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01.09.2020 

GħSL in contact with the University, Faculty of Laws on EU, Revision of Paper and September Examination Issues -

Following the Press Release published by all three law student organisations earlier this month, Għaqda Studenti tal-Liġi has remained in consistent contact with a large number of stakeholders, discussing a large number of issues, including:
 
a) the Dean of the Faculty of Laws with regards to the issue of the change in the Revision of Paper procedure, as well as the remaining marks for a number of dissertations presented by LL.B. IV students;
b) the Dean of the Faculty of Laws, as well as the Deputy Dean and members of the EU Law Department, with regards to next year’s ECL2001 (European Union Law) study-unit;
c) the University of Malta, with regards to reports of Administrative and Lecturer shortage within the Faculty of Laws.
 
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Earlier today, GħSL was informed about an email sent by the Faculty in relation to the Revision of Paper applications for the PBL1015 (Constitutional Law) and PBL3010 (Introduction to Private International Law) study-units. In his reply, the Dean of the Faculty of Laws explained that the interim reports mentioned in said correspondence will be published prior to the resit examinations which start from tomorrow.
 
While said interim reports do not include the underlying reasons for the decision taken by the Board of Examiners on said papers, they ought to be clear enough, in Dr Mifsud’s own words that “the students will know where they stand.”
 

GħSL has also been in consistent contact with the Faculty, in order to ensure that the remaining dissertation results. While a number of different reasons were given for this delay, and despite the repeated assurances that these marks are at their final stages prior to being published, this organisation still believes that this delay is unnecessary, unacceptable and unreasonable.

 
GħSL will be in contact with the University Registrar in order to ascertain whether the refund procedure is to be affected in light of these new developments.
 
In turn, GħSL will also remain in contact with Dr Mifsud to ensure that this revision-of-paper procedure remains an interim one, will run as smoothly as possible and that no student will end up negatively prejudiced as a direct result of these changes.
 
Moreover, GħSL will continue pressuring the Faculty to ensure that these remaining dissertations are corrected and published as soon a possible.
 
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Last week, members of the GħSL Executive Board and the Student Representative Committee were present with a virtual meeting with both the Dean, together with the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Laws and Head of Department of EU Law, Dr Ivan Sammut.
 
GħSL’s proposal that the ECL3004 (EU Internal Market Law) is to be moved from second semester to first semester was well received, however due to a current shortage in lecturing staff within the said department, there seems to be a lack of clarity on whether the ECL2001 (European Union Law) study-unit is to be taught at all.
 
This is because, after the call for lecturers was initially issued, the University of Malta still has to interview the applicants, and the procedure for recruitment is still to be finalised. While there may exist a best case scenario where both study units will be held according to plan, there unfortunately exists a real possibility that a number of students will not be taught such an integral part of their studies in LL.B. III, to their own academic detriment.
 
In the light of all of this, we urge the University of Malta to ensure that this process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible; therefore, reducing the that the students starting their third year of studies next October will not be prejudiced against, due to overwhelming, bureaucratic delays.
 
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GħSL is also very much aware of a current shortage of members of the Faculty Administration, rendering what was already a very difficult situation even worse. This problem has already been highlighted by the Dean himself in passing, as well as other members of the Faculty, and GħSL is of the belief that such a shortage will only lead to further delays, further problems and an even more tense environment within the Faculty in itself.
 
GħSL immediately sought to bring this problem to light by contacting the Rector of the University of Malta, Prof. Alfred Vella, repeatedly. Unfortunately, there has been no reply on this issue to date.
 
The under-staffing within the Faculty has already led to a stressful situation for all those involved (academics, students and staff alike). If the situation isn’t resolved soon however, this organisation fears that us students can only face further delays in the publication of results, timetables and other basic administrative functions.
 
The situation at present borders on the untenable, and it’s the students enrolled within the Faculty of Laws which end up taking the brunt of the negative effects. Further well-known issues remain unresolved, but this specific issue only exacerbates the problem further, especially when the solution seems evident to almost everyone involved.
 
GħSL calls upon the University Administration to take whatever steps are necessary, in order to solve this crucial problem, and to discuss with the Faculty representatives all the required steps in order to ascertain that the Faculty has all the tools and resources to operate effectively and efficiently.
 
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Finally, GħSL would like to wish good luck to all those students who are currently sitting for their September Examination Session, which start today.
 
This organisation has consistently sought to represent students and bring to light their issues, and it remains committed in doing so wherever necessary. Once again, we invite all students and relevant stakeholders to engage in discussion on any of these issues mentioned.