Minister insists annulment of unconstitutional laws should remain MPs’ prerogative

Laws declared to be unconstitutional in a ruling by the Constitutional Court are not immediately struck down, but Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis insists that changing this system may create more problems than it would solve.

Zammit Lewis was replying to a parliamentary question by PN MP and lawyer Jason Azzopardi, who suggested the introduction of amendments to ensure that such laws are automatically declared null as soon as the Constitutional Court issues its ruling. Presently, though the Court may ask the authorities to remedy the plaintiff’s situation, the law in question remains in force until Parliament changes it.

But the minister shot down Azzopardi’s suggestion, describing the proposed system as “extraneous to Malta’s legal system, and its introduction may bring about more legal problems than it resolves.”

“At this stage, the government prefers to stick to the present system, which requires Parliament to provide a remedy when the Constitutional Court declares a law in breach of the Constitution.”