The Malta Independent 20 July 2019, Saturday

176 requests filed for court judgments to be removed from the internet

Wednesday, 15 May 2019, 15:47 Last update: about 3 months ago

Justice Minister Owen Bonnici has said that till today, there were 176 requests for court judgements to be removed from showing online.

The minister was responding to a question posed by PN MP Karol Aquilina. This moves comes as the justice minister had made the very controversial revelation back in 2018 that he had authorised the Court's Director General to remove online judgements when requested by individuals when he deems fit. The situation caused controversy, with many questioning such a decision, and further scrutinising the fact that it was at the discretion of the Director General of the courts. The Maltese IT Law Association (MITLA) had hit out at the way the situation was handled.

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The minister, in response to this recent Parliamentary question, said that when there is a request for a judgement to be removed from online, it does not mean that the case is removed from the court system “in fact the legal professions will still have access to these judgements through Lecam.”

The minister said that in 2014 there was one request. In 2017 there were 21 requests. In 2018 there were 121 requests, and in 2019 there were 33 requests, the minister said.

Of the 176 requests, he said, 112 judgements were made or are being made anonymous, meaning that the personal details of individuals are removed, he said.

41 of the requests were rejected, he added. One request was invalid, 22 requests are still being considered.

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