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Title: The doctrines of collective and individual ministerial responsibility revisited
Authors: Sacco, Terence
Keywords: Constitutional law -- Malta
Parliamentary practice -- Malta
Ministerial responsibility -- Malta
Cabinet system -- Malta
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: On obtaining Independence, Malta adopted the Westminster system of government and, therefore, the constitutional conventions of collective and individual ministerial responsibility. This thesis seeks to discuss and analyse the subject matter of the conventions, their application and who applies them. It seeks to contribute to the discussion on ministerial responsibility and to suggest constitutional amendments to strengthen the conventions and the Constitution. The author has consulted books on British and Maltese constitutional law, the Constitution of Malta, parliamentary debates of the House of Commons and the House of Representatives, research papers, newspapers and websites. The first chapter deals with the nature of the conventions and the Executive, the origins of the British and Maltese Cabinets and the functions of the Cabinet. It is argued that since Cabinet emerges from Parliament, ministers remain collectively and individually responsible to Parliament. The second chapter analyses the convention of collective ministerial responsibility, through which Cabinet is made collectively responsible to Parliament for the general conduct of the affairs of the country. The third chapter deals with the convention of individual ministerial responsibility, which provides that a minister is responsible to Parliament for his own official acts and for those of the ministry entrusted to him by the Prime Minister. The fourth chapter examines the application of the conventions in Malta by analysing primary examples of their application. The thesis concludes that the conventions are applied by the Prime Minister provided he enjoys the confidence of the absolute majority of the members of the House of Representatives. Together with his power to advise the President to dissolve Parliament, the Prime Minister uses the conventions to control the majority in Parliament, including Government backbenchers. Adherence to these conventions ensures a true democracy in which government Ministers would, through Parliament, be responsible to the electorate.
Description: LL.D.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 2014
Dissertations - FacLawPub - 2014

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