LAW COURSE STRUCTURE
The course is intended to lead to either the Notarial Profession or to the Advocacy Profession.
The First Part of the course consists of four (4) years which are common to all students reading for the Bachelor of Laws with Honours Degree. The First Part is primarily intended to provide a basic understanding of the substantive elements of the Maltese and other Legal Systems. During the fourth and final year of the First Part, students have to present a Dissertation of not more than 12,000 words. Total 240 ECTS.
Alternatively, students have the option to either read for a Bachelor of Laws Degree which consists of the first three (3) years of the Bachelor of Laws with Honours Degree, or else read for a Bachelor of Laws Degree with the Diploma of Legal Procurator which are followed concurrently for three (3) years. However, choosing one of these two routes means one cannot continue onto the Second Part of the course. Total 180 ECTS.
Upon the successful completion of the First Part, students would then have the option to proceed to the Second Part of the course. Students can choose to either read for a one (1) year Masters Degree focusing on Notarial Studies, or for a one (1) year Masters Degree focusing on Advocacy Studies.
The second and final part is intended to provide an understanding on the procedural elements of the Notarial and the Advocacy Professions. During this year, students must attend Professional Practice relating to the area of studies they opted for. Total 90 ECTS (60 ECTS taught subjects, 30 ECTS professional practice).
For someone to obtain the Professional Warrant for either a Notary Public or a Lawyer, after successfully completing the five (5) year course, he must pursue an additional one (1) year Professional Practice according to the profession of his choice, and sit for the Warrant Exam according to the Notarial Council and the Chamber of Advocates requirements.
The Chamber of Advocates and the Notarial Council are the two bodies which regulate the Advocacy and Notarial Professions, respectively.
For someone to obtain the warrant to practice one of the chosen professions, he must first complete two (2) years of Professional Practice and sit for the Warrant Exam. No one can practice his chosen profession without first obtaining the Professional Warrant, and further, no one can hold more than one Professional Warrant at any given time.
The first year of Professional Practice forms the second part of the law course, and is regulated by the Faculty of Laws in conjunction with the Chamber of Advocates and the Notarial Council. It carries 30 ECTS.
The second year of Professional Practice has to be taken after the successful completion of the Masters Degree in either Advocacy or Notarial studies, and is regulated independently from the Faculty of Laws. At the end of the two years, one would be able to sit for the Warrant Exam organised by the Chamber of Advocates or the Notarial Council, depending on the profession to which the warrant pertains.
Compiled by Joshua Chircop & Patrick Gatt.