University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Matrimonial Law: Canonical, Maltese, European

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Pastoral Theology, Liturgy and Canon Law

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will provide a comprehensive study of the Church’s present-day legislation on marriage. It will also focus on the civil law framework applied to marriage with a special emphasis on the position in Malta and in the EU. The topics will be discussed in the light of specific theoretical and practical frameworks with reference to impact and effect of marriage law on the spouses as well as individual members of the family.

Study-unit Aims:

The objective of this study-unit is to introduce students to the canonical doctrine on marriage and to help them familiarise themselves with the norms of the Catholic Church which regulate this sacrament and the requirements for its valid and fruitful reception.

It also sets out to acquaint students with basic legal norms relating to marriage law and marital breakdown in Malta and in the EU.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

-- appreciate the Church's legislation on marriage,

-- appreciate the benefits of an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to marriage,

-- know what makes a valid marriage and the circumstances which allow for its dissolution

-- evaluate the impact of domestic civil legislation pertaining to marriage and marital breakdown

-- become acquainted with prevailing judgements of the ECJ and ECHR relating to marriage

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills):
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

-- individuate the possible sources of nullity or dissolution of marriage as well as possible remedial solutions.

-- enhance personal academic and practical knowledge for the assistance of client groups requesting advice and or support in this area of expertise;

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

-- The 1983 Code of Canon Law

-- The Malta Marriage Act

-- SCICLUNA C., The Essential Definition of Marriage according to the 1917 and 1983 Codes of Canon law, An Exegetical and Comparative Study, University Press of America, 1995.

-- GERALD T. JORGENSEN (editor), Marriage Studies, Volume V: Sources in Matrimonial Law, Canon law Society of America, 2004.

-- McAREAVEY J., The Canon Law of Marriage and the Family, Four Courts Press, 1997.

-- WOESTMAN W.H., Special marriage cases: Non-consummation, Pauline Privilege, Favour of the faith, Separation of spouses, Validation-Sanation, Presumed death, Ottawa 1994

-- AA.VV., Diritto Matrimoniale canonico, vol. I, Studi Giuridici, LVI, 2001; Vol. II, Studi Giuridici, LXI, 2003; Vol. III, Studi Giuridici, LXIII, 2005.

-- AA.VV., Matrimonio e disciplina ecclesiastica, Quaderni della Mendola, vol. 3, a cura del Gruppo Italiano Docenti di Diritto Canonico, Glossa Milano, 1996.

-- CHIAPPETTA L., Il Matrimonio nella Nuova Legislazione Canonica e Concordataria (Manuale giuridico-pastorale), Rome 1990.

-- D’AURIA ANGELO, Il matrimonio nel diritto della Chiesa: commento ai canoni 1055-1165 del Codice di Diritto canonico, Lateran U. Press, 2003.

-- D’AURIA ANGELO, Gli impedimenti matrimoniali, Lateran University Press, 2007.

--SABBARESE L., Il matrimonio canonico nell’ordine della natura e della grazia, Urbaniana University Press, 2006.

The Marriage Act, Chapter 255, Laws of Malta

The Civil Code, Chapter 16, Laws of Malta (selected articles)

The Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure, Chapter 12, Laws of Malta (selected articles)

European Convention on Human Rights

Charter of the EU; Directives of the EU (tba); Case law of the ECJ and ECHR(tba)

Farrugia R., Brussels II BIS - Its Impact and Application in EU Member States. BOELE-WOELKI, K. and "GONZALEZ BEILFUSS, C. (eds), Intersentia, 2007 ; FARRUGIA R., The Impact of EU Legislation on Maltese Family Law, Research on the Family, Monograph Series Number 2, published by the National Family Commission, 2007; Farrugia R., The Position in Malta Juxtaposed to The Principles of European Family Law: Divorce and Maintenance in Orucu E and Mair J. (eds), Juxtaposing Legal systems and the principles of European Family Law on Divorce and Maintenance, Intersentia, 2007, ISBN 978-90-5095-577-5, pp. 99-128

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite qualifications
First Degree in Theol., Law, Psych., or Social Work

Pre-Requisite Study-units
Law & Justice in Church (MA Canon Law Students)


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 50%
Case Study Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Joseph Bajada
Ruth Farrugia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
Measuring Divinity - Inter Faculty Colloquium
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21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017
The 21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017 will be celebrated on the 5th and 6th December 2017 with two lectures delivered by Rev. Prof. Theodore Dieter.

Closing Date Dissertation Proposals
Deadline to present dissertation proposals for next Faculty Board is Wednesday 29th November 2017 at 1700hrs

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