TMID Editorial: The Law Course – A Suggested Improvement That Should Be Considered

Thursday saw an important annual meeting for the legal field, with the opening of the Medico-Legal Year. While the Covid-19 pandemic has made ceremonies a little different this year, limiting Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti to delivering his speech through a statement rather than a formal speech; his words still echoed on the pitch.

A particularly interesting part of the new Chief Justice’s speech was his appeal to the government, as well as the University of Malta, to consider revisions to the current law course “so that a more specialized course is developed, which is aimed at all aspiring lawyers who would like to work in the courts.

In his remarks, Chetcuti said that although a large number of students graduate each year, only a small number of these new lawyers end up making it to the courthouse.

“There is already a problem, where only a small number of lawyers work in the Courts, and if this problem is not sufficiently addressed, we will have in the near future a situation where there will be no choice. ‘lawyers who would be willing to work in courts, and an even narrower choice of practicing lawyers from whom judges or prosecutors can be chosen, ”Chetcuti said.

Chetcuti’s words are relevant – indeed, as he himself puts it, the fewer lawyers there are working in the tribunal, the smaller the pool of people who could become judges or magistrates – something which, s If it comes to fruition, could be a concern when it comes to the country’s rule of law.

Concern over such a small group of people to choose from also comes at a time when the number of magistrates and judges has increased, with the government hoping that the courts can finally catch up with the backlog of years of pending cases. it is oriented towards.

Therefore, it is essential to make the necessary improvements within the University of Malta Law School in order to prepare new lawyers for the courtroom.

However, this is not something that can be done by simply changing the course schedule, which lasts for four years, but then requires an additional year at the Masters level in order to obtain a mandate to practice.

It’s no secret that the Faculty of Law is one of the most criticized at the University of Malta. Over the years, student organizations have criticized the faculty on certain issues; In the past year alone, there have been criticisms of delays in the publication of exam or thesis results, the EU Legal Service and postponement of an exam because questions were not answered. not part of the program.

With this in mind, any idea of ​​changing the law course offered at the University of Malta must also look at things holistically, keeping in mind the internal structures of the faculty which must ultimately be the driving force behind anything new. course or program.

The words of the Chief Justice mean that this is no longer strictly an academic question; Obviously, the by-product of any changes that may arise will ultimately have an effect on the legal profession as a whole and, by extension, on the rule of law of the country as well.

The words of a man as important as the Chief Justice should not fall on deaf ears. Certainly, if there is room for change then it should be explored with a view to seeking solutions that will ultimately leave a positive imprint on the sector and the country as a whole.

Nancy I. Romero

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