Monday, July 31, 2017
At a formal ceremony attended by many dignataries, the Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law (JSW Law) in Bhutan presented its first batch of 25 students at its temporary academic campus at Taba, Thimphu on Saturday, July 29, 2017.
The ceremony marked the start of the five-year undergraduate programme in law and the completion of the bridging course that began on July 3, 2017. The Class of 2022 consists of 25 students, who were selected from 499 applicants. The students were chosen according to a process that included of their Grade XII BCSEA national examinations, their score on a custom-designed law school admission test (LSAT), and their score in a personal interview with members of the JSW Law faculty.
There are 13 women and 12 men in the class and they hail from 15 of Bhutan's twenty Dzongkhags. They also represent 19 of Bhutan's 58 Higher Secondary Schools and Central Schools.
The formal opening ceremony was graced by the Law School’s Honorable President, HRH Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck. Guests included the Venerable Vairochana Rimpoche and Yonten Lopon, members of the Law School’s Governing Council, officials from the Royal Government of Bhutan, and foreign dignitaries and donors.
The students were presented to the Honorable President, followed by Zhudrey Puensum Tshogpa. The event concluded with Tashi Lebey and the blessing of the campus by the Vairochana Rimpoche.
Upon the Royal Command of His Majesty The King, the nation’s first law school, JSW Law, was founded as an independent, autonomous tertiary educational institution. His Majesty granted the Royal Charter for the institution on February 21, 2015, envisioning JSW Law as a world-class law school that promotes Bhutanese culture, traditions, and customs and complements wider efforts to develop long-term legal capacity and institutions in the Kingdom of Bhutan. JSW Law is supported by the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Government of India, the international law firm White & Case LLP, the U.S.-based Karuna Foundation, and the Austrian Development Agency. The U.S.-based Fulbright Commission has also sent two Fulbright specialists to the campus.
The first-year curriculum includes a course in Legal Composition and Rhetoric, part of a three-semester legal skills program at the new school.
(Adapted from a JSW Law School Press Release).
PHOTO: Legal writing professors David Austin (California Western School of Law) and Mark E. Wojcik (The John Marshall Law School-Chicago) in traditional dress, in a photo taken after the ceremony to formally open the school. Professors Austin and Wojcik are Fulbright Specialists working at the law school until October. Photo by Judy Stark.