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Title: The birth of the Republic of Malta
Authors: Schembri, Nicolette
Keywords: Constitutional law -- Malta
Malta -- Politics and government
Constitutional history -- Malta
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: The 13th December 1974 marks Malta’s shift of status from monarchy to Republic, whereby Malta underwent a transition from a monarchical to a Republican constitution. Despite the arguments that the constitutional amendments of 1974 were far-reaching to the extent of giving rise to the development of a new constitution that fits the description of autochthonous as far as constitutional law is concerned, these were not the origins of a new constitution, but amendments to our 1964 Independence Constitution. As a consequence the birth of the republic of Malta is viewed by many as a political manoeuvre by the Prime Minister at the time, Dominic Mintoff who did not subject the Republican Constitution to popular vote. Conversely, the ‘new’ constitution was debated and approved solely by Parliament, hence, naturally, arguing that there must have existed an intention for not putting it to public scrutiny is clearly legitimate. The Independence Constitution, which was approved by means of a popular referendum, was replaced by the Republican Constitution. In Parliament, the leader of the Opposition and deputies of the Nationalist Party had voted against the constitutional modifications on the basis that the choice did not give the possibility to the people to express their will. Moreover, the Nationalist Party did not approve of the temporary suspension of the supremacy of the Constitution as the Constitution could not be modified by Parliament through a simple majority. This reflects the political clash at the time and raises the question of legitimacy as to how Malta was made to become a Republic. The work term was put before the respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, which were the cornerstones of the 1964 constitution. After winning the 1987 election, the Nationalists had two options, either to undo the 1974 Republic or consolidate it. They chose to consolidate it, however, within a European spirit. Thereupon, Malta became a democratic sovereign state and welcomed the notion of supremacy of the Constitution over ordinary legislation. Malta’s transition is described by Antonella Cesarini as a revolution in terms of law due to the modality of transition which could have been easily challenged, yet was not. The Republican system of government which introduced the notion of supremacy of the constitution is workable to date alongside the EU constitutional framework and the governmental systems of MS.
Description: LL.B.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 2016
Dissertations - FacLawPub - 2016

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