Going to Court
Are you currently thinking of initiating legal proceedings, whether civil or commercial?
Either way, you will first need to identify which court has jurisdiction for your case, as using the wrong court could lead to considerable delays or the dismissal of your case due to lack of jurisdiction.
For detailed information on how to choose the right court for your case, as well as how to proceed, click here.
The State can provide Legal Aid Assistance to those who need it, whether for proceedings you are making against a third party or against claims brought against you.
If you think you may be entitled to legal aid, you will first be subject to an assessment of your claim and financial situation, which will be made by the Advocate for Legal Aid.
For more information on Legal Aid, whether you may be eligible and how to apply, click here.
Victims of Crime
If you have been a victim of crime in Malta, and once you are out of danger, it is recommended that you file a report at the closest police station. You should give as many details as possible so as to hopefully reprimand the perpetrator.
Once you have filed a report, and if the person responsible is made known to the police, you can choose whether or not to press charges through the appropriate court.
Maltese citizens and European citizens are entitled to claim compensation for the criminal injuries they have sustained so long as such injuries were subject to criminal proceedings or reported to the Police without delay.
Such compensation can be claimed either by the victim himself or by a dependent or other person if the latter has suffered any money loss or incurred expenses because of the crime sustained by the victim. This compensation cannot be claimed if the victim was responsible or partially responsible for the crime.
You may also wish to contact the local crime victim assistance agency, Appogg, for support, by calling 179 or visiting their website.
Mediation in Malta
Disputes don’t always have to end in court; they could be solved through arbitration or mediation. Through mediation, a qualified mediator helps the parties involved to reach agreement.
If you are considering mediation, you are advised to contact the Malta Mediation Centre through the Registrar at the Malta Mediation Centre, Justice Unit, 30 Old Treasury Street, Valletta VLT 1410. You can also call on 2125 1110 or email email@example.com.
For more information about the process and advantages of mediation, click here.
Malta Arbitration Centre
The Malta Arbitration Centre (MAC) was set up to promote and encourage domestic arbitration and international commercial arbitration. It is administered by a Board of Governors appointed by the President of Malta, but is independent of Government.
For more information on the MAC, including procedures and the relevant forms, click here.
Succession in Malta
The passing of a relative or close companion is never easy, and does not need the added headaches of complicated laws and procedures.
Succession is something that will affect all of us, and correct planning can help to make it easier. Succession Planning has been regularised across the EU, and there are numerous guidelines that you can follow for advice.
Here you can find information on the competent authorities to contact, which laws apply to you and your family, and which taxes are payable on succession.
Wills in Malta
In Malta it is mandatory to register an authentic will at the public registry. You may also choose to file a sealed will with the courts, in the presence of two witnesses.
For more information on registering and searching for wills in Malta, including relevant costs, click here.
Rights of the Defendant in Criminal Proceedings
If you have been arrested for a crime in Malta, the Court will likely detain you and later inform you of your bail conditions. If you are not arraigned under arrest, you will be notified of the charges brought against you and the date of the first hearing.
Depending on the seriousness of the charges that you face, proceedings will be brought before the Court of Magistrates as a court of Criminal Judicature if the offence falls within its jurisdiction, or before the Court of Magistrates as a Court of Criminal Inquiry, if the offence does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Court of Magistrates as a Court of Criminal Judicature.
The Court of Magistrates as a Court of Criminal Inquiry, after the conclusion of the inquiry, will then decide whether the offence is to be tried by the Court of Magistrates as a Court of Criminal Judicature or by the Criminal Court, that is before a Trial by Jury. In each case, there will be a judgment either sentencing the person found guilty to the relevant punishment or discharging him or her.
For more information about the criminal process in Malta, including the role of the European Commission, how to get legal advice, your rights throughout the investigation and trial, and the Criminal Code, click here.
Being a Juror in Malta
If you have been summoned to be a juror in Malta, you may be confused about what the process will bring. Largely, those who have been jurors in the past, deem to have been a positive experience, not least because they have helped to bring justice. After all, the system of a trial by jury ensures that, in the most serious criminal cases, the public, as represented by the jurors, has the final say as to whether a person is or isn’t guilty of a criminal offence in Malta.
For more information about the role of the jury, as well as the requirements, processes and a list of those people who may be exempt from being a juror, click here.