The Faculty of Laws is one of the oldest Faculties of the University. Indeed, the teaching of Public and Civil Law, together with Canon Law, was already well established when the Pubblica Università di Studi Generali was set up under Grand Master Pinto in 1769. Within the Maltese legal system it performs an indispensable function, being the only institution in Malta authorised to award the degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), which is required in order to qualify as an Advocate, Magistrate or Judge in Malta. Moreover the Faculty serves as the national focal point for research and scholarship concerning Maltese Law.
Technically speaking, the Maltese legal system is defined as a “mixed” legal system, which blends Common and Civil law elements. This characteristic, which derives from Malta’s historical vicissitudes and which has now acquired a new emphasis with European Union membership, is the source of one of the greatest strengths of the Faculty. The training it gives to students equips them to cope with and bridge the divide between the Common and Civilian families of legal systems. Thus the Faculty produces graduates who have an equal familiarity with the leading classics of Civilian jurisprudence and with the latest textbooks in English Common law, an important asset in an age of globalisation.
For purposes of teaching and research, the Faculty is divided into eight Departments dealing respectively with Civil, Commercial, Criminal, European, International, Media, Communications and Technology Law, Environmental and Resources and Public law. Currently over 1,000 students attend courses in the Faculty. These courses include the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) course, which is a broad based undergraduate degree in Law which equips students to read for the professional postgraduate Doctorate in Laws (LL.D.) course, also taught by the Faculty. Recently the Faculty has also developed a range of post-graduate courses, primarily at the Masters level, which reflect its areas of expertise in the fields of European law, Public International law, Financial Services and Mediation and Human Rights. During the past decade, the Faculty has also published a bi-annual journal, the Mediterranean Journal of Human Rights and developed a Reading Room, which houses materials relevant to various areas of specialisation.