In Malta, mediation is regulated by the Mediation Act (Chapter 474 of the Laws of Malta) which came into force. on the 21st December, 2004. The Malta Mediation Centre was set up on the 7th July, 2005 when the first Board of Governors of the Centre was appointed.
The Centre, which is a body corporate with distinct legal personality, was set up for the purpose of providing a forum where two or more parties in dispute or in litigation may voluntarily refer or be referred by the Court or other adjudicatory authority, in order to resolve their dispute by mediation, namely, the process in which a mediator, duly accredited by the Centre, acts as an impartial third party with a view to facilitating negotiations between litigants in order to assist them resolve their dispute by reaching a voluntary and timely agreement.
The Office of the State Advocate was established in terms of Article 91A of the Constitution as the principal advisor to Government in matters of law and legal opinion. It is tasked to act in the public interest and to safeguard the legality of State action and it also performs such other duties and functions as may be conferred by the Constitution or by any law.
The Office of the State Advocate was established by the State Advocate Act (Chapter 603 of the Laws of Malta) as a government agency. The State Advocate enjoys constitutional independence and is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority in the performance of the functions conferred.
Until the 18th December 2019 when the Office of the State Advocate was constituted to take over the advisory role to Government, the Attorney General was the principal legal counsel to the Government.
The Office of the State Advocate acts as the competent authority for the processing of requests for the international service of documents in civil and commercial matters and for the taking of evidence in civil matters. It is also the function of the State Advocate to advise Government on proposed legislation, to assist with the drafting of Bills and to attend the sittings of the House of Representatives during the passage of such Bills to advise the Ministers concerned and draft any amendments which might be deemed necessary particularly at Parliamentary Committee Stage.
The lawyers serving at the Office of the State Advocate advise Government on all legal matters and deal mainly with civil, administrative, Constitutional and European Union law matters. These lawyers draft and examine legal documents and agreements and tender legal opinions to government officials on matters that entail the interpretation of legal issues or principles.
The lawyers plead for Government in the Superior Courts in their civil and constitutional jurisdiction (the First Hall of the Civil Court, the Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court), before the Inferior Courts (the Court of Magistrates) and before tribunals and boards established by law and in arbitration proceedings. A number of officers are also specialised in European Union Law.
Lawyers from the Office of the State Advocate also regularly attend meetings of specialized Committees and working groups and act as contact points and liaison officers within the legal structures of the institutions of the European Union, the Council of Europe and other international organisations.
The Legislation Unit within the Office of the State Advocate is responsible for keeping the website of the laws of Malta (legislation.mt) updated.
The State Advocate also acts as Government Agent before the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice.
The lawyers at the Office of the State Advocate are obliged to follow a Code of Ethics for Advocates and Legal Procurators specific to the Office of the State Advocate as published in the Government Gazette apart from Codes of Ethics regulating the legal profession and the public service in general.
The Law Courts’ mission is “to provide both the public and the judiciary effective and efficient services, structures and know-how to enable the public to understand, follow and be informed of the judicial processes in which they may be involved and to provide the judiciary with the necessary staff, tools and services in order that they may dispense justice properly and efficiently.”
The Administration of the Court Services Agency is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer, but the legal responsibility for the implementation of judicial orders is placed on the Registrar of Courts. There is, consequently, a clear divide between administrative and legal roles.
There are three registrars namely, the Registrar, Civil Courts and Tribunals, the Registrar, Criminal Courts and Tribunals and the Registrar, Gozo Courts and Tribunals. The Registrars of the Courts are responsible for the registries and the officers attached to them, the filing and service of judicial acts, registration of sitting minutes, execution of executive titles, such as judgements, and warrants through Court appointed marshals, judicial sales by auction, trials by jury and other criminal court procedures.
The Court Services Agency cater for all civil and criminal proceedings. There are also ten Local Tribunals in Malta and Gozo which deal with depenalised offences.
Who We Are
Legal Aid Malta was established by Legal Notice 414 of 2014. The function of the Agency is to give operational and administrative support to the management of tha Agency. Legal Notice 64 of 2016, Legal Aid Agency (Procedures) Order 2016, lays down the procedure to be adopted by the Agency for legal aid applications.
Legal Notice 64 of 2016, also spells out the functions and duties of the administration staff within the Agency. Legal Aid Malta is composed of the senior management who direct the work of the legal aid lawyers and legal procurators, selected after a public call, appointed by the Minister of Justice, and public officers within the agency.
Article 911 (6) of Chapter 12 of the Laws of Malta defines the words ‘Advocate for Legal Aid’ as the person who holds the office of a lawyer, officer or public officer whose function belongs to the legal aid lawyer or whose function is within the administration for the benefit of legal aid.
The Agency is composed of two aspects: the legal and the administrative under the guidance of the Director for legal aid services.