Vincent De Gaetano elected European Court of Human Rights judge

Current chief justice Vincent de Gaetano has been elected as Malta’s Judge to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The election took place during today’s meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg

During the election which took place today at the Parliamentary Assembly of the COE, de Gaetano obtained 114 votes out of a possible 210 voting members. The other two Maltese candidates, current judges Abigail Lofaro, and Joseph A Filletti obtained 61 votes and 23 votes respectively. Another 12 votes were invalid or empty, therefore only 198 votes were actually cast.

The absolute majority for his election was therefore 100 votes. He succeeds Giovanni Bonello, who had been elected in 1998 by former Labour Prime Minister Alfred Sant.

The election of a Maltese judge for the ECHR has been protruding since 2004, with the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly twice rejecting the Maltese Government’s all-male lists. De Gaetano’s election to Strasbourg will now create a vacancy in Malta for the post of Chief Justice. De Gaetano will be taking up his post as a judge of the ECHR not later than three months after his election yesterday.  His term of office is for nine years.

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