10 Feb 10th Febuary 2010
10th Febuary 2010 is a very important date for human rights and the administration of justice in Malta.
After having laid dormant for seven years, the right to legal assistance for arrested persons was put in force on this date a few weeks after I abstained in a minor parliamentary vote on the 14th December 2009, and cited the lack of enforcement of this fundamental human right as one of the reasons for my protest.
In the Salduz vs Turkey case this right was declared to be an aspect of the fundamental human right to a fair hearing.
As a lawyer I was counsel in the first Constitutional judgment declaring this righ a fundamental human right and the accused was subsequently acquitted. The constituional case is res judicata, the criminal case is pending appeal.