The Malta Independent 23 February 2024, Friday
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Increasing judiciary does not solve everything, what we need is efficiency – Justice Minister

Thursday, 29 October 2020, 18:25 Last update: about 4 years ago

Increasing the number of judges in Malta’s courts will not solve the issue of court delays, Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said, emphasising that the focus should be on becoming more efficient.

He said this during his speech in parliament on Thursday,a where he commented on the budget proposals in relation to the Justice Ministry including initiatives to make courts more efficient in finalising cases.

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Zammit Lewis pointed out that it is unacceptable that there are cases which have been pending for over four years, especially civil cases.

He pointed out how it has been widely reported that Malta has too many pending cases, however he disagrees with certain statements which put the blame on the limited number of judges that Malta has at its disposal.

One such statement comes from the Association of Judges and Magistrates of Malta which on Wednesday called for the urgent appointment of more judges and magistrates.

During its annual General Meeting, the Association “unanimously agreed to insist with the authorities that new members of the Judiciary should be appointed with urgency as the current workload on the courts is such that the present number of Judges and Magistrates are not able to cope with that work in an efficient and effective manner."

Minister Zammit Lewis noted this statement during his address in parliament and criticised it.

He said that he believes in Malta’s judiciary, but the problems cannot be fixed just by increasing the size of the judiciary.

“I will not accept this argument as it is not an issue of number. I know from experience that increasing the workforce does not solve everything. What is needed is for us to increase our efficiency. Everyone has to roll up their sleeves and put their hands to work.”

At this start of October of this year, Justice Minister Zammit Lewis had said in parliament that there are 113 cases in Malta that have been pending for conclusion for six years since they started.

A recent report by the Council of Europe based on 2018 data also noted that Malta’s court cases take too long to conclude and that it is way above the EU average.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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