This evening Parliament approved with a two-thirds vote a historic constitutional and institutional reform that the Maltese Government led by Prime Minister Robert Abela put forward with the aim of further strengthening the institutions and public administration.
The Bills are as follows:
- An ACT to provide for the amendments of the Constitution of Malta relative to the appointment of the President of Malta.
- An ACT to provide for the amendment of the Constitution of Malta relative to the appointment of Judges and Magistrates.
- An ACT to provide for the amendments of the Constitution of Malta and to the Commission for the Administration of Justice Act, Cap. 369, relative to the removal from office of Judges and Magistrates
- An ACT to continue implementing reforms in the Justice Sector by providing for the judicial review of decisions not to prosecute and other decisions of the Attorney General
- An ACT to amend laws regulate the Office of the Ombudsman
The Bill dealing with amendments to strengthen the Permanent Commission Against Corruption was also passed unanimously.
These amendments will, among others; lead to a new way of appointing the President of the Republic; change the manner in which members of the Judiciary are appointed and removed; strengthen the Ombudsman’s Office, where this role will now be enshrined in the Constitution; and for the provision of judicial review of the Advocate General’s decisions.
This is the result of a structured dialogue initiated with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe by the Minister for Justice, Equality, and Governance Edward Zammit Lewis, as one of the first initiatives of the Robert Abela Administration.
This structured dialogue with the Venice Commission led to the same Commission delivering an excellent report to the Maltese Government in June 2020.
A legislative process was immediately launched in the House of Representatives, together with a structured dialogue with the Opposition, which led to the agreement on these Bills. This outcome was possible thanks to Prime Minister Robert Abela and through the cooperation and good sense shown by the Leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia and MP Chris Said.
This will ensure that our country will gain even more credibility on European and international stages. We reaffirm that Malta is a nation where effective democracy reigns and where there is full respect for the rule of law, and good governance.