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Hard work

In politics it is hard work and results which make all the difference.

Mud-slinging and name-calling certainly does not. Rather, as the last two general election results show us, they leave the precisely opposite effect.

It is very easy to use colourful language, come up with all sort of conspiracy theories and result to bullying tactics. Any untrained politician can do that. The hardest part is to show that you have a vision and that you have got all it takes to impliment that vision.

We have a vision and we are implementing it.

The results are for everyone to see. Let me mention two examples.

A Commercial Section

One of the things which people involved in company law have been asking me is to have a specialised section in the Civil Courts dealing precisely with companies. So far I had replied that first we had to put the house in order, increase efficiency and decrease the backlogs which were nightmarish.

Through important decisions, we managed to alleviate the ugly situation we were in. The Civil Courts, particulary those at first instance level, are functioning well in practically all cases save one or two exceptions. In the process we decreased the fees and costs, assigned Court Attorneys to all Civil Court Judges, reformed various aspects of our procedure and introduced novel IT solution.

Once we put our house in order, we could implement the next step – that of having a specialised section in the Civil Courts focused on company law.

In the past we had a Commercial Court. The new section will not be a reproduction of what we had in the past. Things have changed since twenty years ago. The new section will, instead, focus on matters intimately linked with companies which need a fast resolution of disputes and a dedicated approach.

I thank the Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri for the full co-operation in the setting up of this new section. He immediately assigned two top Judges – Mr Justice J Zammit McKeon and Mr Justice Mark Chetcuti to this section.

This section within the Civil Court will officially enter into force on 9 April 2018. This step clearly strengthens the commitment to provide a more specialised and accessible judicial service to citizens running a business as well as companies in commercial disputes. This augurs extremely well with the various judicial reforms which this Government is principally implementing to revitalise the justice sector, with the purpose of ensuring that our country’s citizens benefit from a stronger judiciary.

Along with the coming into force of this novel section, we will also give practitioners new IT solutions which are not obtainable to other general civil law cases, such as the possibility of filing the case and the relative reply online. This is the way forward and we are fully intent on keep the momentum going.

This will not be the first and last case of specialisation. Now that the house is in order, we can take the next step of specialisation.

Celebrating Valletta 2018 in Florence - ‘Valletta Capitale d’Europa’ Exhibition

Reforms are not happening only in the field of justice, but also in the field of culture.

Just this week, Deo Debattista and I visited the ‘Valletta Capitale d’Europa’ Exhibition which is being held in the magificent Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. This exhibition, celebrating Valletta’s 2018 European Capital of Culture title in Italy, is displaying Malta maps from the national cartographic collection and includes two maps illustrating the Great Siege of Malta, known as the Camocio Siege Maps that have just been included in the prestigious UNESCO Memory of the World Register. A welcome addition in the European year dedicated to celebrating cultural heritage.

It was indeed a beautiful occasion to bring together two magnificent cities – the current capital of culture as well as the Renaissance city of the world.

Exhibitions of this kind serve as an opportunity to encourage and strengthen exchanges with other countries and also aid in the promotion of our country’s rich diverse history. I’m proud to say that our heritage attracts a wide international audience, and we always aim to engage in fruitful collaborations to showcase what our country can offer.

This exhibition is also an excellent opportunity for Heritage Malta to strengthen its international profile and promote its numerous world renowned historical sites. This initiative will see its culmination in an exhibition which will be hosted in Malta later on this year, which will seal this twinning project between Valletta and Florence.

I thank the Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar, whose work was fundamental to make this project possible as well as the Heritage Malta staff who gave their one hundred per cent.

We aim to keep on promoting our culture through numerous events and initiatives, especially since this year we’re celebrating the European Year of Cultural Heritage – we believe in an inclusive culture which is accessible to everyone.

Holy Week

This week is Holy Week and it was my absolute pleasure to visit the various communities and see their exhibitions related to the passion of the Christ.

The heritage we have is fantastic. I could see young and elderly enthusiasts totally focused and dedicated on what they wanted to portray to the people who visited their garage or even their home.

It is truly an example of culture beating in their hearts and living it from start to finish.

I take the opportunity to wish all the very best to the Editor, staff and readers of The Malta Independent. May you have a beautiful Easter with your families.


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