The Malta Independent 3 February 2023, Friday
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Urgent discussion needed on reform in policing and judicial system - KSU

Monday, 23 January 2023, 13:32 Last update: about 10 days ago

An urgent discussion on reform in the policing and judicial system is needed, the University Student Council (KSU) said in a statement.

"Over the past 12 months, Malta experienced grave miscarriages of justice that have shed a dark light on the safety of victims in this country. Paulina, Bernice, Pelin, Sion and countless others, have all fallen victim to a system that fails to protect and safeguard them. These events have alarmed and shaken the student body to its very core, leaving a generation of future professionals overwhelmed and frustrated at the system they must inherit and subsequently, strive to remedy."

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"No one should be shot in broad daylight despite filing multiple reports, raped and murdered whilst on a walk, brutally run over whilst walking on her birthday or have their families wait 18 years for juries to commence. KSU feels that an urgent discussion on reform in the policing and judicial system is beyond necessary," highlighting a number of points in particular.

The first, was the "need for more effective policing - from an increase in resources provided to the Police Force, to more effective procedures and mechanisms aimed at protecting victims particularly of sexual, physical or mental violence or harassment."

Another, was the improvement and strengthening of the Domestic Violence Unit to effectively deal with those threatening or performing moral or physical violence with particular and focused protection on victims.

The third point it mentioned was the "dire need for more judges and magistrates in order to reduce the serious backlog of cases that the courts currently have. For context, Malta has one of the lowest number of judges per 100,000 inhabitants in the EU. These should be particularly concentrated in Family and Criminal Courts, respectively."

Another point is "working towards reducing court delays by implementing the existing reforms more effectively, whilst introducing further reforms aimed at the infrastructural and logistical issues the Maltese Courts face."

KSU invited the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry for Internal Affairs and The Maltese Police Force to consider such discussions, particularly from the student perspective through open dialogue and consultation.

"KSU, together with the endorsing organisations and representatives constantly remain open to dialogue, as that is how we strive for the changes we propose. This is not a partisan issue. Such miscarriages have plagued victims' protection for decades. Irrespective of political allegiance, the protection and dignity of human life should never be compromised. Where necessary and effective procedures and systems are missing, it is our collective duty to propose, discuss and implement the appropriate mitigation measures that must be taken to ensure justice, dignity and the protection of life. We will not be silent in the face of injustice."

The document was endorsed by 15 student representatives and the following student organisations: ASCS, BETAPSI, ELSA Malta, ESO, GħST, GUG, HoASA, ICTSA, JCA, JEF Malta, KSJC, MBSA, MMSA, Pulse, S-Cubed, SACES, SDM, SĦS, TDM 2000, Third Eye, UESA, UM Rowing.


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