Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The death has just been announced of Chief Justice JJ Cremona at the age of 102. Prof Cremona was the architect of the Independence Constitution of Malta. Besides having an eminent legal career, Cremona was also a historian and a poet.
During the negotiations for Malta’s independence Cremona was Malta’s attorney general and he was the main drafter of the constitution. His career including serving as a chief justice.
He was also the first Maltese to serve as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. His contribution was significant and he was even nominated a vice-president of that court. He was even active as the chair of the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Besides serving on the bench, Cremona was a professor at the University and his books on Malta’s constitutional history were among the textbooks used by law students.
Among the many honours awarded him was that of Companion of the Order of Merit of the Maltese Republic, Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur, Knight Grand Cross of the Italian Order of Merit, and Knight of the Order of Malta.
Condolences pour in
Following the news, many have offered the condolences to the family of the chief justice emeritus.
In a statement, the government described Chief Justice Emeritus Prof. J.J. Cremona as one of the best legal minds that this country has ever seen, who left a “priceless legacy” in legal fields, particularly those concerning constitutional and administrative law.
“He will be remembered as a giant in our nation’s history,” the government said.
Prime Minister Robert Abela described the chief justice emeritus as one of the brightest legal minds this country has ever seen and a true guardian and custodian of the constitution.
Partit Nazzjonalista said that the chief justice emeritus was crucial in the drafting of Malta’s constitution. It mentioned that he had served as a judge, chief justice, attorney general and vice-president of the European Court of Human Rights.
Professor J.J. Cremona had also chair the the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
It offered its condolences to the family.
“Malta loses one of its brightest legal minds, and an erudite gentlemen,” President George Vella wrote on Twitter.
“Dr Cremona contributed in an unfathomable measure to the development of our Constitution. Malta is highly indebted to him,” he wrote.
Writing on Facebook, former PN MP and law commissioner Franco Debono said that Professor Cremona’s draft remains valid to this day.