POLIS
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Malta

General Information

Admission to the OSCE: 25 June 1973

Policing overview: Law enforcement services are provided by the Malta National Police, the Local (Wardens) Enforcement System and the Permanent Commission against Corruption.


National Police

1. Functions and missions
2. Structure and organization 

1. Functions and missions
The mission of the Maltese National Police is “to promote and maintain Malta as a safe and secure state”. Its key objectives are to consolidate the fight against crime, improve community relations and motivate policing staff.

2. Structure and organization
The Commissioner of Police acts as commander of the National Police service.

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Local (Wardens) Enforcement System

1. Functions and missions
2. Structure and organization

1. Functions and missions
This system focuses on the application or enforcement of laws at the local level with the aim of maintaining law and order in the various localities when the legislation to be enforced is within the competence of local council tribunals.

2. Structure and organization
At the local level, the justice system is represented by the Commissioners for Justice, who are appointed by the Minister for Justice and Local Government. These Commissioners sit in the local tribunals established for this purpose.

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Permanent Commission Against Corruption

1. Functions and missions
2. Structure and organization
3. Staff data

 1. Functions and missions
The Permanent Commission Against Corruption is mandated to: 

  • consider and investigate alleged or suspected corrupt practices when it determines that there are sufficient grounds for an in-depth investigation;
  • investigate the conduct of any public officer, including Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries, which, in the opinion of the Commission, may be corrupt, connected with or conducive to corrupt practices;
  • investigate the conduct of any person who is, or has been, entrusted with functions relating to the administration of a partnership or other body in which the Government, local government, statutory body, etc. has a controlling interest or effective control, where the Commission is of the opinion that such conduct could be corrupt, connected with or conducive to corrupt practices;
  • investigate the practices and procedures of government departments, local authorities, statutory or other bodies in which the government has a controlling interest or effective control in order to facilitate the identification of corrupt practices and to recommend the revision of work practices or methods that could be conducive to corrupt practices;
  • instruct, advise and assist ministers or other persons who are entrusted with the administration of government departments and other bodies where the government has a controlling interest or effective control (as in the previous instances), on ways in which corrupt practices could be eliminated;

In such cases, reports of the commission's findings are submitted to the Minister of Justice.

2. Structure and organization
The Permanent Commission Against Corruption is composed of a chairman and two members appointed by the President of Malta and acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. The Commission has the power to summon witnesses and request files or other documentary evidence, as well as to seek police assistance when it deems fit.

3. Staff data
The Secretary to the Commission, as well as other staff who are deemed necessary, shall be appointed by the Prime Minister who may, at the request of the Commission, appoint a person to assist it in its investigations in a consultative capacity.

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Criminal Justice System

1. General information
2. Prosecution 

1. General information
The courts of justice deal with both civil and criminal proceedings. There are also ten local tribunals in Malta and Gozo (i.e.the adjacent inhabited island forming part of the Maltese archipelago) which deal with minor offences. To view a chart of the Maltese Courts, please visit the Attachments section.

For the purposes of the Local (Wardens) Enforcement System, ten local tribunals have been established where Commissioners of Justice hear charges for offences committed within the territory of the relevant councils. As of 2006, Malta had 68 local councils overall, 54 on the main island of Malta and 14 on the island of Gozo.

2.  Prosecution
The investigation of criminal offences is shared between the police and the magistrates. The investigating magistrate may order that an arrest and criminal proceedings be initiated against an offender.

At this stage, the Attorney General does not have a formal institutional role. In practice, however, the police do very often seek guidance from the Office of the Attorney General on emerging legal issues that may need to be resolved. The police does not have an obligation to report all or any criminal offence to the Attorney General and no penalties exist for not doing so. The Attorney General may and does suggest crime policy guidelines to the police to be utilized in investigations being undertaken solely by the service, but these guidelines are only binding once endorsed by the Commissioner of Police, who is the commander of the police service. The Minister for Justice and Home Affairs and the Commissioner of Police are the authorities primarily responsible for laying down such binding guidelines to the police.

A number of coercive measures exist which may be utilized to facilitate an investigation. Although these are obviously applied by the police, the involvement of the Attorney General is necessary and at times obligatory, depending on what type of coercive measure is required.

Attachments

  Maltese Court System [English] (11.05 Kb) Maltese Court System [English] (Format: PDF) http://polis-cp.osce.org/countries/view?item_id=38&attach_id=171
Chart
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Links

Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs – Malta  Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs – Malta http://mjha.gov.mt
Official website of the Ministry

Malta National Police  Malta National Police http://www.pulizija.gov.mt/
Official website of the National Police in Malta

Malta Local (Wardens) Enforcement System  Malta Local (Wardens) Enforcement System https://les.gov.mt/
Official website of the Local Enforcement System in Malta

Permanent Commission Against Corruption - Malta  Permanent Commission Against Corruption - Malta https://mjcl.gov.mt/en/justice/Pages/Permanent-Commission-Against-Corruption.aspx
Official website of the Permanent Commission Against Corruption in Malta

OSCE/ ODIHR Legislationline - Malta  OSCE/ ODIHR Legislationline - Malta http://www.legislationline.org/topics/country/15/topic/12
Legislationline is a gratis internet-based legislative database published and maintained by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

Last Updated: 12 June 2007

Also see: Italy

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