The Malta Independent 21 October 2018, Sunday

A really special night

Owen Bonnici Friday, 5 October 2018, 10:12 Last update: about 15 days ago

One of the cultural highlights of the year is without any doubt Notte Bianca, held yearly on the first Saturday of October, this Saturday.

Notte Bianca is a much sought-after event and now firmly engraved in the island’s cultural calendar. And rightly so.

This year’s edition is bound to be the best Notte Bianca yet, with our Capital City proudly flying the flag of the European Culture Capital of 2018. Besides the usual enchantment it brings, this year’s programme includes an impressive range of both local and international acts offering an eclectic variety of concerts.

ADVERTISEMENT

Our cultural strategy endeavours to bring forth emerging and established Maltese Artists as professional creators. Every year Notte Bianca strives to forge international links and this is highlighted in this year’s programme, with five world-renowned foreign artists participating in this year’s edition. The objective surrounding such collaborations is to co-create multidimensional and multicultural performances while giving the opportunity to local artists to perform on stage with internationally acclaimed artists and strong line-ups.

Notte Bianca is an event that has been steadily developing during the years but is also getting better and constantly renewed. He stated that this is also the case for our capital city Valletta, which is also being regenerated and will continue to do so.

All the acts will take place in a revived Capital City. We have been striving to see our Valletta emerge from the ashes, after long years of neglect. I have no difficulties in saying that up until a few years back, Valletta was a dead city, practically void of any activity at all.

We have revived our Capital and have brought it at par, and rightly so, with the other European Capital Cities. Restoration works have brought back to life not only abandoned buildings, but also are now hosting the various cultural activates organised during Valletta’s tenure as the European Capital of the year.

Notte Bianca this year will take place in this setting. Acts will be taking place in all of the major squares adorning Valletta. Through the agency which will be set up, we will ensure an ongoing cultural legacy based on what we have had during this fantastic year of cultural activities.

I augur all, to enjoy this year’s Notte Bianca, as Saturday 6th October 2018 promises to be indeed a magnificent night with sights and sounds that will illuminate not only our beloved capital’s streets but also our hearts.

 

+++

 

October is also marked with the opening of the forensic year, during which there is a great anticipation for the opening address of the Chief Justice. This year it was Mr Justice Azzopardi’s first address, having been appointed to the post last April.

Mr Justice Azzopardi used the occasion to express confidence in all members of the judiciary. He stressed that the courts in our country were not inferior to anywhere else. Having said that, Mr Justice however criticised a handful of lawyers who were prolonging cases. He also spoke about delays in court, praising the recent appointment of three magistrates and three judges, but expressing that advanced planning needed to be made for the replacement of retiring judges.

In his speech, the Chief Justice also delved into the history of how judges are appointed, acknowledging the 2016 amendment to the Act with which appointment of judges have to be approved by the Judicial Appointments Committee.

I concur with Mr Justice Azzopardi on all points.

I can proudly say that during the past five years we have steered new regulations, amendments to existing laws, we have introduced new systems and also improved existing ones.

We are striving to have the best possible in this sector: not only in the field relating to law courts but also relating to the justice sector as a whole. Although much has been done already, more needs to be done. We have seen improvements in certain areas, but we need to have more efficiency in others.

Let me remind about one particular legislation - Malta’s whistleblower legislation. Ours is one of the most robust throughout the countries in the European Union and contains many, if not most, European and international standards. This has been clearly stated recently and was the main conclusion of a report published by the organization ‘Blueprint for free speech’ which follows a EU-funded study entitled “Gaps in the System”.

Our improvements in the justice sector are being recognised internationally. However whilst keeping this in our mind, we are looking forward to continue our work in this sector so that the rule of law and human rights in Malta will be enhanced but also safeguarded.

 

 

  • don't miss