The Malta Independent 23 February 2020, Sunday

Judge Complains about retirement age

Malta Independent Wednesday, 18 August 2010, 00:00 Last update: about 7 years ago

A day before his last day as judge in the Maltese Law Courts, Mr Justice Carmel Agius criticised the fact that Maltese judges have to retire at the age 65.

Although he is retiring, he will still serve as a judge in the International Criminal Court of The Hague in Holland on the former Yugoslavia case and Rwanda.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Justice Agius expressed his regret that judges in Malta retire in the prime of their career. He made references to judges who work alongside him in the international court and even though they are older than him, some are sometimes sharper than him.

The conference was also addressed by Chief Justice Vincent de Gaetano and Chamber of Advocates President Andrew Borg Cardona.

The Chief Justice said that he announced the press conference in respect of Mr Justice Agius but it couldn’t be held in one of the court halls because he doesn’t have any pending cases and because lawyers find it difficult to attend during this time of the year.

He described Mr Justice Agius as a man who took control of what went on in the court halls and that the cases he presided were always interesting. He thanked the judge for his activity within the association of Magistrates and Judges and added that he learnt a lot from Mr Justice Agius when he still worked within the Attorney General’s office.

Dr Borg Cardona, also spoke about the magistrate’s assertiveness, without much ado, in the Law Courts.

From his end, Mr Justice Agius, said that he didn’t want a commemorative get-together to be held, as is normally organised on such occasions, because he didn’t want anybody to feel obliged to attend he said.

While thanking all those who worked with him, he insisted that a Judge should not just listen and apply the law but should contribute for the rule of law and democracy to reign. He hopes that his work contributed to this and went on saying that since he started working at the International Criminal Court, he realised that Maltese lawyers are of the finest quality but he is disappointed that they are not interested to work within international law courts.

Although his work in the international law courts is well appreciated, he highlighted that it is not an easy task. He referred to the Srebrenica genocide of 1995 jury, which took four years and a 1,000-page judgement to conclude.

All the three speakers, mentioned Prof. Guido de Marco in their speeches. They praised his work and contribution to justice.

Mr Justice Agius was born in Sliema in 1945 and became a lawyer in 1969. He worked as a legal consultant for The Times and for Bank of Valletta. He became a magistrate in 1977 and a judge in 1982. He served as a judge until 2001 when the government nominated him to work within the International Criminal Court. Mr Justice Agius is married to Tanya Said and has two children, Greta and Adrienne.

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