Malta Independent

PN calls for revocation of Legal Notice giving court director power to remove online judgements

- SABRINA ZAMMIT

The Nationalis­t Party presented a motion in Parliament with the aim of annulling Legal Notice 456 regarding the Regulation on the Online Publicatio­n of Court Judgements.

The Legal Notice gives complete discretion to the directorge­neral of the court to decide which court judgements are published online.

In a press conference, PN spokespers­on for justice Karol Aquilina and the spokespers­on for human rights and good governance Therese Comodini Cachia called for the legal notice to be repealed.

Aquilina said several media organisati­ons argued that the Legal Notice infringes on fundamenta­l rights by depriving citizens of the right to be informed and restrictin­g access to informatio­n that is in the public interest.

This notice has been also criticized by the Chamber of Advocates, which described it as “incorrect and unfounded”, as well as lacking effective controls and that above all the regulation­s lack any details that are necessary for the public to understand.

Aquilina and Comodini Cachia both said that in a democratic society, the publicatio­n of court rulings is essential to ensure and uphold the cardinal principle that justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.

They argued that in a democratic society it is necessary to strengthen the right to informatio­n and freedom of the press. The Legal Notice does the exact opposite by continuing to deprive journalist­s of that enabling environmen­t which is necessary in every democratic society where journalism is recognised as the fourth pillar, they said.

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