The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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PL MP files judicial protest against University of Malta

Wednesday, 7 February 2024, 14:42 Last update: about 24 days ago

PL MP Katya De Giovanni filed a judicial protest against the University of Malta on Wednesday, claiming a decision by the Board of Promotions not to recommend her for the position of Associate Professor was 'discriminatory'.

De Giovanni has asked for a reconsideration by the board following a letter informing her of their final decision not to recommend her dating 13 October of last year.

Instead of receiving a definitive answer as a response to her request, in the Judicial Protest De Giovanni noted that in their response letter, dating 26 of January of this year the university said that; "Following a detailed analysis of your request and claims, the Promotions Board agreed that it could still not recommend to Council your promotion to Associate Professor as there were no grounds justifying a change from the original decision."

In the judicial protest De Giovanni describes this decision as "unreasonable", and said she was not given any reasons as to why the board did not recommend her for the promotion. She also noted that this goes against the well-established principle of "the duty to give reasons".

The PL MP first presented her application for the position of "Associate Professor" in March of 2021 and noted how it took two and a half years for her application to be processed, in comparison to her peers' applications which took less time.

Amongst other reasons the PL MP said that in its first decision together with the requested reconsideration request, the university's board for promotions failed to consider other relevant factors such as the several positions the De Giovanni held and her qualifications.

"In 2016 the Protestant served as Chairperson of the FREC Social Wellbeing, Co-ordinator of the B. Psy. (Honolis.) Course and Co-ordinator for Erasmus, as well as serving as Director of the "Cottonera Resource Centre". The Protestant also served as Chair of the 'Psychology Warranting Board' and Chairperson of the 'Social Care Standards Authority' at the time when her applications for 'Associate Professor' Cioe in March of the year 2021 are tabled."

In the judicial protest, signed by Lawyer Edward Zammit Lewis, De Giovanni is arguing that the same board has successfully passed other applications for the role of "Associate Professor", who have "inferior" qualifications and experience when compared.

She said that the decisions were "abusive" as they were based on "irrelevant considerations". She also called the decisions "discriminatory".

In her final plea, De Giovanni is urging the university to revoke its board's decision and promote her to "Associate Professor with immediate effect".

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