The Malta Independent 22 May 2018, Tuesday

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TMID Editorial: How the rule of law is undermined

The report of the ad hoc delegation of the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament states, inter alia, “Persons perceived to be implicated in serious...

latest comment from Evarist Saliba, 21/05/2018 16:53: While the trend of the argument in this Leader is basically correct, there is one aspect that needs further clarification and that is, "Why is the Constitution so weak in the light of experience?" The Independence Constitution was drawn up by Maltese legal experts in Constitutional Law with an input by British counterparts. The Republic Constitution was a completely Maltese product. There were differences expressed by different political parties, but as far as I am aware - and I stand to be corrected by legal experts with a more direct knowledge of the process of the change over - these differences never really touched the crucial questions that we are facing, and that is that the Prime Minister enjoys powers that can be exploited by an irresponsible person with dictatorial inclinations. Way back in the late 80s it was pointed out to me that "the Constitution is a good document in the hands of gentlemen". Experience has shown that we have had politicians who have been proved to be no gentlemen. At the same time, the important parts of the constitution that need to be changed to meet this problem require a two-thirds majority in parliament, and this is practically impossible to achieve. Should one blame both political parties, with equal measure, for this impasse? I do not think so, but that does not solve the problem. The problem can only be solved when Maltese gentlemen, and their equivalent from the fairer sex, rather than politicians who replace their judgement of what is just by that imposed on them by their leader, are entrusted to draw up a Constitution with an efficient balance of powers that keeps in check dictatorial upstarts.
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