Legum Doctor (Latin: "teacher of the laws") (LL.D.;
Doctor of Laws
Doctor of Laws in
English) is a doctorate-level academic degree in law, or an honorary
doctorate, depending on the jurisdiction. The double "L" in the
abbreviation refers to the early practice in the University of
Cambridge to teach both canon law and civil law (Doctor of both laws),
with the double "L" itself indicating the plural. This contrasts with
the practice of the University of Oxford, where the degree that
survived from the Middle Ages is the DCL or Doctor of Civil Law
2 European and Commonwealth usage
5 South Africa
6 United Kingdom
7 United States
8 See also
Most Canadian universities that award the degree of Doctor of Laws
(LL.D.) award it only as an honorary degree, but typically when
awarded by a law school, it is an earned degree. Of the universities
in Canada that offer earned doctorates in law, five Francophone or
bilingual universities - (Université de Sherbrooke,  University of
Ottawa, University of Montreal, Laval University, and
University of Quebec at Montreal) - offer the LL.D.
European and Commonwealth usage
In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, the degree
is a higher doctorate usually awarded on the basis of exceptionally
insightful and distinctive publications that contain significant and
original contributions to the study of law. Some universities, such as
the University of Oxford, award a Doctor of Civil
Law degree instead.
In South Africa, the LL.D. is awarded by many university law faculties
as the highest degree in law, also based upon research and completion
of a Ph.D. equivalent dissertation as in most European countries; see
Law in South Africa. The LL.D. may also be awarded as an
honorary degree based upon a person's contributions to society.
Germany, as in many other continental European countries, does not
distinguish between PhD and LL.D. academic degrees. German
universities award the doctoral degree in law as a "Doctor of Law"
(Dr. Iur.) instead of a PhD, which literally means "Doctor of
Philosophy" (Dr. Phil.), and is traditionally reserved for doctoral
dissertations in the field of social and political sciences. The
degree of Dr. iur. usually requires independent academic research of
up to 4 years. The doctor of law as an honorary degree is called
"doctor honoris causa" (Dr. h.c.). The German academic system also
knows a form of higher doctorate in law which is awarded after
completion of a second dissertation (Habilitation) and is a
prerequisite to teach law at (German) universities. The completion of
the habilitation is indicated by adding "Habil." to the title (Dr.
In Malta, the European Union's smallest member state, the LL.D. is a
doctorate-level academic degree in law requiring at least three years
of post-graduate full-time study at the University of Malta,
Malta's national university. At least three years of previous law
study are required for entry. Students are required to complete
coursework in a number of core areas of law, as well as to submit a
thesis which is to be "an original work on the approved subject or
other contribution to the knowledge showing that he/she has carried
out sufficient research therein". It confers the title of Doctor,
Malta is rigorously used to address a holder of the degree.
The LL.D. is one of the requirements for admission to the profession
of advocate in
Malta (an advocate, as opposed to a legal procurator,
has rights of representation in superior courts).
In Malta, practising lawyers are of three designations – notaries,
legal procurators and advocates. The
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree
is an undergraduate degree that of itself is not sufficient for
admission into any of the legal professions. A one-year full-time
taught post-graduate diploma of Notary Public (N.P.) is required after
the LL.B. for admission to the profession of notary public, while a
taught post-graduate diploma of Legal Procurator (L.P.) is required
for admission to the profession of legal procurator. A legal
procurator is a lawyer in
Malta that has rights of audience in the
lower courts, a profession that was existent in
Malta as early, and
even prior to 1553. All three professions also require members to
be holders of a warrant issued by the President of Malta, obtainable
after a minimum of one year of work experience in that profession, and
examination. It is not possible for a Maltese lawyer to hold a warrant
in more than one of the professions at a time.
Notable holders of the LL.D. degree include Dr. Ugo Mifsud Bonnici
(former President of Malta), the late Prof.
Guido de Marco
Guido de Marco (former
President of the United Nations General Assembly and former President
of Malta), the late Dr.
George Borg Olivier
George Borg Olivier (first post-independence
Prime Minister of Malta), and Dr.
Lawrence Gonzi (former Prime
Minister of Malta).
For Doctor of
Law in South Africa, see Doctor of law § South
In the UK, the degree of
Doctor of Laws
Doctor of Laws is a higher doctorate, ranking
above the PhD, awarded upon submission of a portfolio of advanced
research. It is also often awarded honoris causa to public figures
(typically those associated with politics or the law) whom the
university wishes to honour. In most British universities, the degree
is styled "Doctor of Laws" and abbreviated LLD, however some
universities (such as Oxford) award instead the degree of Doctor of
Civil Law, abbreviated DCL.
In former years, Doctors of
Law were a distinct form of
Law who were empowered to act as advocates in the
ecclesiastical, probate and admiralty courts. The Doctors had their
own Inn, which was called Doctors' Commons.
Charles Dickens spent some
of his youth working in this branch of the law. The last surviving
member of Doctors' Commons, Dr Thomas Tristram, wrote the first
editions of a textbook on trusts still in use today. In 1954, a case
was brought under long-dormant law in the High Court of Chivalry.
The opening arguments in that case were by George Drewry Squibb, who
was simultaneously distinguished as a barrister, a doctor of laws, and
a historian. Squibb argued, to the satisfaction of the court, that
since the modern class of Doctors of Laws were no longer trained as
advocates, their role must necessarily be performed by barristers.
This was because Victorian reforms, which had unified the other
classes of court attorney into the single profession of Barrister, had
overlooked the Doctors of Law.
In the United States of America, the LL.D. is awarded as an honorary
degree only. The terminal academic law degree is the Scientiae
Juridicae Doctor (S.J.D. or J.S.D.), equivalent to the Ph.D.
Scientiae Juridicae Doctor (S.J.D. or J.S.D.)
Doctor Juris Utriusque (D.J.U.)
Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Master of Laws
Master of Laws (LL.M.)
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.)
Doctor of Canon
^ "Doctorat en Droit". Université de Sherbrooke. Retrieved
^ "Graduate Studies in Law". University of Ottawa. Retrieved
^ "Presentation". University of Montreal. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
^ "Index des programmes" (in French). Laval University. Archived from
the original on 2009-06-02.
^ "Doctorat en droit". University of Quebec at Montreal. Retrieved
^ "Welcome to the Faculty of Laws Website". University of Malta.
2009-07-16. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
^ "Guidelines Regarding LL.D. Theses". University of Malta.
2009-07-16. Archived from the original on 2009-01-23.
^ "Legal Procurators". Malta: Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs.
Archived from the original on 2008-08-20.
^ a b Squibb, George Drewry (1995). The High Court of Chivalry: A
Study of the Civil
Law in England. Oxford University Press.
Levels of academic degree
ISCED level 5
Higher National Diploma/Diploma of Higher Education/Certificate of
ISCED level 6
ISCED level 7
ISCED level 8
Candidate of Sciences
No dominant classification