Unacceptable if Govt goes to Venice Commission before consulting with civil society – Repubblika

NGO Repubblika has stated that it is unacceptable that the Government allegedly plans on going to the Venice Commission with its proposal regarding the appointment of members of the Maltese Judiciary before consulting with civil society.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Robert Abela and Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia, the organisation explained that earlier this week, it had separate meetings with the Minister for Justice Edward Zammit Lewis and representatives of the Opposition.

During this meeting, Repubblika asked the Minister not to send the Government’s proposal regarding the appointment of members of the judiciary to the Venice Commission, even if it had agreed with the Opposition about this, before publishing the said proposal and having given civil society the opportunity to participate. However, sources have informed Repubblika that the Government intends to communicate its proposal to the Commission before publishing it. The Minister had informed them that he would consult with the Prime Minister prior to making a decision.

Repubblika stated, “If you go behind the backs of the public, the media and civil society with regard to such an important matter, you will suppress our democratic role. If you go to the Venice Commission before giving civil society and the media the opportunity to comment, you will be presenting us with a fait accompli which has been reached behind closed doors.”