigation.
  • Intellectual property rights - Concept, types/prospects.
  • Information Technology Law including Cyber Laws - Concept, purpose/prospects.
  • Competition Law- Concept, purpose/ prospects.
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution - Concept, types/prospects.
  • Major statutes concerning environmental law.
  • Right to Information Act.
  • Trial by media.