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Bill No. 259
Constitution of Malta and Various Laws (Amendment) Bill Back to List

Thirteenth Legislature (2017 - 2022)

Debated in 1st Reading 2nd Reading Committee Recommittal 3rd Reading
Sitting No. 537  -  24 Jan 2022
Plenary Session
Sitting No. 540  -  27 Jan 2022
Plenary Session

Objects and Reasons

This Bill enlists for the first time in the Constitution of Malta the most important duties of the Government of Malta with the aim of strengthening the Rule of Law and to rein in the abuse of power; to ensure that once Parliament is dissolved and a caretaker government comes into being, the powers and duties of a caretaker government are limited to ordinary administration and that no extraordinary decisions are taken by the caretaker government which would bind a future Cabinet with measures which cannot be undone and to ensure that the caretaker government does not abuse its position to the detriment of the Opposition so that general elections are conducted in a fair and proper manner; any act amounting to an obstruction of justice will be declared to be a crime; the promulgation of the crime of wilful dereliction of duties by any public office or servant tasked with duties relating to justice or public order or public security; the use of non official or authorised electronic devices or resources carried out by officials or public servants with prejudice to public monies or to gain any unjust monetary advantage to being considered a crime against public authority; enunciates the crime of membership in any criminal association with a mafia-like character and provides a definition of such a mafia-like criminal association; providing the Criminal Court with the power to issue Unexplained Wealth Orders in order to combat more effectively and efficiently the crimes of money laundering and corruption with the aim to end the impunity generated from these crimes; to consider a criminal offence the intentional conduct of that official or public servant who by deliberate abuse of his authority commits acts or omissions with the aim of procuring an advantage for him or for third parties or of causing harm to third parties; to respond to the evolving complexity of criminal investigations in very serious crimes such as wilful homicide, drug trafficking, money laundering, genocide, terrorism, sedition and treason by extending the maximum period of arrest or detention from the maximum 48 hours to a maximum of 72 hours, and only after the Inquiring Magistrate consents thereto; to entrench in the Constitution of Malta the fundamental right to media freedom and the consequential positive obligations of the State in favour of free and independent media for the first time in the Constitution of Malta; to protect the press, journalism and other persons from proceedings and claims brought against them and which have a chilling effect, including the effect of censoring, controlling, intimidating or unduly interfering in freedom of expression and in public participation in debate on matters of public interest.

Motion No. 613 - Various Laws to implement the main conclusions and recommendations of the Public Inquiry Board on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia


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