What is the Chamber of Advocates and what does it do?

The first statue of the Chamber of Advocates was approved on 18th January  1877; when the few advocates then practicing before the Maltese Courts and Tribunals, formed the ‘Camera degli Avvocati’. Through the years, the Chamber became known as the ‘Kamra tal-Avukati’. It is a self-regulatory body representing all warranted advocates in Malta; and acts on behalf of its members when lobbying and negotiating with the Government and other regulatory authorities. It also seeks to provide a structure ensuring that advocates act within the required standards of ethics and professionalism both with clients as well as with their peers.


What is the membership base of the Chamber of Advocates?

There are presently  over 800 lawyers registered as members of the Chamber of Advocates; its organisation and operation is determined by the members themselves, through its organs, bodies and forms of organisation.


What other bodies regulate the profession of advocacy in Malta?

The Commission for the Administration of Justice was set up on the 3rd June 1994, by means of Act 369 of the Laws of Malta.

Its main goal is that of supervising the workings of the Courts, the members of the Judiciary and the members of the legal profession. The Committee for Advocates and Legal Procurators is incorporated within this Commission.

The Commission shall, in the exercise of any of its functions in relation to the professions of Advocates and Legal Procurators, act through this committee; including any matter concerning the misconduct of an advocate or legal procurator in the exercise of their profession.

Click here for further information


Are advocates regulated by a Code of Ethics?

Following the setting up of the Commission for the Administration of Justice, a Code of Ethics for advocates was drawn up in consultation with and approved by the Kamra and was eventually promulgated by the Commission. The Code of Ethics binds advocates with the force of law; and the adjudicating authority is the Committee for Advocates and Legal Procurators.


What are the requirements to become an Advocate in Malta?

In order to practice as an Advocate in Malta, one needs to be in possession of a Warrant issued by the President of Malta under the Public Seal of Malta.

According to Section 79 of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedures no person may exercise the profession of advocate in the courts of justice in Malta without the authority of the President of Malta granted by warrant under the Public Seal of Malta.

Section 81 of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedures also provides the requisites necessary to be able to obtain such a warrant:

  • is of good conduct and good morals;
  • is a citizen of Malta or of a Member State or is otherwise permitted to work in Malta under any law;
  • has obtained the academic degree of Doctor of Law (LL.D.)* in accordance with the provisions of the Statute, Bye-Laws of the University of Malta,… or a comparable degree from such other competent authority in accordance with the principles of mutual recognition of qualifications, after having read law in Malta or in a Member State;
  • has, after satisfying the requirement of paragraph (c), or, in the case of persons regularly following the academic course of law in the University of Malta, at any time after the commencement of the last academic year of the said course, for a period of not less than one year regularly attended at the office of a practising advocate of the Bar of Malta and at the sittings of the Superior Courts;
  • possesses a full knowledge of the Maltese language as being the language of the Courts;
  • has been duly examined and approved by two judges who shall issue, under their signature and seal, a certificate attesting that they have found the {applicant} to possess the qualifications above-mentioned and that the {applicant} is competent to exercise the profession of advocate in the courts of Malta. (Chapter 12, Title V, Pg. 25)

Section 82 of the same legislation indicates that  “A conviction by any competent tribunal for any crime liable to imprisonment of a term exceeding one year, other than involuntary homicide or other crime against the person excusable in terms of the Criminal Code, shall be cause of perpetual disability to practise the profession of advocate”

(Chapter 12, Title V, of the Legal Profession, The Laws of Malta)


Can the Chamber of Advocates give legal advice?

As the self-regulatory body representing all warranted advocates in Malta, the Chamber of Advocates is unable to give legal advice. A lawyer may be identified through the Find a Lawyer search engine on the website


How do I find a lawyer?

The website provides a list of Members whose contact details and area of practice in Malta can be found through the search engine Find a Lawyer. A lawyer practicing in the European Union can be found through the EU portal on the website.


I require legal advice but cannot afford to pay a lawyer. Who do I contact?

Arrangements exist for legal aid to be provided free of charge to persons who are unable to pay for such services. A means test is required in this particular case.

More information may be obtained from : Legal Aid Malta Tel. No. 25674330 or by clicking here.

 


I am not sure that my lawyer is giving me correct legal advice. Can the Chamber help me?

Unless there is a case of gross negligence, the Chamber does not intervene in such cases.


Please recommend a lawyer with expertise in a particular area of law?

The Chamber of Advocates cannot recommend one lawyer over another. A lawyer may be identified through the Find a Lawyer search engine on the website.


I want to make a complaint against a Lawyer.

Any complaint, to the Chamber of Advocates, against a lawyer must be made in writing within a month from receipt of invoice if complaint is about fees; and within three months from when the complainant became aware of  any misbehavior by a lawyer if the complaint is about action of a Lawyer in the course of carrying out his/her profession. A representative of the Chamber of Advocates will mediate for a solution to minor issues primarily related to release from  lawyers’ services. More serious complaints  should be directed to: The Commission for the Administration of Justice, The Grandmaster’s Palace,  St George’s Square, Valletta.


I am not sure I am able to afford to pay for the services of a lawyer? What is the fee?

Lawyer’s fees vary depending of the expertise and experience of the individual lawyer, as well as the type of legal advice required.

Some lawyers charge a fixed fee, others work on an hourly rate, and consequently the final cost could depend on the length of the case. Certain costs are regulated by the lawyers’ Tariff whilst others may be negotiated directly with the lawyer. The lawyer should give the client an indication of the costs during the first visit. Guidelines on Fees to be charged by Advocates for services rendered are available on the Downloads Section of this website.

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