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Title: Calleja vs Balzan : reflections on public order
Authors: De Gaetano, Vincent A.
Keywords: Public policy (Law)
Police misconduct
Issue Date: 1983
Publisher: Għaqda Studenti tal-Liġi
Citation: De Gaetano, V. A. (1983). Calleja vs Balzan : reflections on public order. Id-Dritt, 10, 13-42.
Abstract: Very often the line of demarcation between proper and improper police conduct is a very thin one indeed, requiring legal skill for its appreciation and judicial interpretation and application for the observance of proper conduct. Until recently, for instance, it was considered to be proper police conduct to release a detainee, for the purpose of safeguarding the rule against detention in excess of forty-eight hours, by simply allowing him to step outside his place of detention and re-arresting him after walking a few feet. The Court of Magistrates of Judicial Police has now set a higher and more exacting standard of police conduct by requiring "manifest and effective" release. This paper seeks to highlight one other vast area characterised by considerable uncertainty as to what are the limits of proper police conduct and of police powers, namely that of the maintenance of public order. No attempt will be made to exhaust the subject: that would be presumptuous. The aim is simply to put forward some arguments. The paper is largely based on a lecture delivered at the invitation of the Commissioner of Police to Gazetted Officers of the Malta Police Force on the 8th January 1981. The case Calleja v. Balzan3 has been included in the title of this paper, and will be discussed at some length, for two reasons. In the first place, although issues of public order are not necessarily tied to situations of public meetings, processions, and public demonstrations and manifestations, it is obvious that these situations often present a greater risk of concentrated public disorder. Secondly, the judgements in Calleja v. Balzan, that is the judgement of the court of first instance and that of the Constitutional Court, touch upon a number of legal principles which are of considerable importance in the context of any discussion on public order.
Appears in Collections:Id-Dritt : Volume 10 : Autumn 1983
Id-Dritt : Volume 10 : Autumn 1983

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