Law students: more Maltese, please

Two-thirds of students surveyed by the Junior Chamber of Advocates agreed that both Maltese and English should be used during lectures

The Junior Chamber of Advocates said over half of University of Malta law students want a greater degree of Maltese to be incorporated into their course.

Over half of students from the Faculty of Laws surveyed by the junior chamber felt that English should not be the sole language used in legal education at the University of Malta.

The majority said they did not want English to be completely abandoned during lectures, but said students had a hard time reading court documents and proceedings in Maltese when English is used as the language of instruction for lectures.

READ MORE MaltaToday Survey | In bilingual Malta, Maltese is the spoken language of choice

Of the 66 students surveyed, spanning all stages of the LL.B degree, along with students at a Master’s level. 63.6% of respondents were female, and 36.4% were male.

Only 10.6% of students agreed that English should be the sole language used during the course, while 78.5% of students felt that both English and Maltese should be incorporated into the course.

Students felt they should be able to sit for exams in both English and Maltese. Only 18.2% of students agreed that English should be the sole language during exams while 62% of students said that both options should be available.

40.9% of students also said that they found conversing in Maltese more difficult than in English, while 36.4% disagreed. To help remedy this, 68.2% of students agreed that both Maltese and English should be used during lectures. Only 13.6% of students said they thought only English should be used during lectures.

53% of students said that they found it more difficult writing essays in Maltese than in English, with only 18.2% disagreeing.

From class to courtroom

In terms of speaking Maltese in court, 30% of students said they would feel more comfortable in an English-based moot court while 45.4% disagreed. 42.5% of students, also said that listening to judgements in court was difficult to comprehend due to them being in Maltese, while 45.5% disagreed.

The majority of students, 78.5%, said that they found it challenging to use Maltese law terms in practice because they were taught to them in English.

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