Department of Institute of Oriental Canon Law

Licentiate in Oriental Canon Law (LOCL)

The LOCL programme which comprises of three years (six semesters) aims at specialization in Oriental Canon Law chiefly through a profound study of the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium. This Code will be studied in comparison with the Latin Code, the Codex Iuris Canonici. The law governing the administration of the Roman Curia, Pastor Bonus, will complete the study of the entire Corpus Iuris Canonici. Besides these, the particular laws of various Oriental Churches will be treated as required. The study of these and other connected disciplines will be carried out with proper attention to juridical methodology. The study programme consists of lectures, seminars and a scientifically prepared thesis.
 Lectures on different titles of the Oriental Code will be offered as principal courses. The related disciplines such as the philosophy and theology of law, the public ecclesiastical law, elements of civil law, canonical institutes, history of canon law, etc. will be auxiliary subjects. The principal as well as auxiliary courses are compulsory for all students.


Requirements for Admission

  • For admission to the LOCL programme, the applicant should have a Bachelor's degree in Theology (BTh) or its equivalent (preferably with a first class).
  • The applicants, if they are clerics or religious, must be presented by their Hiearch or Major Superior as the case may be. In the case of lay candidates they shall be recommended by a competent person in good church standing, acceptable to the Athenaeum.


  • Registration for the LOCL programme is to be done at the beginning of the academic year.
  • The students shall duly register for seminars before the due date mentioned in the Handbook.
  • The LOCL programme is spread over three academic years (six semesters).  During the period of the study it is obligatory that the students reside in Bangalore. Students are expected to complete all the requirements of the LOCL programme in three years time. If they fail comply with it, they may re-register and pay tuition fees for the fourth academic year.


  • The study methods adopted for the degree of Licentiate programme are such that they promote multi-disciplinary enquiry and practical appreciation of problems of theri area of specialization. The Code of canon law of the Church are to be understood in the light of the theological and ecclesiological principles laid down by the Second Vatican Council and other relevant Church documents. A comparative study of CCEO and CIC with practical application to the inter-ritual, ecumenical and multi-religious context of India will also be emphasized.
  • The method of teaching involves lectures, discussions, case studies, tutorials and seminars. The study programme is largely facilitated by the fact that before the commencement of the semester, the students may be given a set of reading material containing the course outline, teaching plan, reading lists and a fairly large volume of study materials in respect of each course. They consist of case studies, judicial decisions, articles, excerpts from reports, etc. With these materials in hand the students are expected to come prepared for the class and actively participate in the class discussions.
  • Written assignments, tutorial courses, seminars and a scientifically prepared thesis are envisaged so as to combine library research with case studies and legal writing. They are valuable instruments for self-study and help to develop in the students varied skills in the assimilation of knowledge and critical writing. It helps them also to improve their analytical abilities and communication skills.

Courses and Credits:

The courses of LOCL are organized on the basis of credits. A credit is a unit of teaching/learning experience equivalent to about 15 periods of class with the corresponding amount of personal work. The courses offered may be of one or more credits. The courses are divided into principal, auxiliary and optional. The following is the list of courses offered during the six semesters:

Language Requirements: Every student is expected to attain thorough proficiency in Latin language. Besides Latin, they are also expected to have a working knowledge in at least two ancient languages (Syriac, Greek, and Sanskrit) required for the study and research of canonical sources and one modern language besides English (Italian, German, French, Spanish, etc.).

Evaluation of Courses: Each course will be evaluated by the course instructor according to the norms, given in the statutes of the Institute. The evaluation will comprise both an ongoing evaluation of the students, participation in course discussion and assignments, as well as a final evaluation of the student's comprehension of the subject by means of a written test or an oral examination. A subject with one credit may be evaluated with an oral examination. The respective teachers do the assessment of seminars and electives. The course outline, the teaching plan as well as the evaluation Scheme will be made available to the students at the beginning of the semester or course itself. If a course is taught by more than one teacher, they will jointly organize the examination.

The marks obtained in the semester examinations will count for 60% of the student's final rating in the LOCL course. The remaining 40% will be from the comprehensive examinations and thesis.

Optional Courses and Seminars: The optional subjects and seminars vary each year according to the demand of students and the availability of teachers. Each student is expected to take at least two optional courses (one credit each) and one seminar (3 credits) every year. The optional course may also be done as tutorial if the number of students is insufficient to conduct it as a regular lecture programme. The seminars are intended to provide a forum for the ongoing sharing and discussion by the students on current canonical issues. The requirements for seminars are a written paper and its discussion together in a group under the guidance of the teacher.

Comprehensive Examinations: Students of Licentiate will have a comprehensive examination both written and viva voce at the end of the sixth semester. The written examination will be on the basis of the principal courses and will last three hours. The oral examination will be of an hour before a panel of four examiners and will be based on a number of topics selected from the entire Corpus Iuris Canonici. For the computation of the final marks the comprehensive examination will carry a weightage of 5 credits.

Thesis:  Each student should write a thesis of 20,000 — 25,000 words in the area of his/ her specialization. Registration for the thesis shall be made latest at the beginning of the fourth semester. The student selects the topic of his/her choice with the approval of the Director. The Director in consultation with the residential staff of the Institute gives the final approval of the guide from the two names of Guides selected by the student as the guide of the thesis. A scheme of the thesis has to be submitted to the Director for approval. The scheme shall include the relevance of the theme, sources, methodology, outline of chapters, and bibliography. The thesis, written in the format prescribed by DVK, should be submitted at least one month before the end of the sixth semester. Examination on the thesis is conducted in public at the end of the sixth semester in the presence of a panel of three examiners appointed by the Controller of Examinations in consultation with the Director. The examination on the thesis shall have the duration of one hour. The specific concern of the thesis examination will be deeper insight into and integral comprehension of the matter of specialization and the demonstration of scientific methodology. For the computation of the final marks the thesis will carry a weightage of 5 credits.

The Degree of LOCL:  The Licentiate in Oriental Canon Law enables one to be admitted to the doctorate in Oriental / Latin Canon Law. It also entitles one to teach in a major seminary and to take up various ecclesiastical offices, which require, according to canon law, such a title.

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