The Malta Independent 22 September 2019, Sunday

Moral preparation just as important as academic in the judiciary - Judge Silvio Meli

Albert Galea Monday, 15 April 2019, 13:10 Last update: about 6 months ago

Judge Silvio Meli used his final sitting before his retirement to emphasise the importance of moral preparation in conjunction with academic preparation in the judiciary.

Addressing a packed courtroom, Judge Meli said that he would not be utilising his final address to present criticism and solutions of and for the judiciary.

He said that over the years he has worked honestly and in an ethical, sensitive, independent, and transparent manner; even if this effort was not always appreciated. Despite everything, he said, he had still persisted and moved forward despite what he called structural deficiencies along with other issues.

Speaking in a soft-spoken manner, the Judge said that if the judiciary lacks these elements, then it would be discarding its duty to the people and to society.

Addressing the importance of preparation, Judge Meli said that preparation has to be done from beforehand to be effective, and that moral preparation must work pari-passu with academic preparation. He noted that both these forms of preparation are "indispensable" to the work of the judiciary and its operation within society.

Judge Meli also used his speech to focus on the importance of criticism, saying that it was not easy to suffer through 29 years of unjust attacks on him and his family, and still persist in solitude and silence so to reach the proper application of justice.

This being said, he noted that criticism is necessary and in fact essential; but only when it is genuine, just, prudent and well-informed.

He reserved special thanks for his colleagues and also for medical staff in Spain, without whom, he said, this speech could well have not happened.

He concluded his address by saying that the work of the judiciary should continue with seriousness transparency and with the end goal of always providing justice for society.

Silvio Meli was appointed as magistrate in 1990, serving mainly in the court's civil jurisdiction.  He was the President of the Commission for Fair Trading ever since its founding, and was also an elected member of the Commission for the Administration of Justice and Deputy Chairman of the Judicial Studies Committee. 

He was sworn in as a Judge in 2011.  He was in the past is a visiting lecturer on the philosophy of law at the University of Malta and the University of South Texas, USA.

Photos by Alenka Falzon
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