In a first, a degree that blends expertise in law & economics

For the first time in the country, a unique course on law and economics will be introduced from the coming academic year. Pune-based Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE) will launch the post-graduate degree that blends expertise in law and economics.

The syllabus has been drawn to suit current needs, GIPE director Dr Rajas Parchure told Newsline. He pointed out that it was vital to understand the economic aspects of any legislation. For instance, such course will not only enable lawyers to have an impact on a wide range of issues related to law, business and finance, but also judges and other practitioners are increasingly relying on economic reasoning to resolve legal disputes.

GIPE is among the oldest training institutes in economics and the syllabus is rigorous and in keeping with current trends. "We have observed that not a single college or university has a specialised course in the twin subjects and it is crucial today to understand the economics of any subject be it law or health," Parchure said.

In some areas of legal practice, specially tax law, bankruptcy, corporate and securities law, economic reasoning is often central to the focus of legal arguments. "There are many instance where $100 billion worth projects are stuck due to legal disputes. We can understand and study the economic aspects of several legislations by bringing both subjects under one roof," Parchure said. Its importance is also growing in other fields, such as environmental law, intellectual property law and health law.

While the mainstay is its MA and other research programme in economics, Parchure pointed out that they soon realised that there is no specific programme that applies economic theories to understand law. In the current scenario, it has become important to understand the economic concepts to explain the effects of laws, to assess which legal rules are economically efficient and so on, he explained. The programme will have experts from across the country as faculty.

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