Kathmandu University School of Law

Nepal is a country in transition: not only rebuilding its physical infrastructure after the devastating earthquakes in 2015 but also adopting a new federal constitution and strengthening its democratic institutions.  Having access to knowledge and insights from other jurisdictions will play its part in achieving success.  At the end of last year, the ILBF shipped 240 boxes of books to five organisations in Nepal. Through partnering with the Kathmandu office of The Asia Foundation, we’ve been able to get the books to the final destinations.

Last week, ILBF books, donated by the UK legal community, were officially handed over to the Kathmandu University School of Law. The School of Law’s campus is at Dhulikhel, an hour’s drive from Kathmandu, sitting atop the hills that look out across the Kathmandu Valley.  The views are spectacular.

View of the Kathmandu Valley from the Kathmandu University School of Law at Dhulikhel

Nandita Baruah, Deputy Country Representative, Shameera Shrestha, Admin/BFA Officer, and Anish K.C. BFA Intern from The Asia Foundation and Isabelle Crossley, on behalf of the ILBF, travelled to Dhulikhel to meet Dr. Bipin Adhikari, Dean of the Kathmandu University School of Law, and to hand over the books.

Left to right: Isabelle Crossley, Nandita Baruah, Dr. Bipin Adhikari, and Shameera Shrestha

Since 2013, Dr. Adhikari has pioneered a new integrated undergraduate course which combines law with business studies. Graduates of the course will be able to sit the exams for the Nepal Bar but also have a solid grounding in business.  As Dr. Adhikari says:

‘We are committed to develop lawyers who can work in the area of development so we have been focusing on the corporate side as well as public enterprises…The idea is to create leaders in the legal field.’

Visiting lecturers from outside Nepal are invited to address the students on a range of subjects to help the students develop a broader world view.  In particular, Dr. Adhikari is keen to invite experts in international investment law, commercial law and IP: areas of practice where Nepal does not have its own expertise but which are essential for economic development.

During the visit, students gave a presentation to Isabelle, Nandita and Shameera about federalism and talked about their studies.

Student lecture on federalism

Thanks to the ILBF’s donation, the library at the School of Law will now contain textbooks on many practice areas, including Halsbury’s Laws and law reports, from the UK.   This is what Anishma Dhakal, one of the undergraduate students, said to Isabelle about the books from the ILBF:

‘These new books are definitely going to provide a very new perspective, rather than what is already available now in our library. I am really looking forward to using these new sources in order to learn.’

The library at the Kathmandu University School of Law

Dr. Adhikari is keen to promote diversity at the School of Law and is proud that a high proportion of undergraduate students are women. There is no system of government loans in Nepal to assist students to attend university who do not have financial support from their families. Dr. Adhikari’s goal is to establish scholarships so that university education is opened up to students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Undergraduate students at the School of Law

The students of the School of Law are engaged and enthusiastic about the future. They would like to meet students from universities in other countries and to share experiences.  Dr. Adhikari has established a new and flourishing School of Law and the ILBF is delighted to play a small part in its future success.

Our thanks to The Asia Foundation in Nepal for partnering with us.