The National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) was established by Act 27 of 2005 of the Kerala State Legislature. By the same Act, the National Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) established by the Bar Council of Kerala Trust in 2002 merged with the NUALS. In 2008, an amendment streamlined the powers and functions of the authorities of the University and ensured the active involvement of the Government of Kerala. The University is recognized by the University Grants Commission under section 2(f) and section 12B of the UGC Act. It is also a member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).