STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, CULTURE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Government will pass a law separating the prosecutorial roles and legal advice of the Attorney General until the following summer

The government will pass a law which is being split the prosecutorial roles and legal advice of the Attorney General until the following summer, the first reading is made on Monday 25 March, 2019.

In a letter to the Minister of Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici sent First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Jourova Vera, President of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament Claude Moraes and the President of the Venice Commission within the Council of Europe Gianni Buquicchio, Minister Bonnici referred to the opinion of Venice Commission on Constitutional arrangements, the Powers Separation, the Independence of the Judiciary and Enforcement of the Law of 18 December, 2018 and said that the key priority recommendations regarding prosecution and on appointments to the Judiciary and the Judiciary discipline.

The legal text which will lead to separation in prosecutorial roles and legal advice of the Attorney General will be published in the coming days. This dual role has been exercised by the Attorney General since 1936.

Regarding recommendations on appointments to the Judiciary and the Judiciary discipline, the Government to further reforms in this sector. The changes can be made only through a constitutional amendment, to turn this case can be made only with the approval of two-thirds of the House of Representatives. Therefore the Government will be launching with immediate effect a consultation process with the Parliamentary Opposition with a view to reaching an agreement as soon as possible.

Moreover, on Monday 25 March 2019 Government will being to advance the first reading of several bills to make the necessary changes in regard to the Ombudsman, the Civil Service (Permanent Secretaries), civil service (position of trust), Independent Commissions and Police. These legal texts will be published in the coming period and the Government’s goal is that these changes come before the end of the current year. Many changes necessitate the agreement of two-thirds of the House of Representatives.

All these changes together represent a third of which spoke the Venice Commission.

It will also be a consultation process on the transitional measures and as suggested by the Commission’s own Venice. These measures are necessary to transition to one made with care and carefully and avoid difficulties and legal uncertainties.

The Government believes that this process will be expeditious and will build upon the many reforms already made and that the Government is committed to perform. Indeed, as stated by the Commission itself Venice, the government since 2013 has already implemented a number of constitutional and legal changes.

Source: Government of Malta