The Maltese Government has remained in constant contact with Mr Omtzigt throughout the entire period when he was Rapporteur and provided continuous updates on the situation of the rule of law in Malta. However, the resolution fails to provide a clear picture of all the work undertaken by this Government.
Throughout the past months, the Administration led by the Prime Minister Robert Abela, carried out unprecedented Constitutional and Institutional reforms. These reforms were positively received by the Venice Commission within the same Council of Europe, and the European Commission.
This was the case, following a unanimous Parliamentary vote by the Maltese House of Representatives on a diverse number of amendments to our constitution and other legislation.
Key among these reforms are the two fundamental Constitutional amendments, the method of appointment of the President of the Republic, as well as, of the Chief Justice respectively, both of whom now require a two-thirds parliamentary majority.
This process has also led to a change in the method of appointments for Judges and Magistrates. Together with a constitutional change concerning the discipline of the same Members of the Judiciary, the latter is no longer under Parliamentary scrutiny but now falls within the responsibility of the Commission for the Administration of Justice.
Important reforms were also undertaken with regards to the Office of the Attorney General, even after same office has been divided, thereby leading to the establishment of the Office of the State Advocate. Also implemented is the strengthening of the Permanent Commission against Corruption, the Ombudsman and the Auditor General.
In the preceding months, for the first time, the Commissioner of Police was appointed following a public call which was led by the Public Service Commission. Once a candidate was shortlisted, he was also subject to a Parliamentary scrutiny process. It is noteworthy to outline that recently the work and efforts of the Malta Police Force have also been recognised by international entities as well as other countries, notably, the United States.
The Maltese Government reiterates that, whilst this work does not represent the completion of all processes, one must recognise that the mentioned positive changes serve as a strong and solid foundation for other reforms that have yet to be undertaken during the Constitutional Convention chaired by the President of Malta.