Pedro Daniel Oliveira

From academic year 2016/2017 onwards, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) is going to offer master’s and doctoral programs in Law to strengthen links between Macau and Portuguese-speaking countries.

“The master’s degree in Lusophone and Public International Law will solely cover subjects related to all members of the Portuguese-speaking world, in areas already identified by us, such as Environmental Law, Commercial Law, Administrative Law, Law of the Sea, International Law and Humanitarian Law. This is a course oriented towards the business field, covering both Civil Law and Common Law,” Dr Francisco Leandro told O CLARIM.

Dr Leandro is in charge of the aforementioned program, which includes a module dedicated to the Basic Law of Macau and another on European Union Law. The master’s degree also focuses on trade and on Comparative Law between Macau and the Portuguese-speaking countries.

The teaching language is English, but all the documentation for students will be presented simultaneously in Portuguese and Traditional Chinese. “English is a comprehensive language for all communities. And this is very important for us not to exclude anyone,” stressed Dr Leandro.

Furthermore, the goal is to have “a course with great quality, not merely for the masses. One that is based on a master’s and doctoral program.” The first will be entirely taught at USJ, while the latter will be taught at Catholic University of Portugal, either in Lisbon or Oporto, after certain grade requirements are achieved in Macau.

“In other words, the doctoral program will have conditions of access, since pupils have to meet certain average grades in the master’s, which is yet to be defined. In addition they can pursue a higher level of education in Portugal,” he added.


“The University of Saint Joseph doesn’t have a tradition of teaching Law in Macau. Moreover, there’s a training offer among graduates in Macau, which exceeds the demand. The Rector [of USJ Father Peter Stilwell] understands the importance of establishing the Institute for Social and Legal Studies, which aims to promote advanced training in law,” explained Dr Leandro.

Those who have completed their degree in Law, or in other fields, and want to earn their specialization are all eligible to enroll in the program. “Since we can’t develop such a project alone, we have formed several partnerships for this end. We have started now with Rui Cunha Foundation under the Institute of Social and Legal Studies. And we also strengthened ties with the Catholic University of Portugal,” he concluded.

The master’s and doctoral programs in Law at USJ is designed for lawyers, advisors, senior staffs, legal translators and journalists, as well as professionals from other fields.

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