Government Law College, Ernakulam


Maharaja's Government Law College, Ernakulam
GLC Ernakulam Logo.png
Other name
GLC Kochi
MottoFiat Justitia Ruat Caelum
(Let justice be done though the heavens fall)
Established1874; 147 years ago (1874)
AffiliationMahatma Gandhi University
Bar Council of India
PrincipalDr. Bindhu Nambiar, Ph.D[1]
Location, ,

The Government Law College, Ernakulam, also known as His Highness the Maharajas Government Law College, Ernakulam is an institution for undergraduate and post-graduate legal education in , Kerala, India. Founded in 1874, it is the first law college in the state of Kerala and also one of the oldest law colleges in India. The Campus is situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake and is near to Marine Drive and High Court of Kerala. Blanketed by tall and rare species of trees, its campus features a mix of old and modern architecture. The college is affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam and is a recognised Research Centre in Law since 2010. The college’s alumni includes former Chief Justice of India K. G. Balakrishnan, Noted Indian actor Padma Shree Mammootty, former Defence Minister of India A. K. Antony , and former Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy. It is popularly known as Ernakulam Law College or Maharajas Law College.[2]

Law College Ernakulam.jpg


Government Law College's history began in 1874 when legal education was started in Kerala by the Maharajah of Cochin sanctioning the organisation of a law class in connection with His Highness College Cochin. This was intended to enable candidates from Cochin to present themselves for the law examination of Madras University. Those law classes continued until 1894, when the institution was reorganised entirely. The college was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram and raised to the status of an independent college as His Highness the Maharajah's Law College, Thiruvananthapuram, with W.T.A. Cosby, bar-at-law (judge of the High Court of Travancore who was appointed as professor of law in 1892) as the first principal. A complete set of rules was formulated by the government for the control and regulation of work in the college. The rules prescribed the qualification for members of the teaching staff.

The college was maintained by the Maharajah of Travancore from the beginning and managed until 1909, when it was placed under the Direction of the Public Instruction. In 1910, the college came under the High Court of Travancore. With the inauguration of the Travancore University in 1938, the college was transferred to the control of the university. In 1957, the Kerala University was formed and the college came under it. In 1983, with the establishment of Mahatma Gandhi University at Kottayam, the college became a constituent college of that university and is now affiliated to it.

In August 1949, the college was moved to Ernakulam to fit it with the integration of the former states of Thiruvithamkoor and Kochi and the consequent moving of the Travancore-Cochin High Court from Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam. The college has been housed in the old assembly building of Kochi state at Ernakulam since 1949. The college celebrated the centenary of legal education in 1975. In July 1954, a second law college was started at Thiruvananthapuram.

In 1967/68, the three-year LL.B. course was started and the title of the degree of M.L. was changed to LL.M. During 1968/69, the two-year B.L. degree course was abolished. A part-time course for the three-year LL.B. started during 1968/69 but was abolished in 2002.[3]

To commemorate the move of the Law College back to Ernakulam, the college celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1999.


B.Com., LL.B (Hons)

This is a five-year integrated law course, leading to a B.Com., LL.B (Hons). Each year consist of two semesters. The student earns the integrated B.Com. LL.B. degree after completing the tenth semester, i.e., upon successful completion of five years. This course is being introduced from the academic year 2016–17.

LL.B 3 Year Degree

This is a three-year law course, leading to the award of an honours degree. The course structure is divided into six semesters over three years.[2] qualification degree.


The LL.M. course enables students to develop their interests in many of the major areas of law to which they have been introduced in the LL.B. course, and also provides the opportunity to study important aspects of specialized areas of law in The duration of the course is two years.[2] At present, the college is offering instruction in two branches of law in the LL.M degree, Criminal Law and Commercial Law.


The Campus situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake and near to Marine Drive, Kochi and District Court Ernakulam. Blanketed by tall and rare species of trees, its campus features a mix of old and modern architecture. The main block of the law college is the grand old legislative hall of Cochin Legislative Council. In 1949, when the college was shifted from Trivandrum to Ernakulam, the legislative hall became the part of His Highness the Maharaja's Law College.

The college enrols over 700 students for the LL.B course and 30 students for the LL.M course.

In 2006, the government declared the campus a heritage site and offered Rs. 50,00,000 for its renovation which is still in progress.[4] The library building includes the computer laboratory. All classrooms are equipped with microphones and speakers for better audibility. WiFi is available for the students' use.


The Government Law College, Ernakulam has one of the oldest law libraries in the country today. The institution has a full-fledged library which has more than 37,000 Volumes and 22 periodicals and is the oldest law library in the state of Kerala. The library has subscriptions to online journals such as Manupatra, CDJ Law Journal, SCC Online, Lexis Nexis (India), Lex Libraria and Hein Online. It also has offline databases of AIR Infotech and KLT Infotech.


Government Law College, Ernakulam has both men's and women's hostels. The men's hostel which is metaphorically named House of Lords is a live and cheerful space in the city situated in Colombo Jn. on the rear side of the campus.

It often finds a mention in the dailies as a hub of creative activities and out of the box thinking. It accommodates 80 students. The women's hostel is placed adjacent to the college campus which is also a happy space where about 30 students stay.


In 2016, in a reply to a RTI application sent by one of the student, Bar Council of India stated that the five-year integrated B.A. (Criminology) LL.B (Hons) course which started in 2011 is not recognized by UGC which means that the students will not be eligible to get enrolled as Advocates, even if they complete the course successfully.[5][6] After the university made necessary changes to the syllabus, the course was given recognition.The said course was titled as B.A., LL.B(5 year Integrated Double Degree course. The said course was replaced with five-year integrated B.Com LL.B (Hons) degree for new batches from academic year 2016–17.[7]

Notable alumni

K. G. Balakrishnan

In popular culture


  1. ^ "".
  2. ^ a b c "Mahatma Gandhi University Kerala". MG University. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  3. ^ Government Law College Calendar 2011–2012, Printed at the Superintendent of Government Presses at the Government Press Ernakulam (185/320/2011--1)
  4. ^ "Rs.50 lakhs for renovating Government Law College". The Hindu. 30 June 2006. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  5. ^ KM, Ashok. "BCI says 5 year BA LLB Course in Govt Law College, Ernakulam is not recognized". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  6. ^ "RTI shocker: Future looks bleak for students of Law College". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Centralised Allotment Process for admission to Integrated Five Year LL.B Course 2016-17" (PDF).

External links

Coordinates: 9°58′30″N 76°16′48″E / 9.975°N 76.280°E / 9.975; 76.280