University of Malta
UNIVERSITY OF MALTA 
FACULTY OF LAWS
Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) Degree


 
Last updated on 9th october 2003.

                                                                                           UNIVERSITY OF MALTA 
                                                                                                

                                                                            FACULTY OF LAWS
 
 

                                                                    GUIDELINES REGARDING LL.D. THESES

  
Page Index 

A. FUNCTIONS OF FACULTY BOARD                                                

1. Approval of titles                                                                             3 
2. Appointment of supervisors/specialist assistants                               3 
3. Topic to be susceptible of research at LL.D. level                             3 
4. Availability of material                                                                       3 
5. Board of Examiners                                                                         4 
6. Review Committee                                                                           5 
7. Deadlines                                                                                        5 

B.       OBLIGATIONS & RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS               6 

C.       FUNCTIONS OF SUPERVISORS                                              

D.        REGULATIONS FOR THE LL.D.THESES 

1. Cover                                                                                            10 
2. Paper Quality and Typographical Detail                                           10 
3. Pagination                                                                                     11 
4. Word Limit                                                                                     11 
5. Preliminaries                                                                                 11 
6. Text                                                                                              12 
7. End Matter                                                                                    13 
 

E.      RECOMMENDATIONS TO STUDENTS                                     15 

1. General observations                                                                    15 
2. What is Research?                                                                        16 
3. Methodology                                                                                16 
4. Basic rules                                                                                   17 
5. Use of the Library                                                                         17 
6. Resources in the Library                                                               18 
7. Using the sources in the library                                                     18 
8. Evaluation of Sources                                                                  18 
9. Writing the thesis                                                                         19 

F.       FORM FOR SUBMISSION OF TITLE AND PROPOSAL 
          FOR LL.D. THESIS                                                               21 
 
 
 
 

A. FUNCTIONS OF FACULTY BOARD 

1. Approval of titles 

When considering a title for approval, the Faculty Board should determine whether that the particular area to be researched (I) has already been the subject on an LL.D. or M.Jur. or M.A. (Financial Services) or M Phil thesis within the Faculty, or (II) has already been allocated to some other LL.D. or M.Jur. or M.A. (Financial Service) or M.Phil student within the Faculty.  This function should be delegated to the Head of Department within whose area the area to be researched falls.  For this purpose, the Faculty Office at which the proposed title is to be considered, circulate to Heads of Department a full list of all the proposed titles together with relevant thesis proposals.  Thesis proposals are to be submitted on a standard form, a copy of which is annexed to these guidelines. 

Where the area to be researched substantially overlaps with the subject of a thesis which has been already been approved or which is to be submitted by some other student, this should not necessarily hinder the approval of the title – provided that the Faculty Board is satisfied that the approach to be adopted by the student varies significantly from that adopted in the previously approved title. 

2. Appointment of supervisors/specialist assistants 

No title should be approved unless the Faculty Board is satisfied that a properly qualified member of the academic staff of the Faculty or a properly qualified "specialist assistant" from outside the Faculty would be available to supervise the thesis.  Even where a specialist assistant is appointed, a member of the academic staff should always be appointed as the supervisor. 

The Head of Department under whose Department the research proposal falls should recommend to the Faculty Board the name of a supervisor and, where appropriate, that of a specialist assistant.  Such recommendation should be made after the Head of Department has consulted with the said persons and has obtained their confirmation that they would be willing to act in such capacities. 

3. Topic to be susceptible  of research at LL.D. level 

No title should be approved unless the Faculty Board is satisfied that the particular area chosen by the student is capable of being researched to the level required for an LL.D. thesis. 

4. Availability of material 

When considering a title for approval, the Faculty Board should also take into account whether adequate material will be available in Malta or elsewhere for the conduct of  proper research. 

5. Board of Examiners 

(a) The Faculty Board shall appoint a Board of Examiners for each thesis submitted. 

(b) The Board of Examiners shall be composed of three members to examine the thesis.  One of the Examiners shall be designated by the Faculty Board as the Chairman of the Board of Examiners. 

 (c) Options open to Examiners 

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) below, the Examiners, after reading the thesis, shall examine the candidate orally.  A candidate is required to present himself for the oral examination at such a place as the Faculty may direct and upon such day as shall be notified.  A candidate shall bring to the oral examination a copy of the thesis paginated in the same way as the copies presented for examination. 

(2) There are options open to Examiners in determining the result of the examination, as follows: 

(i) If a thesis is adequate and the candidate satisfies the Examiners in the oral examination, the Examiners will report that the thesis be approved, and give a mark and grade. 

(ii) If a thesis is otherwise adequate but requires minor amendments and the candidate satisfies the Examiners in the oral examination, the Examiners may require the candidate to make, within one month, amendments specified by them.  The amended thesis shall be submitted to the Examiners or one of their numbers nominated by them for confirmation that the amendments are satisfactory. 

(iii) If the thesis, though inadequate, seems of sufficient merit to justify such action, the Examiners may determine that the candidate be permitted to re-present the thesis in a revised form within 6 months.  Examiners shall not, however, make such a decision without submitting the candidate to an oral examination.  The Examiners may at their discretion exempt the candidate from taking a further oral examination. 

(iv) If the thesis is adequate but the candidate fails to satisfy the Examiners at the oral examination, they may determine that the candidate be permitted to re-present the same thesis, and submit to a further oral examination within a period not exceeding three months which will be specified by the Examiners. 

(v) The Examiners may determine that the thesis is inadequate and that it be not approved.  The Examiners shall not, however, save in very exceptional circumstances, make such a decision without submitting the candidate to an oral examination.  Where the Examiners determine that the thesis is inadequate and that it be not approved, the candidate will not be permitted to re-submit the thesis even in a modified form, but the candidate may apply for a further period of study leading to the submission of a thesis on a different topic. 

6. Review Committee 

A Review Committee of the Faculty Board shall be set up to review and examine the reports on the progress achieved in writing the thesis submitted by the students.  The Committee shall pass on the report and comments or recommendations to the Faculty Board. 

7. Deadlines 

The Faculty Board shall review the proposed title and outline of each submission and reach a decision within a reasonable time. 

Notification of the decision on the proposed title and outline, and in case of an affirmative reply together with the name of the supervisor and / or specialist assistant shall be communicated forthwith . 
 

B. OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS 

1. The student shall submit a thesis which shall be an original work on the approved subject or other contribution to the knowledge showing that he/she has carried out sufficient research therein. 

2. Before the closing date for the submission of the thesis title the student is advised to discuss his proposed area of research and title with the appropriate Head of Department and/or other member of the Academic staff prior to submitting the Title to the Faculty Board. 

3. The student shall submit the appropriate form requesting the approval of the title for the thesis, copy of which is annexed to these guidelines. 

The application form shall include: 

(a) The proposed title, which describes the content of the thesis accurately and concisely. 

(b) The thesis proposal, which shall consist of a brief outline of the content of the research, not exceeding 500 words. 

(c) A list of materials consulted in preparation of the proposed thesis. 

(d) Names of lecturers with which the student has consulted. 

4. The application form for approval of the title for the thesis shall be submitted by the student for the approval of the Board at any time after he has been admitted to the LL.D. course but, unless there is a good and sufficient cause to the satisfaction of the Board, not later than the end of the fourth semester of the   course. 

5. After receiving notice of the acceptance of the title as proposed, the student should seek regular meetings with his supervisor and specialist assistant.  As a general guide, it is recommended that meetings should be held on a monthly basis throughout the period of research.  It is usually convenient to arrange the date and time of the next meeting at the conclusion of each supervision meeting.  In the event that the student encounters an urgent problem, the supervisor should, as a rule, attempt to deal with the matter over the telephone or otherwise arrange a meeting at short notice. 

6.  Every effort should be made to be well prepared for each meeting. 

7. Written work should be regularly submitted to the supervisor and specialist assistant.  The written work will initially consist of a tentative framework of the whole work, then outlines of specific chapters and eventually complete chapters or sections thereof. 
 

8. In the initial stages of the research, the student should plan out the various aspects    of the research.  Special attention should be given to the following matters: 

- The formulation of a plan of action within the time available for the research.  Such a plan should identify the stages at which the various points of the research should have been completed.  Every effort should be made to register progress within the parameters of such a plan. 

- The drawing up of a broad framework or outline of the intended work.  The framework or outline should be regularly updated and expanded. 

- To identify and add any treatises, statutes, treaties, periodical literature and judgements that may be relevant to the area of study. 

9. The student should, on a three monthly basis commencing from the date of the approval of the title, submit to the Faculty Board a brief report indicating the progress being achieved in his research.  Prior to submission to the Faculty Board, the student should submit a copy of the report to the supervisor and specialist assistant for their endorsement or comments. 

10. The student may submit his thesis for the approval of the Faculty Board after he has completed the first four semesters of the LL.D. Degree course and before the end of the sixth semester of the course. 

11.  As soon as thesis is completed 3 loose leaf copies should be submitted to the Faculty Office for the examiners. When viva is completed, and when examiners have approved the thesis the student may then bind 5 hard copies with black covering. A student must also submit 10 softbound copies and a diskette in order to be available for other students. 

12.   The student, when submitting this thesis, shall sign a declaration stating that it is his own personal work. 
 
 

C. FUNCTIONS OF SUPERVISORS 
 

1. The supervisor should at least have a broad knowledge of the student’s area of study.  If the area of study is significantly outside the supervisor’s field, the Faculty Board should appoint a specialist assistant.  Where a specialist assistant has been appointed, the supervisor and the specialist assistant should agree on a broad division of responsibilities for the supervision of the thesis. 

2. The primary function of the supervisor and specialist assistant should be to highlight and to guide the student past the common traps and pitfalls that face the inexperienced researcher.  The supervisor and specialist assistant should also provide advice and moral support at those times of self-doubt and pressure which inevitably confront all but the brilliant, over-confident or insensitive students. 

3. Regular meetings should be held between the supervisor and the student.  As a general guide, it is recommended that meetings are held on a monthly basis throughout the period of research.  It is usually convenient to arrange the date and time of the next meeting at the conclusion of each supervision meeting. 

4. Supervision meetings will obviously vary in length depending on the nature of the matters under discussion and the progress being achieved by the student.  On average however, it is expected that each meeting lasts for approximately one hour.  Supervisors should, as far as possible, ensure that the meeting is uninterrupted by telephone calls or other business. 

5. A student should be given adequate response on written work.  The response may be orally or in writing and should preferably be given within one month of the submission of the written work by the student.  If the supervisor feels that he would be unable to respond to the written work submitted to him within a month, then the supervisor should communicate with the student and establish a reasonable time within which the response can be made. 

6. If the student has an urgent problem, the supervisor should attempt to deal with the matter over the telephone or otherwise arrange a meeting at short notice. 

7. In the initial stages of the supervision, the supervisor should help the student to plan out the various aspects of the research.  Special attention should be given to the following matters: 

- To assist the student in the formulation of a plan of action within the time available for the research.  Such a plan should identify the stages at which the various points of the research should have been completed.  Students should be advised of the desirability of achieving progress within the parameters of such a plan. 

- To give advice on the methodology of research, on the style of writing and on other conventions relating to research. 

- To recommend libraries or institutions (in Malta and abroad) that may have relevant material available. 

- To suggest possible avenues for research. 
 

- To encourage regular meetings and to stress the importance of the regular submission of written work. 

8. In reviewing the student’s work, the supervisor and specialist assistant should pay particular attention to (and give appropriate guidance on) the following: 

- The need for depth and originality in the analysis.  (Theses are sometimes largely derived and lack any evidence of the student’s own contribution). 

- The need for a proper use of language, clarity of thought and a logical flow of ideas and argumentation. 

- The need to be concise and to avoid repetition. 

- The need to avoid discussions or expositions of irrelevant issues. 

- The proper and consistent observance of basic editing conventions relating to quotations, footnotes and references to statutes, treaties, judgements, treatises, periodical literature and other documentation. 

9. The supervisor and specialist assistants should alert the student to any conferences, seminars, courses, workshops or other research work related to the student’s field of study.  Where necessary, an appropriate introduction should be made. 

10. The supervisor or the specialist assistant (as appropriate) should, if they deem it fit, endorse or otherwise comment on the brief report to be submitted by the student to the Faculty Board concerning progress in the research. 

11. The supervisor and specialist assistant should also immediately bring to the notice of the Dean or the Faculty Board (i) any significant problem that may be impeding the supervisor or specialist assistant in the exercise of his duties, and (ii) any particular problem that they feel ought to be referred to the Faculty Board. 
 
 

D. REGULATIONS FOR THE PRESENTATION OF THESES 

1. Cover 

The cover of the 5 hardbound copies should only be BLACK not any other colour. 

1.1 Binding 

The thesis shall be bound within boards.  The binding shall be of a fixed kind in which leaves are permanently secured.  The boards shall have sufficient rigidity to support the weight of the work when standing upon a shelf. 

1.2 Cover Title 

The outside front board shall bear the title of the work, which shall be in at least 24 pt (8mm) type.  The name and initials of the candidate, the designation "LL.D. thesis" and the year of submission shall be shown.  If the cover material bears any design, the design shall be clear of any lettering. 

1.3 Spine Title 

The spine of the work shall bear in at least 24pt (8mm) type, if practicable, the surname and initials of the candidate, the designation "LL.D. thesis" and the year of submission.  This information shall normally be printed along the spine in such a way as to be readable when the volume is lying flat with the front cover uppermost.  If the work consists of more than one volume the spine shall also bear the number of each volume. 

2. Paper Quality and Typographical Detail 

2.1 Methods of Production 

Theses shall be presented in a permanent and legible form in typescript or print.  Characters shall be not less than 10pt.  Typing should be of even quality, with clear black characters.  Copies produced by xerographic or comparably permanent processes are acceptable provide they are of good and even quality. 

2.2 Paper 

A4 size paper should be used.  Paper shall be of good quality and of sufficient opacity for normal reading.  Both sides of the paper may be used provided legibility is not thereby impaired. 

2.3 Layout 

Margins at the binding edge shall be not less than 40mm and other margins not less than 20mm.  Double or one-and-a-half spacing shall be used in typescript, except for indented quotations or footnotes where single spacing shall be used. 

3. Pagination 

3.1 Page numbering 

All pages must be numbered in one continuous sequence, from the title page to the last page of the type, in Arabic numerals from 1 onwards.  This sequence must include everything bound in the volume, including, appendices, bibliography and index. 
 
 

3.2 Position of page numbers 

Page numbers shall be located centrally at the bottom of the page, approximately 10mm above the edge. 

4. Word Limit 

The thesis shall not be longer than 35,000 words.  The prescribed length refers to the whole thesis including the main text, footnotes and appendices, but excluding preliminaries and other functional parts, such as the bibliography and index.  Only in exceptional cases following a recommendation by the supervisor or specialist assistant to that effect. 

Extension to the word limit may be granted after an application in writing to the Board explaining the reasons.  Such an extension may be granted only in exceptional cases.  The Board may follow any recommendation by the supervision to that effect. 

5. Preliminaries 

5.1 Title page 

The title page shall give the following information in the order listed: 

i. The full title of the thesis and the sub-title if any; 

ii. The total number of volumes if more than one and the number of the particular volume; 

iii. The full name of the author, followed, if desired, by any qualifications and distinctions; 

iv. An indication that the thesis is submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of LL.D; 

v. The designation "Faculty of Laws, University of Malta"; 

vi. The month and year of submission. 
 
 
 

5.2 Abstract 

The title page should be followed by an abstract consisting of no more than 300 words.  The abstract should be a concise summary of the work, containing the fundamental concepts and conclusions. 
 
 

5.3 Dedication 

Some candidates like to dedicate their work.  To do so is entirely optional.  Where a dedication is made, the dedication pages should follow the abstract. 

5.4 Table of contents 

The table of contents shall immediately follow the Abstract.  It shall list in sequence, with page numbers, all relevant subdivisions of the thesis, including the titles of chapters, sections and subsections, as appropriate; the table of judgments; the table of statutes; the table of treaties; the bibliography; the list of abbreviations and other functional parts of the whole thesis; any appendices; the index (if provided). 

5.5 Tables of statutes, judgements and treaties 

The tables of statutes, judgements and treaties shall follow the table of contents. 

5.6 Acknowledgements 

Any acknowledgements shall be on the page following the tables of statutes and judgements. 

5.7 Abbreviations 

Where abbreviations are used a key shall be provided.  Abbreviations may be used at the discretion of the author.  For an abbreviation not in common use, the term shall be given in full at the first instance followed by the abbreviation in brackets. 

6. Text 

6.1 Introduction 

The first chapter of the thesis shall be preceded by an introduction, so headed, defining the relation of the thesis to other work in the same field and referring appropriately to any findings or propositions contained in the thesis and to any important points about sources or treatment. 
 
 
 

6.2 Chapters and sections 

Theses shall be divided as appropriate into chapters, sections and subsections.  The system of headings shall be consistent and should provide a clear indication of changes in content, emphasis and other features which occur at each stage of the work. 

6.3 Headings 

The headings recommended are: 

(1) Main headings, which should be used for chapters or sections and should be in full capitals; 

(2) Subsidiary headings, which should be used for subsections consisting of associated paragraphs, should be above the line of the text and should use initial capitals. 
 

6.4 Note numbering 

Numbers typed as superscripts, or, if on the line, in square brackets, immediately following the relevant word or phrase in the text should identify footnotes in the text.  Footnotes should be restricted to serving the following functions: 

(a) to state  a source 

(b) to acknowledge a borrowing 

(c) to refer the reader to another part of the thesis 

(d) To develop an idea or expand a quotation where to do so in the text would disturb the flow or the balance of the writing. 

Footnotes should always be used with restraint.  If none of the above criteria are met, then an appendix is probably more suitable. 

7. End Matter 

7.1  Appendices 

Appendices shall follow the main text and precede the index (if provided).  Appendices may consist of supporting material of considerable length or of lists, documents, commentaries, or other evidence, which, if included in the main text, would interrupt its flow.  The style of appendices shall be consistent with the style of the main text. 
 

7.2   Bibliography 

The Bibliography should not be limited to the works used or consulted, but should include also those which are pertinent to the topic. 

- The bibliography should be classified in some form or other, for e.g., treatises first, then periodical literature and then other documentation. 

- Works should be listed alphabetically according to author (or Editor, if the authors are many).  For e.g., 

In the case of treatises: 

John H. Dunning, Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy (1993). 

Peter Hertner and Geoffrey Jones (ed.), Multinationals: Theory and History (1986) 
In the case of periodical literature: 

George Ashe, "Lifting the Corporate Veil: Corporate Entity in the Modern Day Court" 73 Commercial L.J. 121 (1973). 

Guido Calabrasi, "Some thoughts on Risk Distribution and the Law of Torts"  70 Yale L.J. 499 (1961) 

7.3  Index 

An index is entirely optional. 
 
 
 

 E. RECOMMENDATIONS TO STUDENTS UNDERTAKING RESEARCH FOR THE LL.D. THESIS 
 

1. General observations 

The LL.D. regulations require the thesis to be "an original work on the approved subject or other contribution to the knowledge thereof showing that the student has carried out sufficient research therein." 

Unlike a student assignment, the LL.D. thesis is intended for use by somebody else.  Even though the thesis is not usually published, it will at least be available in the law library and may be consulted by others – the judiciary, practitioners, academics or students – interested in the general field of study or particular aspects thereof.  A thesis should however go further than merely imparting information.  It should invite the discipline of other minds.  And an author should not fear the criticism or debate that a good thesis generates.  Rather, what the author should fear most is a lack of interest in what he has written – because it is so trivial or trite that no one notices it at all.  Indeed there is little to be gained by writing something that others may already know.  The LL.D. thesis should make a difference to what is already known. 

The LL.D. thesis is not merely an exercise in essay writing on an extended scale.  The thesis has to be more severely argued and more rigorously shaped and presented.  In addition, the thesis must be accurately and consistently documented.  Proper methodology is a key to the successful completion of the thesis.

Research work is an exercise in intellectual exploration and development.  Attention to research techniques is essential. 

The student should adopt a critical approach to the research.  A thesis cannot be approved 
If it lacks evidence of the student’s own contribution. 

The thesis should be clearly expressed.  Proper use of language, clarity of thought and a logical flow of ideas and argumentation are essential. 

The thesis should be concise.  Repetition and irrelevant side issues should be avoided. 

Basic editing rules should be observed, especially regarding quotations, footnotes and the citation of statutes, judgements, treatises, periodical literature and other documentation. 

Students are advised to acquire keyboard and word-processing skills.  This will enable the student to make more efficient use of the time available. 

2. What is Research? 

Research is the investigation about a properly limited topic, and the presentation of its results in a carefully organized and documented paper.  Moreover, to research is to pose and answer a problem, or at least to attempt a convincing answer.  It is not merely to study it.  Study is of course a necessary tool of research, but only as a means to an end. 

There are different types of research: e.g., 

- Academic Research: through the resources of libraries, this type of research yields significant data and values on a given topic.  This type of research takes place mostly in the library.  Legal research usually falls within this category. 

- Scientific Research: same as above.  In a more restricted sense, it has to do with the exact sciences and takes place mostly in the laboratory. 

- Social Research: studies man in his social environment and seek to improve his understanding of groups and institutions.  Fieldwork is its main resource. 

- Technological Research: the application of the sciences to the needs of industry and production.   This type of research mostly takes place in laboratories and factories. 

A thesis should not consist of a restatement of what is already known.  Rather, it should be concerned with what is unknown, misunderstood or misinterpreted.  Facts, which are already familiar to potential readers, should therefore be stated as concisely as possible.   Only when the critical aspects of the research is reached should the discussion be expansive. 

It follows from what has been said above regarding the nature of research that considerable care must be exercised when choosing a theme for research.  Students are therefore urged to discuss with members of the academic staff the potential of their proposed theme before submitting a title and outline to the Faculty Board. 
 

3. Methodology? 

Methodology is the science of method for the sake of research.  Methodology establishes rules and principles governing the effective use of the sources of information, leading to a systematic exposition of the fruit of one’s research. 

In legal research, the sources of information can be many and varied, ranging from newspapers and interviews to treatises, judgements, periodical literature, treaties and official and unofficial records and documentation.  The use made of the information from these sources is more often than not unsystematic.  Methodology is an essential key to effective research. 

4. Basic Rules 

A number of basic rules need to be highlighted.  Their implementation will go a long way towards ensuring successful research: 

- Define properly and limit the topic of your research (according to time and space). 

- Develop an interest and possibly an enthusiasm for it, through reading, questioning, reflecting. 

- Read as much as possible of the material available on the chosen field, including the work of other researchers and commentators. 

- Assemble this material in a synthetic and systemic way. 

- Examine such material critically, adding your own reflections and conclusions, thus making a real contribution to knowledge. 

- Start drafting as early as possible, even before having collected most of the materials needed.  Early drafts will no doubt require considerable re-writing.  But the process involved in re-writing will provoke a considerable degree of thinking and re-thinking that is so essential to proper analysis and originality. 

5. Use of the Library 

Legal research is essentially a library-based exercise.  An effective working knowledge of the library where the research is being carried out will pay considerable dividends.  Students who do not familiarise themselves with the law collection and associated materials will find the time spent in the particular library to be frustrating and unproductive. 

Legal research usually requires knowledge not just of the present law but also of its development, including criticism and suggestions for reform as have been made. 

To find information about the chosen subject, the following sources may need to be consulted: 

Acts of Parliament 
Delegated legislation 
Judgements 
Textbooks and treatises 
Periodical articles 
Treaties 
Relevant government publications 
Reports and commentaries in newspapers 
Bills and Parliamentary Debates 

6. Resources in the Library 

a) Bibliographies:  these are comprehensive or special lists of books brought together with some unity of subject or purpose. 

b) Current Periodicals and Magazines: these too are usually displayed in the Reading Room and can be consulted, but usually not borrowed. 

c) Call Materials: Books, which can be borrowed through the Library Assistants, electronic computers, etc., after consulting the Card Catalogue. 
 

7. Using the sources in the library (You can also view a list of Books in the Law Library situated at the Faculty of Laws on this website too)

- Get familiar with the Card Catalogue and the system of classification in a given library. 

- There may be different Card Catalogues: one for the Author, and one for the Title or/and subject matter.  The most useful are those libraries equipped with a single Card Catalogue having authors, titles and subject matter all in the same index. 
 

8. Evaluation of Sources 

Not all the material you find will be of equal value or equally useful: hence evaluation is necessary.  It can be of two kinds. 

a) Personal Evaluation (internal evidence): 

- By reading the biographical note on the book flap. 

- By reading through the table of contents. 

- By reading the preface or introduction. 

- By reading sample passage here and there. 

- By asking the Librarian  or his Assistants. 

b) Reader’s evaluation (external evidence): 

- Look around for critical reviews published in newspapers or periodicals. 

- Consult a Book Review Digest, containing reviews of books in general or in a given area.  A number of periodicals (for e.g., the Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly) publish reviews of books and articles on legal subjects. 

9. Writing the thesis 

(1) Reading 

After having established the topic of your thesis, start using the material you have acquired (books or periodicals) by reading extensively.  This may lead you to a further limiting of your topic, especially if you should soon discover that the original topic was too vast for your purpose.  Reading at this stage need not necessarily be too systematic, especially if the books you want to read are not available to you all at one go.  What is important, however, is that you take note of what you read. 

(2) Note taking 

Various ways are possible, depending on the means available.  What follows is an example: 

- Have a set of cards available (6 x 9cms) for ready use. 

- Every item of interest you come across in your reading, pertinent directly or indirectly to your topic, will be noted down on a separate card: on top of the card (left hand side) put down the item, and in the blank write down a further specification on it, ending up with the reference. 

- If you come across an important passage which you might want to quote in your paper, refer to it carefully for later use; if the passage is short, write it down on the cad; if it is long and you envisage that the book will not be easily available to you again, either copy it on a sheet of paper or make a photocopy of the relevant passage.  In either case the copy should be properly numbered and cross-referenced to the card. 

(3) Organizing the Paper 

- When you have gathered enough material, covering sufficiently your topic in its main aspects work on the principle of analysis and synthesis, thus: 

- Classify your cards according to topics, bringing together related items.  If the parts or chapters of the thesis have been established beforehand (as is mostly the case when the student is working closely under the direction of a supervisor or specialist assistant, who are generally more familiar with the subject and the material related to it), this classification would be according to the chapters; if not, the titles of the chapters would come out by themselves from the classification. 

(4) First Draft 

When the work of classification and card arrangement has been completed to your satisfaction, let it "simmer" quietly and take a rest, during which be prepared to note down any ides or intuitions that might come to mind.  These intuitions may have to do with your classifications, or more likely with the interrelationship or connection that exists between different items that exist in your classification, or between one part and another of your paper. 

Then at last you are ready to write it down, mentioning, explaining  and elaborating one by one your different items, showing their nexus  and mutual relationship, in the form of any essay; at these stages you will also include important quotations from your cards or extra sheets to corroborate your point. 

You may find it hard to get started, but you must be prepared to scrap the first two or three attempts.  After a while, you will find this hard work extremely rewarding. 

The first draft will usually form an appropriate basis for the subsequent re-writing that will almost certainly be necessary.  Each draft should be read over a couple of times for possible improvements and corrections. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

F. FORM FOR SUBMISSION OF TITLE AND PROPOSAL FOR LL.D. THESIS 

SURNAME:  ______________________________________________________ 

NAME:  ______________________________________________________ 
 

I. PROPOSED TITLE:   ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
 
 

II. TENTATIVE OUTLINE: (Not to exceed 500 words)   (To be given on a separate sheet) 
 
 

III. MATERIAL CONSULTED IN PREPARATION OF THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL:  (To be given on a separate sheet) 
 
 

IV. MEMBERS OF THE ACADEMIC STAFF OF THE FACULTY WITH WHOM THE STUDENT HAS CONSULTED: 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
 
 

______________________      __________________ 
          Signature                                 Date 

 


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