The Malta Independent 14 October 2019, Monday

Justice Ministry speaks of efforts to conclude court cases pending more than six years

Thursday, 11 February 2016, 14:39 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Justice Ministry today said that a stronger effort is being made for court cases that have been pending more than six years to be concluded.

The ministry was reacting to a sentence given on Tuesday in a libel case that was instituted in 1999.

In a statement, the ministry said that there are 9,571 pending court cases, 1,318 of which are at sentencing stage. Most of them have been put off for sentencing for less than two years.

However, 43 cases – or 3.3% - have been put off for sentencing for more than six years; one such case has awaiting judgment 12 years, another 11 years. This is unacceptable, the ministry said.

In agreement with the judiciary and the court administration, court attorneys were appointed in October to help in research exercises that will help the judges and magistrates hand out their judgments in cases that have been waiting more than six years.

14% of these 43 cases have already been decided in 2016, including the libel case the ministry was referring to.

It is hoped that the rest of the cases will be closed by May, which would then enable a better focus on cases that have been waiting for judgment between two and six years.

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