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India archives guide: India

Archives Guides

IALS Archives subject guide: records in the IALS Archives
Legal Education in India 

The records below, which hold specific references to India, were transferred to the Records of Legal Education Archives (now subsumed into the IALS Archives) by individuals and organisations with a particular interest in legal education, both the UK and abroad. A particular focus of several collections was on legal education in the Empire and later the Commonwealth, including India.  

All the records, other than those containing personal data, may be viewed by prior appointment in the IALS Library. Closed items are designated in red.  Requests for an appointment to examine any of the records should be made to the Archivist (  

Related material: though there are few specific references to India in the records of the Archives, there is doubtless much information of relevance in the records covering the Commonwealth and Asia generally. For these records see the IALS Archives Subject Guide: Colonialism, Decolonisation and the Law. To browse the Archives catalogues for more information see this link: 

Access: some items are closed to public access as they contain personal data.  Item descriptions are nevertheless included in this guide as indicative of the various organisations’ work relating to India.

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Council of Legal Education (CLE): Archives, 1852-1997

Council of Legal Education (CLE): Archives, 1852-1997

Administrative history: the Council of Legal Education (CLE) was established by Resolutions of the Inns of Court in 1852, following the recommendation that year of a Legal Education Committee of the Four Inns. The CLE was entrusted with the power and duty of superintending the education and examination of students who had been admitted to the Inns and was to consist of an equal number of Benchers appointed by each of the Inns.  Five Readerships or Professorships were set up, to each deliver three courses of lectures per year.  Students were required to attend a certain number of lectures and to pass public examinations.  The examinations were held thrice yearly, in Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity terms.  The CLE was given the power to grant dispensations to students unable to attend all required lectures.

The CLE continued to oversee legal education for the Bar until 1997. In that year the CLE transferred most of its responsibilities and assets to the ICSL.  Its responsibility for supporting education and training for the Bar was passed to a new body, the Inns of Court and Bar Educational Trust (ICBET), while its regulatory function was passed to the General Council of the Bar.  In 1997 the CLE ceased to operate.  

Though there is only one entry listed below, much of the CLE collection refers to colonial studies and students, many of whom came from India. There will, for example, be many references to individual Indian students in CLE 11: Examinations Performance Records, 1861-1957. For the full catalogue see 

Selected items:

CLE 39: Historical Files, Teaching and Examinations, 1906-1967

Arrangement: the original file order, file numbers and titles have been retained.

Reference Title Dates
CLE 39/10 Includes: ix) Papers on the inclusion of Roman-Dutch Law and Hindu and Mohammedan Law 1906-1907; 1936

Commonwealth Legal Association (CLEA): Records, 1971-1995

Commonwealth Legal Association (CLEA): Records, 1971-1995

Administrative history: the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) was founded during the Fourth Commonwealth Law Conference in New Delhi in 1971.   The idea was initiated by Indian lawyer Dr Laxmi Singhvi, CLEA's first chairman.  The Association's objects were to foster high standards of legal education and research in Commonwealth countries: to build up contacts between interested individuals and organizations, and to disseminate information and literature concerning legal education and research.

The CLEA's structure, objectives and functions are set out in its Constitution, adopted soon after its foundation.  Membership is open to individuals, schools of law and other institutions concerned with legal education and research.  Patrons are appointed from various Commonwealth countries.  The affairs of the Association are managed by an Executive Committee, drawn from the Commonwealth regions, which meets annually: its actions are reviewed at 5 yearly General Meetings, the first of which was held in Edinburgh during the Fifth Commonwealth Law Conference in 1977.  There is an Advisory Panel in the United Kingdom.  The administration of the Association was carried out by a chairman and two secretaries, one in London and one abroad.  In 1990 the office of chairman was replaced by a president and executive chairperson (since renamed vice president).  The President may be elected from any part of the Commonwealth: the Vice President must be established in the UK.  In 1994 a South Asian regional chapter was formed.

The records: though there is only one entry listed below, much of the CLEA collection refers to colonial studies and students, many of whom came from India.  For the full catalogue see 

Selected items:

CLEA 01: Secretary's Correspondence and Papers, alphabetically arranged, 1971-1991

Reference Title Dates
  [Overseas legal education]:-  
CLEA 01/40 India: reports and correspondence 1975-1987

CLEA 07: Conference on emerging educational challenges for law in Commonwealth Asia and Australasia: the implications for Legal Education – conference papers, 1992

Administrative history: this conference was run by the CLEA together with the Hong Kong Law Teachers’ Association, the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong from April 10-12, 1992.  

Reference Title Dates

CLEA 07/01

Keynote address: Upendra Bai, Delhi University: Observations on Law, Language and Culture


CLEA 07/08

Prof Dr Pyayag Singh, University of Patna: Decolonisation of the Common Law and its Implications


CLEA 07/19

NRM Menon, National Law School of India, Impact of Cultural Pluralism in Political Discourse and Legal Development: Some Reflections from the Indian Scene


CLEA 07/20

Mrs Kazi Ashraf Unnisa, University Law College, Bangalore: Lex Loci and the English Language – Lessons from the Indian Experience


CLEA 07/26

D D Kaushik, Meerut College: Distance Education – Perspectives for Legal Education


CLEA 07/27

Dr V B Coutinho, Bangalore University: The Changing World Economy and the Challenge of Providing Quality Legal Education to Meet the Demands of the Twenty First Century


Sir William Dale: Papers, 1930s-2003

Biographical history:  Sir William Leonard Dale (1906–2000), lawyer and civil servant, was born on 17 June 1906 at The Rectory, Preston in Holderness, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the elder son and eldest of the three children of the Revd William Dale (1852–1934), Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Rose (1870–1963), daughter of Herbert Leonard, farmer, of Marfleet, Yorkshire.

After Hymers College, Hull, Dale entered into articles with solicitors in the city. After an external London University LLB, he read for the bar, supporting himself on a Gray's Inn scholarship and occasional appointments as a suburban church organist. Call in 1931 was followed by a London pupillage, practice briefly on the north-eastern circuit, and a return to chambers in the Temple. He then joined an English solicitor practising in Jaffa. In 1935 he applied for a legal post in the Colonial Office. On 12 September 1936 he married his second cousin, Emma Patricia Goulton (Biddy) Leonard (b. 1910/11), daughter of Thomas Goulton Leonard, stockbroker, but she was soon diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis and the marriage ended in divorce in 1943. On 30 November 1948 he married Elizabeth Romeyn Elwyn (1922-2002), an American architect, but that marriage, too, was childless, and they were divorced in 1953. She subsequently married the architect Henry Thomas (Jim) Cadbury-Brown.

Dale moved to an administrative position in the wartime Ministry of Supply in 1940, returning to the Colonial Office after VJ-day to the legal complexities of Raja Brooke's cession of Sarawak to the British crown. He was made CMG in 1951, in which year he fielded a request to identify a legal adviser for the new kingdom of Libya by promptly volunteering himself. He returned in 1953, despite the Libyan government's entreaties to stay on as a Supreme Court judge.

A move to the Ministry of Education in 1954 produced a change of work. But Lord Hailsham's arrival as minister in 1957 led to clashes, to which Dale responded by declaring himself semi-redundant, and taking up work for half the day at the Foreign Office. In 1961 he became the legal adviser to the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO), and in the following year he was seconded to the central Africa office to help deal with the break-up of the Central African Federation. He was promoted KCMG in 1965, and retired a year later, a period which spanned the CRO's amalgamation with his old department, but not the final merger into a single Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In London on 17 June 1966, his last day in service, he married Gloria Finn (b. 1922), textile designer, of Washington, DC, daughter of Charles Spellman, stockbroker. They had one daughter, Rosemary.

A spell in the law officers' department (1967–68) was followed by a decision to move to Beirut as general counsel to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. Return home in 1973 opened the most productive and creative phase of Dale's legal life, and a working partnership with Kutlu Fuad, head of the legal division in the Commonwealth Secretariat, which had been founded in Dale's CRO days. First came a study of how to provide competent Commonwealth draftsmen, commuted into a fuller investigation into what legislative style would best meet the needs of newly independent countries, and unlocking Dale's interest in simpler approaches to writing statutes. Then came the call to take over the Government Legal Advisers course (another Dale–CRO creation), through which over the next quarter-century Dale persuaded eminent British figures into nurturing the practical skills of generations of overseas lawyers. The final flowering came in the decision of London University's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) to found a centre for legislative studies in Dale's honour on his ninetieth birthday. The mark of his continuing vigour and determination lay in his becoming its founding Director and establishing a firm base for its activity before stepping down shortly before his death.

Selected items:

DALE 01/01: Professional correspondence of Sir William Dale, 1954-1999

Reference Title Dates
DALE 01/01/06

Correspondence and draft annotated report relating to Professor Mr S L F Baron van Wijnbergen, 1984. Together with a photocopy of the [printed version of the report in Dutch?], December 1984.  Including:

  • Letter to Dale from V K Bhasin of Delhi University, 28 April 1997. Relating to rules of procedures and conduct of business in the Lok Sabha.

International Association of Law Libraries (IALL): Archives

International Association of Law Libraries (IALL): Archives

Administrative History: the International Association of Law Libraries was founded in 1959 with the purpose of promoting and supporting the work of Law Libraries and related agencies, in order to facilitate research and use of their materials on a multinational and co-operative basis. Its functions and activities have developed to include professional education and development, by means of annual courses, participation in major conferences including the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), the publication of the International Journal of Legal Information, and other scholarly publications. It also awards scholarship bursaries for and makes an annual award for the best legal website.

IALL 13: IALL Annual Courses and Conferences, 1979-2018

Reference Title Dates
IALL 13/18 26th Annual Course on International Law Librarianship, Mumbai, 1-5 Dec 2007: ‘Global Challenges and the Indian Legal System’. Prospectus 2007

International Law Association (ILA): Archives, 1866-2019

International Law Association (ILA): Archives, 1866-2019

Administrative History: the International Law Association (ILA) was founded in Brussels in 1873 as an association 'to consist of Jurists, Economists, Legislators, Politicians and others taking an interest in the question of the reform and Codification of Public and Private International Law, the Settlement of Disputes by Arbitration, and the assimilation of the laws, practice and procedure of the Nations in reference to such laws' (afternoon sitting of the first conference of members, 19 November 1873: reference ILA 01/01). It was initially called the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, changing its title to the International Law Association in the early 20th century. 

The Association was to consist of a Council of officers comprising a President, vice presidents, secretaries and other members of the Conference (called the Bureau), plus a series of local, departmental or provincial committees who were to report to the President. These committees have since expanded into International Committees. The ILA's activities are now organised by an Executive Council, assisted by the Headquarters Secretariat in London. Membership of the Association, at present about 4,200, is spread among branches throughout the world and ranges from lawyers in private practice, academia, industrial and financial spheres, and representatives of bodies such as shipping and arbitration organisations and chambers of commerce. The ILA has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies. 

The ILA's objectives are pursued primarily through the work of its International Committees and the focal point of its activities is the series of Biennial Conferences. These conferences, of which over 70 have so far been held in different locations throughout the world, provide a forum for the comprehensive discussion and endorsement of the work of the committees.

The records: the material below has been selected from the ILA archive due to its particular relevance to law in colonial jurisdictions.  Some items are closed to public access under The Data Protection Act. Closed items are designated in red.

Selected items:

ILA 04: Regional branches of the ILA: records, 1877-2013

ILA 04/45: International Law Association in India, [1950]-1989

Reference Title Dates

ILA 04/45/01

Administrative correspondence re membership


ILA 04/45/02

Administrative correspondence re membership, branch organisational structure, subscriptions and branch contributions; correspondence and code of procedure for the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding; membership lists; 1974-1975 New Delhi conference.


ILA 04/45/03

Administrative correspondence, much of it dealing with membership, branch remittances and distribution of conference reports. Includes a typed copy of the 'Declaration of the Citizen of the Kolhan Government Estate's Allegiance to the Commonwealth Countries and to the Crown', made by the members-delegates of the Kolhan Raksha Sangh, signed and dated 1981



Pamphlets and reports:

  • ‘The Indian Federation: Some of its Features’ by M.C. Setalvad, nd (c.1950).
  • International Law Association Regional Branch (India), ‘Annual Meeting, 1951, Proceedings, Part III: Aggression in International Law’.
  • International Law Association Regional Branch (India), ‘A Comparative Study of Human Rights in the Constitutions and Laws of the World’ by G.S. Pathak, nd (c.1952).
  • International Law Association Regional Branch (India), ‘A Review of the United Nations Charter’ by P.N. Murty, assisted by R. Gopalakrishnan, nd (c.1954).
  • Indian Branch of the International Law Association: Branch Sub-Committee on International Rivers, ‘A Paper on “Consideration of the Question of Diversion of Waters in International Rivers by the International Law Association”’, nd (c.1956).
  • ‘New International Economic Order Report (1982)’, following the Seminar on New International Economic Order at Bangalore Palace, Bangalore, December 20-201, 1981.


Professor William L Twining, Law Teacher (TWIN): Papers, 1944-2006

Professor William L Twining, Law Teacher (TWIN): Papers, 1944-2006

Biographical History: William Lawrence Twining (b.1934) has had a long and distinguished career in law teaching and has been involved in many projects relating to legal education.  He was educated at Charterhouse School, Brasenose College, Oxford and the University of Chicago.

He was Chair of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) from 1983-1993 and Supervisor of the Commonwealth Legal Records Project (records held in the IALS Archives; ref: CLRP).  

University posts:

  • Lecturer in Private Law at the University of Khartoum (1958-1961)
  • Senior Lecturer in Law at University College, Dar-es-Salaam (1961-1965)
  • Professor of Jurisprudence at the Queen's University, Belfast (1965-1972)
  • Professor of Law at the University of Warwick (1972-1982)
  • Quain Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London (1983-1996)
  • Director of University of London LLM Review (1992-1993)

TWIN 02: Papers relating to organisations and bodies of which Prof Twining was a member, 1965-1996

TWIN 02/02: Papers relating to the Commonwealth Legal Education Association, 1975-1992

Scope and content: Papers created or gathered by Prof Twining as a member of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA).

He was involved in the project to survey "Legal Awareness Programmes" (a phrase used by the project to denote "legal education activities for non-lawyers”) in Commonwealth countries.

TWIN 04: Third party research material and articles, 1944-2006 

TWIN 04/02: Third party papers relating to the teaching of legal skills and legal education, 1944-2006

Reference Title Dates
TWIN 04/02/04 Report of the Commission for the Reorganisation of Legal Education in Kerala 1964