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Title: The Gozo Civic Council : an experiment of devolution in Gozo
Authors: Caruana, Abigail Marie
Keywords: Malta. Kunsill Civiku Għawdxi
Gozo (Malta) -- History
Gozo (Malta) -- Politics and government -- History
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: The thesis starts unravelling as the First Chapter puts into context the subject matter by giving a bird's eye view of the earliest documented forms of decentralisation, which are traceable back to the Order of Saint John, with particular focus on the functions of the Universitas Gaudisii. Light is shed on the French Rule in Malta, under which Napoleon outlined the foundation of new administrative machinery for the Government of Gozo, followed by the insurgence against the French leading to the formation of the Natione Gozitana. This sequence of events leads the Chapter to an end with an analysis of the 1921 Constitution conceding the Maltese islands a Parliament with self-governing powers while under the British Protectorate. The Second Chapter concentrates on the follow-up to the sequence of events which took place in the late 1950's and early 1960's, during which great political instability reigned, and looks into how this instability actually led to the idea of the formation of Civic Committees to then develop into the notion of a single Gozo Civic Committee in 1958. The build-up to this scenario leads to the Committee being re-designated as the Gozo Civic Council in 1960, and being represented in each of its District Committees. The ending to this Chapter delves into Government Notice Number 139 dated 14th March of 1960 entrusting the Gozo Civic Committee with the supervision of an array of administrative affairs. The Thesis' key Chapter is however Chapter three, which revolves around Ordinance XI of 1961 which established the Gozo Civic Council as a Local Government for Gozo. Firstly, a detailed account is given of the work behind the Draft Ordinance aimed at giving the Council a proper legislative basis, and this is mainly shown by the minutes of the Executive Council and the correspondence between Maltese high executive officers and their British counterpart. Secondly an extensive legal exposition of the Sections of the Ordinance is given, paying particular attention to the functions and duties which the local body having legal personality possessed. Chapter Four is mainly dedicated to the First and Second Council's workings supplemented with the comparison between the areas in which the two Councils managed to succeed and in the areas in which they failed miserably. The Chapter then shifts its focus on the passing of the controversial Bill related to the 1964 amendments to the 1961 Ordinance mainly triggered by the malfunction of the District Committees. The Fifth and last Chapter of the thesis further tackles the Third and Fourth Council and revisits the happenings leading to the abolition of the Gozo Civic Council. The last Chapter undertakes an analytical approach when examining the reasons behind the downfall of the Civic Council and 4 the political rationale adopted by central government in deciding to abolish the Council once and for all turning Gozo's Administrative clock back by almost a hundred years. Finally, in the conclusion, coming back to our times, the thesis makes observations and draws conclusions on how the Gozo Civic Council, inspite of its abolition in 1973, is still considered to be a successful experiment in the field of decentralisation of power. The thesis buttresses these conclusions by ending with comparative exercise between Ordinance XI of 1961 establishing the Gozo Civic Council and the Local Councils Act enacted in 1993 whilst asserting that the 1961 Ordinance constituted a vital point of reference for the legislators of the Local Councils Act.
Description: LL.D.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 2010

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