The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
View E-Paper

TMID Editorial: Resources, resources, resources

Saturday, 28 January 2023, 14:12 Last update: about 3 months ago

The promised increase in the number of members of the judiciary has now come to fruition. Four new magistrates were appointed earlier this week.

This now means that Malta has two more judges (two magistrates were appointed judges in December) and two more magistrates than it had before.

But this newsroom has said it in the past, it is not enough to just appoint new members of the judiciary. The courts need more resources.


Each judge and magistrate needs to have a strong support staff who are well trained in order to tackle cases as quickly and in the best way possible. But not only, there are other areas of the courts that also require highly trained staff.

The Nationalist Party said that the Justice Ministry should see to it that the law courts will have all the human and financial resources possible for all judges and magistrates to carry out their duties in an effective way and without undue delay. The PN said that the judiciary should have more staff available, and the employees of the Court Services Agency are to be remunerated better to attract more qualified people.

The question of space for court halls is also something which has been brought up.

In addition, perhaps there are practices which could be changed to improve expediency. Certain success has been achieved in appeal cases through changes that were introduced for instance. Chief Justice Emeritus Vincent De Gaetano had suggested, for instance, that the long-term aim should be to consider an overhaul directed towards ensuring that a criminal case begins and ends without interruption, "with the hearing being conducted throughout the day and possibly the following day and the one after, so on and so forth. Judgement would then be handed down at the end of the hearing," he said. This, he said, will be difficult to implement in the short term. "But unless we have that aim for the long term, we're never going to really tackle the problem of delays." This newsroom had already pointed out that this idea merits discussion.

The former Chief Justice had also said that simply increasing the number of judges is not sufficient to tackle delays.

What is also needed is further investment in the police force. We still have situations where police depots are closed, with nobody manning them.

Now the argument can be made that there are community police officers out in the streets, which is true, but let’s be frank. We need police officers in police stations. The police force needs to figure out what to do to solve this situation and attract more recruits.

The Malta Independent has previously said that the government should conduct a review of all public sector jobs and those jobs that are unnecessary should be cut. Public employment has been an issue which private sector employers have spoken about in the past, highlighting it as an issue, and they are right. As an example, last September CEO of the Malta Chamber of SMEs Abigail Agius Mamo said that the government taking employees away from the private sector is  a ‘significant problem’.

Looking to the past, an example can be seen with how Air Malta was handled for years.

But then when it comes to essential sectors, like police and nursing, there seems to be a need for more employees.



  • don't miss