Gov’t investment in Malta’s courts increased by €9m in decade to 2017 – EUROSTAT

Investment in Malta’s law courts has only increased by €9 million in the period between 2007 and 2017, new figures show.

This increase is recorded by the European Union data aggregator EUROSTAT, placing Malta the second to last country in terms of total expenditure in 2017, compared to the rest of the 28-member European Union.

The figures show that government expenditure increased from 2008 (€21m) to €1 million, remaining at this level in 2010. This figure increased in 2011 by €2 million (€23m) until 2013. In 2013 this sum jumped by €5 million to €28m and €29m in 2014. The figures shoe a drop in 2015 to €26m followed by an increase to €29m again in 2016, where it carried through to 2017.

Compared to Malta, Cyprus sits bottom of the list having only managed to increase investment to the law courts by €1 million, €25m – €26m in the same period. The period between 2014 and 2016 saw a drop to €22m and  €23m.

The German government was the biggest investor in its law courts in 2017. This sat at over €12bn (€12,914bn), an increase of around €2bn since 2007 (€10,099bn).

Europe-wide, a total of just over €50bn (€50,975bn) was invested by the 28 European member states in law courts. By the EU19, this had increased to €35,499bn.

How fellow EU small states stack up

Malta’s 2017 figure places the country second last compared to fellow classified Small EU states.

In 2017, Estonia’s government investment in its law courts sat at €70 million, an increase of €29 million from its €41 million investment in 2017. This is while the country’s investment had fallen below this €41 million mark in the period between 2010 and 2012.

Latvia’s investment has increased from €92 million in 2007 to €111 million in 2017. This is followed by large fluctuations from rising to €100 million in 2008 before falling to the €70m mark. This then rose suddenly in 2011 before reaching €111 million.

Lithuania also experienced a similar fluctuating investment. The current 2007 figure returned to what it was in 2017. In 2008 this sum increased to €124 million before falling considerably to the €80ms mark before increasing again to €96m in 2014, €104m in 2015 and €106m in 2016.

Luxembourg’s investment in its legal system is larger but more like Malta in terms of gradual increase. The increase has gone from €72m in 2007 to €129m.

Of all the EU small states, Slovenia is recorded to have had the highest amount of investment in its law courts. This sum has increased across the decade period from €175m to €199m, with peaks in 2009 (€203m) in 2010 (€209m) and in 2011 (€205m).

 Government expenditure per person up in 2017

The European Commission’s 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard showed that between 2010 and 2017, the amount invested per person by the government in the law courts, had risen by €12 from 2010 to 2017.

According to the figures also supplied by EUROSTAT, the Maltese government’s expenditure, had grown from €50 per person in 2010 to €62 in 2017, with a peak of €63 in 2016.

3 in every 1,000 inhabitants are lawyers

The Luxembourgish government was investing the most on its law courts, at €215 per inhabitant. Cyprus was spending the least at €30 per inhabitant, ranking the lowest.