A meeting was held today, where Student Representatives met with the Dean of the Faculty of Laws, Profs Kevin Aquilina, to discuss the rumoured changes within the law course. Concerned about the course they are to follow after successfully finishing the LL.B. course first year and second year law students put forward questions regarding the structure and duration of the law course.
The law course will no longer be spread over 6 years but will be spread over 5 years. As already in force, the LL.B. Honours course will be 4 years long, in line with the LN411-Byelaws for LL.B.(Hons),LLB and Dipl LP-E-FAC. What is currently uncertain is the type of degree which will be awarded after successfully finishing the fifth year of study. This decision depends on a decision which Parliament is yet to take.
The most impending question, which is still not decided, and is worrying a lot of students is what type of degree one must obtain before being qualified to obtain a warrant to practice law. According to the Student Representatives two scenarios are possible:
If Parliament decides that someone in possession of a Master Degree in Law will be eligible to sit for a warrant exam, the degree awarded after the fifth year of study would be a Master’s degree. This Master’s degree will be academically equal to the LLD degree which is awarded to law students who complete six years of study. This would mean that law students will not be awarded the title of “Dr” on the accomplishment of the Master’s degree. However, a student completing the course would be covering the same material as covered by a previous student being awarded the honourable title of “Dr”.
If Parliament decides to keep to the current situation and award an LLD to all students who complete the fifth year of study, the decision would be contrary to the Bologna process.
Student Representatives advise “that no ulterior action is taken until further developments come to [their] knowledge”.