05 Mar 2016 Malta Upside Down
A Constitutional Convention has been promised. All the preparatory work and more has long been ready. Even though the Opposition expressed some reservations, they never ever declared they would boycott. (1)
In the meantime the Justice Minister hastily presents a Judicial Appointments Bill, heavily overshadowed by, and probably as a reaction to, the unconstitutional magisterial nomination of Zammit Young, a Bill which, whilst requiring a two thirds majority ( if dealing with judicial appointments art 96, 97 and 100 of the Cosntitution) , has received widespread criticism to the extent of being described as unconstitutional, autocratic and fake by none other than eminent jurist Giovanni Bonello. The Opposition’s reaction to the Bill – ‘unacceptable’!
So not only has the Constitutional Convention been completely ignored in a matter where it could have been the ideal forum of discussion, but a Bill requiring a two thirds majority has been presented in Parliament without apparently consulting anyone, considering the barrage of criticism from all quarters. Upside down!
I honestly hope hurdles are overcome and consensus reached, but is this the right spirit of constitutional reform? Unconstitutional magisterial nominations and bulldozing?
Whilst it should now be clear to all that it is this arrogant attitude that is hindering constitutional reform, and nothing else, one could also ask whether since judicial appointments would have been a core theme for the Convention to discuss, there is still scope for a Convention at all.
(1)”Asked if he would boycott the Constitutional Convention coordinated by Franco Debono, Dr Busuttil said the new PN leader must assess the situation and discuss the way forward with the Government. “I do not want to close the door on this because this is really big and really important,” he said.” – Times of Malta