Court Updates – Appointment of Chief Justice & Waiver of Court Fees
by novolegal, on Apr 13, 2020 3:57:06 PM
Appointment of Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti
Mr Justice Mark Chetcuti has taken his oath of office as Chief Justice on Wednesday 8th April following an unprecedented unanimous approval by Parliament.
The constitution vests power in the Prime Minister to advise the President after consulting with the Leader of the Opposition to appoint the chief justice. However, a parliamentary vote was taken on Wednesday 1st April which saw the unanimous approval of this motion to appoint the Chief Justice for the first time in Maltese history. This vote forms part of a set of legislative reforms which have been agreed upon by the Government and the Opposition and which are subject to review by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.
Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti was appointed judge in 2010 and has succeeded Judge Joseph Azzopardi who has retired after serving in this role for two years.
Code of Organization and Civil Procedure (Amendment of Schedule A) Regulations, 2020
Legal Notice 137 of 2020 published on 3rd April 2020 amends certain tariffs listed in Schedule A to the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure Chapter 12 of the Laws of Malta. The legal notice amends the tariffs payable for the opening of the registry outside working hours for the reasons envisaged in item 1 of Tariff A, item 16 of Tariff B, and item 11 of Tariff B to the effect that where the Superintendent of Public Health orders the closure of the court in terms of the Public Health Act, the established fees shall not apply to the aforementioned items where the opening of the registry is requested on any working day during the opening hours as established by law. However, the fees shall still be applicable in the cases of actions relating to the civil status of a person, human rights, general elections, actions of possession, jactation suits, personal injury, claims for payment of wages, and claims for unjust dismissal from employment. Thus, with these exceptions in mind, the fees will be waived in actions for personal separation, divorce, annulment, maintenance, filiation, paternity, and child abduction or custody.
This legal notice was published in accordance with the current order establishing the closure of the registry and the courts, thus the registry of the courts will only be opened in case of urgency or where public interest merits such, as envisaged in Subsidiary Legislation 465.17. The court maintains discretion to determine whether this requirement is satisfied and merits the opening of the registry.
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