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

Updated (2): ADPD calls for action against PM, magistrate; NGO Repubblika expresses 'shock'

Monday, 30 January 2023, 08:26 Last update: about 3 months ago

ADPD-The Green Party said Monday that action should be taken against the Prime Minister and a magistrate who have spoken about the courts sentencing policy.

In a speech yesterday during a political activity, Prime Minister Robert Abela was quoted as stating that “this week he had met a Magistrate who had lamented that when tough sentences are delivered, these are subsequently reduced by the Court of Appeal.”


Carmel Cacopardo, Chairperson of ADPD-The Green Party stated that the very fact that this meeting has taken place, even if it was an unplanned encounter, is worrying.

It is very worrying that the Prime Minister meets with a member of the judiciary, a magistrate, and discusses with him/her the decisions delivered by the Courts. This behaviour is censurable, both that of the Prime Minister as well as that of the Magistrate, whose identity is so far unknown.

Carmel Cacopardo concluded by finally calling on the President of the Republic “to call an urgent meeting of the Council for the Administration of Justice in order that the necessary action is taken.”

In a separate statement, NGO Repubblika said it was shocked to hear the PM say that he had spoken to a magistrate about sentencing policy.

The Code of Ethics of the judiciary lays down that the executive does not meet with judges and magistrates in private.

Abela's behaviour is dangerous as it breaches the principles of democracy and the separation of powers.

The fact that the PM saw nothing wrong to admit to this abuse shows that he does not endorse the basic principles of ethics and the autonomy of public institutions.

This is a grave abuse and raises suspicions about Abela's behaviour, and that of his colleagues, in the way they interfere in the operations of the country's institutions.

The government continues to undermine what is left of our democracy, the NGO said, adding that it will be officially writing to the President on this matter.

In another development, independent candidate Arnold Cassola has written to the "future" Standars Commissioner to investigate the case. Cassola said that the commissioner should investigate this "abuse" on the part of the Prime Minister.

Malta has as yet no commissioner in place after incumbent George Hyzler resigned to take up a post as Malta's representative on the European Court Of Auditors.

The Code of Ethics for judges and magistrates states: Although it may be useful and proper to maintain a dialogue between the Bench and other organs of the State, members of the Judiciary shall not however communicate in private with members of the Executive on any matter connected with their duties or functions except through or after express consultation with the Senior Magistrate and/or with the Chief Justice. Nor shall members of the Judiciary individually accept any advantage or benefit from the Executive except when such advantages or benefits are addressed to the Judiciary collectively.



  • don't miss