Budget does not address court problems – Delia

Miguela Xuereb

Budget 2020 did not address the issues afflicting our Court, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said in the House of Representatives on Friday.

In a statement the Opposition said that it would like to see the justice system improved, claiming that the Minister for Justice lacks vision when planning its budget. Delia added that the Ministry for Justice failed to identify existing issues, and therefore will not be able to address or even solve them.

Delia spoke of the time one has to wait for a decision to be delivered, the mediation center, and the digitization of the courts.

Speaking on the issue of digitization, the Opposition Leader observed that not all decisions and decrees were uploaded to the Courts website. Adding, that this was not serving those who wished to use the ecourt system. He criticised the online court services website as being very basic. Delia noted that the laws of Malta are not complete, adding the Acts of Parliament available online start from 1964 however ordinances from the previous years are not available online. He argued that when Parliament abrogates a law from that time, anyone who is interested in reading further does not have access to the original ordinance online.

Further, the Opposition leader also observed that a number of recommendations put forward by the Bonello Commission have been shelved. These include when a law is declared to be unconstitutional by the First Hall of the Civil Court in its Constitutional Jurisdiction and the Constitutional Court, the law should bind everyone not just the parties to the case. Secondly members of the judiciary presiding over the Constitutional Court should not preside over other courts to avoid accumulating a backlog.

The Opposition Leader put forward a number of recommendations to improve the justice sector. The proposals include strengthening different alternatives of dispute resolution, unnecessary waiting time should be avoided, improved and efficient use of technology, the publication of a revised edition of the laws of Malta, an Inquiring Magistrate should serve only as an inquiring magistrate, among other proposals.