The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

Malta best in Europe in terms of gender balance among judiciary in 2014 – Minister Bonnici

Mathias Mallia Monday, 11 April 2016, 13:47 Last update: about 4 years ago

Malta was number one in Europe in terms of gender balance in the judiciary, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Governments, Owen Bonnici, said today, quoting the 2016 EU Justice Scoreboard. This, according to the minister, is clear proof that justice reform is happening effectively.

The Justice Scoreboard, which is published by the European Commission, compares the Civil, Commercial and Administrative Courts Europe together in terms of statistics gathered over two years. Dr Bonnici said that “this Justice Scoreboard, which has just been published, is proof of the turnaround to the better in the Justice system” after only one year of PL government.

Minister Bonnici spoke of the issue of the time taken for cases to be resolved, which has been a priority in terms of justice reform, and the Scoreboard clearly indicates progress. According to the provided figures, Malta went from dead last in comparison to other European countries, to exceeding expectations within a year and even beating other countries, specifically Cyprus.

In terms of the quality of the judiciary, Dr Bonnici spoke about how, despite Malta’s reluctance to modernize its systems for a number of years, the government’s conscious decision to work to catch up to the rest of Europe has paid off. Malta is at the forefront of Europe when it comes to using technology to communicate between the courts and the practitioners.

Malta has also superseded expectations in terms of case management, IT usage and, as previously mentioned, gender balance. The Minister insisted that the government is committed to continuing to increase the use of IT in the judiciary to make things run even more smoothly.

Minister Bonnici did however accept that there are issues which still need to be worked on, as detailed by the scoreboard. Namely, the four issues which still have a lot of room for improvement are Alternative Dispute Resolutions, Training for members of the Judiciary, better monitoring and evaluation of court activities and surveys to ensure the stakeholders’ satisfaction.

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