UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus - Law Optional
PAPER - I:
Constitutional and Administrative Law :
1. Constitution and Constitutionalism: The
distinctive features of the Constitution.
2. Fundamental rights – Public interest
litigation; Legal Aid; Legal services
3. Relationship between fundamental
rights, directive principles and fundamental
4. Constitutional position of the President
and relation with the Council of Ministers.
5. Governor and his powers.
6. Supreme Court and High Courts:
(a) Appointments and transfer.
(b) Powers, functions and jurisdiction.
7. Centre, States and local bodies:
(a) Distribution of legislative powers
between the Union and the States.
(b) Local bodies.
(c) Administrative relationship among
Union, State and Local Bodies.
(d) Eminent domain – State property –
common property – community
8. Legislative powers, privileges and
9. Services under the Union and the States:
(a) Recruitment and conditions of
services; Constitutional safeguards;
(b) Union Public Service Commission and
State Public Service Commissions –
Power and functions
(c) Election Commission – Power and
10. Emergency provisions.
11. Amendment of the Constitution.
12. Principles of natural justice – Emerging
trends and judicial approach.
13. Delegated legislation and its constitutionality.
14. Separation of powers and constitutional
15. Judicial review of administrative action.
16. Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal etc.
1. Nature and definition of international
2. Relationship between international
law and municipal law.
3. State recognition and state
4. Law of the sea: Inland waters, territorial
sea, contiguous zone, continental
shelf, exclusive economic zone, high
5. Individuals: Nationality, statelessness;
Human rights and procedures
available for their enforcement.
6. Territorial jurisdiction of States,
extradition and asylum.
7. Treaties: Formation, application,
termination and reservation.
8. United Nations: Its principal organs,
powers, functions and reform.
9. Peaceful settlement of disputes –
10. Lawful recourse to force: aggression,
11. Fundamental principles of international
humanitarian law – International
conventions and contemporary
12. Legality of the use of nuclear weapons;
ban on testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear – non proliferation treaty, CTBT.
13. International terrorism, state
sponsored terrorism, hijacking,
international criminal court.
14. New international economic order and
monetary law: WTO, TRIPS, GATT,
IMF, World Bank.
15. Protection and improvement of the
human environment: International
PAPER - II
Law of Crimes:
1. General principles of criminal liability:
Mens rea and actus reus, mens rea in
2. Kinds of punishment and emerging
trends as to abolition of capital
3. Preparation and criminal attempt.
4. General exceptions.
5. Joint and constructive liability.
7. Criminal conspiracy.
8. Offences against the State.
9. Offences against public tranquility.
10. Offences against human body.
11. Offences against property.
12. Offences against women.
14. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
15. Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and
subsequent legislative developments.
16. Plea bargaining.
Law of Torts:
1. Nature and definition.
2. Liability based upon fault and strict
liability; Absolute liability.
3. Vicarious liability including State
4. General defences.
5. Joint tort feasors.
11. False imprisonment.
12. Malicious prosecution.
13. Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law:
1. Nature and formation of contract/Econtract.
2. Factors vitiating free consent.
3. Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable
4. Performance and discharge of
5. Quasi- Contracts.
6. Consequences of breach of contract.
7. Contract of indemnity, guarantee and
8. Contract of agency.
9. Sale of goods and hire purchase.
10. Formation and dissolution of
11. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
12. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
13. Standard form contracts.
Contemporary Legal Developments
1. Public Interest Litigation.
2. Intellectual property rights – Concept,
3. Information Technology Law including
Cyber Laws – Concept, purpose/
4. Competition Law- Concept, purpose/
5. Alternate Dispute Resolution –
6. Major statutes concerning environmental
7. Right to Information Act.
8. Trial by media.
Literature of the following languages
NOTE (i) : A candidate may be required
to answer some or all the questions in
the language concerned.
NOTE (ii) : In regard to the languages included
in the Eighth Schedule to Constitution,
the scripts will be the same as
(B) of Appendix I
relating to Main Examination.
NOTE (iii) : Candidates should note that
the questions not required to be answered
in a specific language will have to be answered
in the language medium indicated
by them for answering papers on Essay,
General Studies and Optional Subjects.