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Malta

Overview and Key facts:

Capital: Valletta

Land Area: 316 sq km

Head of Government: Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi (since 23 March 2004)

Population: 407,000 (2007)

Major Languages: "Maltese (official), English (official)"

Major Religion(s): Roman Catholic 98%

Date of Joining: 1964

Status of FOI Legislation:

The Government of Malta has tabled the Bill entitled the Freedom of Information Act, 2008 in Parliament after holding two rounds of public consultation based on a white paper. The current freedom of information Bill has gone through two readings and is currently before parliament for its third reading.

Status of National Human Rights Institutions:

Malta has an office of the Ombudsman but no specific human rights mandate.

News Updates:

Malta: On 25 January 2009 'Malta Today' reported that A UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention this week expressed outright condemnation of Malta's arrest procedure - in which suspects are routinely denied access to legal representation while under interrogation - as well as the conditions of closed centres where irregular immigrants are detained.

Malta: PM retains power to keep Cabinet papers secret Wednesday, 03 December 2008.
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2008/12/03/t4.html

Malta: Opposition raises doubts over Freedom of Information law Wednesday, 29 October 2008.
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2008/10/29/t17.html

Malta: The Freedom of Information Act in its current draft form is in danger of falling short in that the "cautious and narrow approach to providing access to information that permeates Bill 7 may undermine the effectiveness of the law in practice" according to CHRI. Sunday, 27 July 2008.
http://www.independent.com.mt/news2.asp?artid=72935

Malta: Debate in the House of Representatives over the draft Freedom of Information Bill continued with members of both sides contributing to the debate. Among others, Evarist Bartolo, Opposition spokesperson for Education and Media, criticised the legislators for using the United Kingdom's Freedom of Information Act 2000 as a model, and indicated that the opposition is totally against the Information and Data Protection Commissioner assuming the added responsibility of safeguarding the Freedom of Information Act. In answer to the criticisms, Parliamentary Secretary for Public Dialogue and Information Chris Said said the UK FOI Act was not the only source of the proposed enactment, and that most of the technical issues will be discussed at Committee Stage. After a second reading the Bill was unanimously approved and sent to Committee Stage. (15/07/08)

Malta: On 5 July 2007 the newspaper 'Times of Malta' reported on human rights groups' anger after a Court dismissed their action against the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General on the ground that the blinds' constitutional right to vote in secret would be breached by the current electoral system. Under the current voting system the visually impaired have to dictate their vote, which is filed by another person. (05/07/07)

Malta/UK/Cyprus: On 14 June 2007 the newspaper 'The Malta Independent' reported that Malta, Britain, Cyprus, and three other European Union nations, blocked attempts to guarantee suspects the right to an interpreter and legal assistance in their mother tongue. The dissenting nations argue that the European Convention on Human Rights already offers guarantees to suspects and that the EU should not have the power to set such high standards for domestic criminal cases. (14/06/07)

 
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Joint Letter to HRC Members on Sri Lanka

Statement on Human Rights Defenders

United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules)

Re Inhuman conditions in prison SC order 24.4.15

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 and the FCR Rules - Points for consideration

Hear the Message, Don't Shoot the Messenger - Curbing Voices of Dissent in the Name of Regulation

CHRI CONCERNED OVER ALLEGATIONS OF POLICE VIOLENCE & ARBITRARY ACTION DURING ANTI GOVERNMENT RALLY

Breaking the silence"- CHRI's Press note on Sri Lanka's RTI

CHRI's critique of Tanzania's ATI Bill 2015

Tanzania's ATI Act 2015 (Bill)

CHRI celebrates the release and repatriation of Khan Zaman

Incidence of rape-torture-death in Prisons

Acquittal of Accused Pac Personnel in the 1987 Hashimpura Killings

Call for Proposals - Crime Victimisation Survey

Call for Quotations Website Maintenance

POLICE REFORM WORKING GROUP (PWRG) STATEMENT ON CABINET SECRETARY

Call for implementation of UNSC resolution on humanitarian access for Syrians

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JointLetter BRICS Summit Fortaleza

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VAW statement - item 3 - 11 June 2014

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Upcoming UPR review for Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho Granada and Guyana

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Humanrights Initiative

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