The Malta Independent 18 September 2021, Saturday

MEP Roberta Metsola calls on Parliament to amend law following discriminatory findings

Thursday, 11 June 2020, 17:24 Last update: about 2 years ago

Malta's National Commission for the Promotion of Equality has ruled that sections of Maltese notarial law that force a woman to give her marital status while not requiring the same for a man is discriminatory, the EPP has said in a statement.

An in-depth investigation was launched following an objection by MEP Roberta Metsola and a Constitutional Court case initiated by Marie-Therese Cuschieri.

"In a ruling handed down today, Malta's Equality Commissioner Renee Laiviera agreed that the law was discriminatory and urged Parliament to change it immediately," the statement explained.

"Dr Cuschieri had initially brought a case before the Maltese Constitutional Court, arguing that Article 28(1)(c)(i) of the Notarial Profession and Archives Act (Chapter 55 of the Laws of Malta) is inconsistent with her fundamental rights under Article 45 of the Constitution of Malta and Article 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 28(1)(c)i) of the Act requires that on any official contract in the presence of a Notary: 'Provided that where any of the parties to the act is a woman, it shall also be stated whether she is a spinster, a married woman or a widow.'"

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"The case was decided in Dr Cuschieri's favour but while the issue was resolved for Dr Cuschieri and she was no longer required to provide her marital status, other women were still being required to do so."

MEP Metsola had brought this matter to the attention of the Commissioner for the Promotion of Equality asking her to remedy the situation that creates discrimination between men and women, and to provide assistance where necessary to persons who have suffered from discrimination as a result of the incorrect application of this ruling. 

Speaking following today's ruling, MEP Metsola welcomed the results of the NCPE investigation and underlined that discrimination in Malta's laws needs to be addressed immediately. She said "We cannot accept that in this day and age, battles hard-won by women to equalise their treatment in the eyes of the law and of society are confined to ink and paper and not implemented in practice."

MEP Metsola said: "Now we need the Parliament to act - it must immediately change the law and send out a strong signal that women will not be discriminated against."

 


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