The Malta Independent 12 December 2018, Wednesday

Government holds ‘positive’ meeting with Council of Europe’s Venice Commision

Monday, 5 November 2018, 20:13 Last update: about 2 months ago

The government said on Monday that it had had a “positive” meeting with the Venice Commission earlier in the day.

The Venice Commission is an advisory body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts in the field of constitutional law.

The delegation is looking into Malta’s legal and institutional structures, and the request reportedly came after concerns raised by a recent visit by MEPs.

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In a statement, the government said that Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and Justice and Culture Minister Owen Bonnici had met the commission, whose ultimate aim is to give advice on constitutional and legal issues that are related, among other things, to the rule of law.

DPM Fearne said the meeting was a positive one during which the commission “acknowledged the considerable improvement made in Malta with regard to justice reform, including the introduction of a new system to appoint members of the judiciary.”

On his part, Minister Bonnici said the government could speak about constitutional reform because it had actually brought about such a reform. He spoke about other recent changes to the law, including the removal of time barring on political corruption cases, and the party financing law. He said the government would keep working on other reforms.

The Venice Commission, at the request of the Maltese government, will be drawing up a report analysing the country’s institutions and other processes, the government statement said. 

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