Repubblika express disappointment at judiciary appointment resolution

Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that he would be meeting the civil society group next week 

Justice minister Edward Zammit Lewis will be meeting civil society group Rebubblika, after they expressed their disappointment at parliament’s approval on the appointment of judiciary members. 

In a letter to the justice minister, Repubblika said that an interest in the constitutional reform was expressed from their end on several times, and had long been calling for a reform. 

The civil society group said that despite filing an application in court to work on the judiciary reform, it had been ignored, with government appointing 13% of the judiciary under the old system, despite the Venice commission advising against such a system. 

Speaking on the appointment of new chief justice Mark Chetcuti, Repubblika said that while it praised the appointment, it still objected to the choice process. 

“Executive, legislative and judiciary powers should remain totally independent from government,” the letter read. 

The letter also read that in the resolution approved by parliament, the government has shown “yet again”, that it is effectively excluding the interest of civil society, referring to its recommendations on how constitutional reforms should be carried out. 

“The worst way was for these reforms to be carried out is behind closed doors, between the government and its alternative, as their approach was always to preserve their powers as much as possible,” the group said. 

The said that while they were willing to actively participate in the reforms, they would not be willing to act as government stamp to appear as if it had consulted civil society. 

This, it said, was a necessary reform for the country which had weak institutions that were widely controlled by the government. The government the minister had been part of exploited this weakness and abused of power.

In a tweet, the justice minister said that the government is committed to conducting the necessary institutional reforms, also on the basis of the Venice commission report. 

“I note and appreciate the interest of Repubblika in this process and will be meeting them in the coming days,” Zammit Lewis said. 

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