May 08, 2019

A Man of Few words and more Action: Professor N.R Madhava Menon leaves us with a legacy

[ Legal Era News Network ]


Dr N.R. Madhava Menon (NRM) passed away in the early hours of Wednesday at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. He was 84. His demise leaves a void that may well never be filled. A legend and a visionary, Dr Menon is credited with revolutionizing legal education in India. He brought law on par with science, medical engineering and other such streams, and made it accessible to all from earlier being the privilege of only a few. Not only did he found the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru and the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal, Dr Menon introduced the concepts of the five-year integrated LLB program and skills’ development as a key component of legal education.

Born in 1935, Dr Menon did his B.Sc. and B.L. from Kerala University; LL.M. and Ph.D. from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU); and M.A. from Punjab University.

He enrolled as an Advocate with the Kerala High Court in 1956, joining AMU as faculty in 1960, later moving to Delhi University in 1965, where he became Professor and Head of the Campus Law Centre. In 1986, Dr Menon shifted base to Bangalore at the invitation of the Bar Council of India to set up the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) where the five-year integrated LL.B. program was started. He served NLSIU as its Founding Vice-Chancellor for 12 years. He proceeded to set up the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal on the request of the Supreme Court. He served two terms as Member of the Law Commission of India. Post retirement, Dr Menon settled in Thiruvananthapuram, again serving two terms as Chairman of the prestigious Centre for Development Studies (CDS).

He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2003 for outstanding public services, and received the first ever Distinguished Jurist Award in 2009 on completion of half-a-century as a teacher of law. Forever in pursuit of his dream, be it ethics in the legal profession or application of the law as a development tool, Dr Menon was someone who was always ahead of his times. In him, the legal profession has lost one of its most illustrious sons.

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