First law school opens in Taba

Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law (JSW Law) took in its first batch of students with a day-long welcome ceremony at its temporary campus in Taba, Thimphu yesterday.

Created by the Royal Command of His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo, JSW Law is the first and only law school in the country.

Twenty-five class XII graduates will study for five years for Bhutanese law degree. Their  orientation and bridging course begins today.

JSW Law Associate Dean for Student Services, Sonam Euden, said, “The purpose of the orientation and the bridging course is to give them the additional tools they need to succeed in law school.”

Orientation course will include introduction to Bhutanese constitutional structures and history, nature of law and legal practice, study skills, and life skills.

After the orientation, the students will start their legal studies with courses in the law of torts, philosophy, composition and rhetoric, economics, and rigzhung.

Law school will later be moved to a permanent campus in Pangbisa, Paro.

The law school is led by its president, HRH Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, and is named in honour of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

The school’s governing council is chaired by the Chief Justice of Bhutan, Thrimchi Lyonpo Tshering Wangchuk.

The founding Dean of JSW Law, Sangay Dorjee, said, “Our curriculum and our faculty recruiting strategy are designed to create a learning environment that draws the very best experiences from around the world, while instilling in our students the finest of Bhutanese values and traditions. In this way, we intend to create the world’s first truly Bhutanese law school.”

In order to ensure equal access to all, students at JSW Law will not pay tuition fee. The school received support from the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Government of India, the Austrian Development Agency, the New York-based law firm White & Case LLP, and the Karuna Foundation.

The law school community will hold its formal opening ceremony at the conclusion of the orientation and bridging course on July 29.

Tshering Palden

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