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Specialised courts - Malta

Please note that the original language version of this page Maltese has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

This section provides information on the organisation of specialised courts in Malta.


Specialised courts

The Constitutional Court

Second instance

Appeal

This court hears appeals concerning cases relating to alleged breaches of human rights, interpretations of the Constitution and invalidity of laws. It also has original jurisdiction to decide on questions concerning members of the House of Representatives and on any cases referred to it concerning voting for election of members of the House of Representatives.

Presided over by the Chief Justice and two other judges

The First Hall of the Civil Court

First instance

The First Hall of the Civil Court also deals with cases relating to alleged breaches of human rights and fundamental freedoms that are protected by the Constitution and by the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Presided over by a judge

Industrial Tribunal

First instance

This tribunal hears cases related to unfair dismissal and discriminatory or other unlawful treatment in the workplace.

Presided over by a chairperson

Rent Regulation Board

First instance

The Rent Regulation Board hears cases related to changes in the conditions of leases, including rent increases and termination of the lease. These cases must relate to rental agreements entered into before 1 June 1995.

Presided over by a magistrate

Land Arbitration Board

First instance

The Land Arbitration Board hears cases dealing with the classification of expropriated land, the public purpose of expropriation and the amount of compensation due to the owner.

Presided over by a magistrate

Rural Lease Control Board

First instance

This Board hears cases dealing with rural leases and claims made by owners regarding termination of lease.

Presided over by a magistrate

Administrative Review Tribunal

First instance

This tribunal has the power to review administrative acts.

Presided over by a judge or a magistrate

Partition of Inheritances Tribunal

First instance

This Tribunal hears and decides on cases related to the partition of property held in common by the heirs of a deceased person.

Presided over by an arbitrator

The Competition and Consumer Appeals Tribunal

Appeal

This Tribunal hears and settles appeals against decisions, orders or measures of the Director-General for Competition and the Director-General for Consumer Affairs. The decisions of the Tribunal are final other than in exceptional cases where appeals are permitted. Such appeals are, however, limited to points of law.

Presided over by a judge and two members

Court of Revision of Notarial Acts

First instance

This is a special court that monitors all Notaries, the Notarial Archives and the Public Registry. It has the authority to visit and inspect the Notarial Archives, the Public Registry and notaries’ offices, and to impose disciplinary sanctions. This Court also has the power to order corrections of incorrect information contained in records in the Public Registry.

Composed of members known as Visitors

Administrative courts

Judicial review is the process by which a decision of a government department, authority or agency may be reviewed and ultimately revoked by the courts if found to be illegal.

The action is available to anyone who is aggrieved by a governmental decision or action which concerns them. Article 469A of Chapter 12 of the Laws of Malta is the operative article granting such power to the courts. However, even in the absence of this legislative provision, judicial review may be regarded as an inherent power of the courts on the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers generally embraced by democratic states.

The ordinary courts - namely the First Hall of the Civil Court - have jurisdiction in such matters, with the right of appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The Administrative Justice Act came into effect on 1 January 2009 and provided for the setting up of the Administrative Review Tribunal. This independent and impartial tribunal reviews administrative acts referred to it by any aggrieved person and also rules on disputes that are referred to it. It is chaired by a person who holds, or has held, the office of a judge or of a magistrate in Malta. Appeal against the Tribunal's decisions can be made to the Court of Appeal.

Other special courts

The local tribunals

Local tribunals are an integral part of the judicial system in Malta. They can be seen as an extension of the courts, and deal with offences which, though of a trivial nature, can be of great nuisance to the general public. Local tribunals are presided over by a Commissioner for Justice who is appointed and removed in the same manner as any other magistrate. This guarantees that every citizen is given the chance to air specific grievances whilst ensuring that the fundamental principles of a fair hearing are respected. There are nine local tribunals that group together several local councils.

Legal databases

Please refer to the Maltese page "Organisation of justice in Member States - Malta" where you will find detailed information on and links to the relevant databases.

Related Links

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Link opens in new windowCourt Services - Civil Forms (in Maltese)

Link opens in new windowLegal Services (Laws of Malta)


The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Last update: 13/05/2015