European Journal of Law Reform

Article

The Suprema Lex of Malta

A Forgotten Law in Legislative Drafting, Statutory Interpretation and Law Making?

Keywords Maltese Law, legislative drafting, statutory interpretation, law making, supreme law
Authors Kevin Aquilina
Author's information

332723 Kevin Aquilina
Professor Kevin Aquilina is Dean of the Faculty of Laws at the University of Malta.
  • Abstract

      Although the Constitution of Malta is the supreme law of the land, yet, in practice, the three principal organs of the state – the legislature, executive and judiciary – have, in certain respects exemplified in this article, tended to close their eyes to the provisions of the supreme law of the land to such an extent that legislation, government action and judicial pronouncements have breached the basic law. Without attempting to be all-inclusive, the article discusses a few illustrations where this has been the case and reflects upon this institutional behaviour where the Constitution is not upheld as the supreme law of Malta but is instead derided and disparaged. Consequently, fundamental principles of state governance such as the tenets of a democratic society and the rule of law end up being threatened and imperilled by those same institutions which are called upon to respect them. Nevertheless, the Constitution proclaims itself supreme over any other law and the organs it establishes, including the three principal organs of the state which are assaulting it, and embodies within its fold the rule of law which at the current state of play is passing through a critical phase in the state of Malta.

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