Law Syllabus For UPSC-Check Here

UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam is made up of Law as one of the Optional Subjects with 2 papers paper 2 and paper 2. Each paper is equal to 250 marks adding up to 500 marks.

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 authority.
  3. The relationship between fundamental rights, directive principles and fundamental duties.
  4. The 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)   The administrative relationship between Union, State, and Local Bodies. (d)  Eminent domain – State property – common property – community property. 8. Legislative powers, privileges, and immunities.

  1. Services under the Union and the States:

(a)  Recruitment and conditions of services; Constitutional safeguards; Administrative Tribunals. (b)  Union Public Service Commission and State Public Service Commissions – Power and functions (c)  Election Commission – Power and functions. 10. Emergency provisions.

  1. Amendment of the Constitution.
  2. Principles of natural justice – Emerging trends and judicial approach. 13. Delegated legislation and its constitutionality.
  3. Separation of powers and constitutional governance.
  4. Judicial review of administrative action.
  5. Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal, etc.

International Law


  1. Nature and definition of international law.
  2. The relationship between international law and municipal law.
  3. State recognition and state succession.
  4. Law of the sea: Inland waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, high seas.
  5. Individuals: Nationality, statelessness; Human rights and procedures available for their enforcement.
  6. The 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 – different modes.
  10. Lawful recourse to force: aggression, self-defense, intervention.

11.Fundamental principles of international humanitarian law – International conventions and contemporary developments.

  1. Legality of the use of nuclear weapons; the ban on the testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear – nonproliferation treaty, CTBT.
  2. International terrorism, state-sponsored terrorism, hijacking, international criminal court.
  3. New international economic order and monetary law: WTO, TRIPS, GATT, IMF, World Bank.
  4. Protection and improvement of the human environment: International efforts.

PAPER – II Law of Crimes


  1. General principles of criminal liability: Mens rea and actus reus, men’s rea in statutory offenses.
  2. Kinds of punishment and emerging trends as to the abolition of capital punishment.
  3. Preparation and criminal attempt.
  4. General exceptions.
  5. Joint and constructive liability.
  6. Abetment
  7. Criminal conspiracy.
  8. Offenses against the State.
  9. Offenses against public tranquility.
  10. Offenses against the human body.
  11. Offenses against property.
  12. Offenses against women.
  13. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  14. Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and subsequent legislative developments.
  15. Plea bargaining.

Law of Torts


  1. Nature and definition.
  2. Liability based upon fault and strict liability; Absolute liability.
  3. Vicarious liability including State liability.
  4. General defenses.
  5. Joint tortfeasors.
  6. Remedies.
  7. Negligence
  8. Defamation
  9. Nuisance
  10. Conspiracy
  11. False imprisonment.
  12. Malicious prosecution.

Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

  Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law


  1. Nature and formation of contract/Contract.
  2. Factors were vitiating free consent.
  3. Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable agreements.
  4. Performance and discharge of contracts.
  5. Quasi- Contracts.
  6. Consequences of breach of contract.
  7. Contract of indemnity, guarantee, and insurance.
  8. Contract of the agency.
  9. Sale of goods and hire purchase.
  10. Formation and dissolution of the partnership.
  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, types/prospects.
  3. Information Technology Law including Cyber Laws – Concept, purpose/prospects.
  4. Competition Law- Concept, purpose/prospects.
  5. Alternate Dispute Resolution – Concept, types/prospects.
  6. Major statutes concerning environmental law.
  7. Right to Information Act.
  8. Trial by media.