Updated: Judicial appointments in Malta to be vetted by European Court


Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Updated with statement from Government and by the leader of the Partit Nazzjonalista

The Court has accepted Repubblika’s request for the current system of judicial appointments to be vetted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The Court said that this review should be made as soon as possible.

The rule of law NGO Repubblika had filed a judicial protest in which it had demanded the freezing of new appointments and promotions to the Maltese judiciary until actions to improve judicial independence was carried out.

Half of new judicial appointments are female

The Court adjourned the proceedings to this Thursday, 7th November, for a draft version of the questions to be put to the CJEU to be presented to the parties.

The court ruled that all proceedings before the First Hall, Civil Court are to be suspended.

On the 27th of September, the Court of Appeal had rejected an appeal by the Attorney General that rule of law NGO Repubblika had no right to contest the government’s intervention in the appointment of magistrates and judges. This meant that the case will be heard before the Constitutional Court, and will continue against the Prime Minister who ultimately appoints new members to the bench.

Court rules in favour of Repubblika on Judicial Appointments

Lawyers Simon Busuttil, Karol Aquilina and Jason Azzopardi assisted Repubblika.

Government to appeal the decision

In a statement, Government declared that it will be formally requesting an appeal for the decision taken by the Court Monday.

Delia Calls on the PM to change the judiciary

In a statement, the leader of the Partit Nazzjonalista Adrian Delia said that if the Prime Minister truly appreciated the rule of law, he would make the necessary changes to the judiciary so that these would be truly independent. He recalled that while the Prime Minister had said that the harsh criticisms levelled by the Venice Commission and GRECO were a feather in Malta’s cap, Muscat was now choosing to ignore the improvements which these two major organisations had deemed indispensable.