Prof. Raymond Mangion and Prof. Frances Camilleri Cassar from the Department of Legal History & Legal Research Methods, Prof. Joe Pirotta, retired Head of the Department of International Relations, Prof. JosAnn Cutajar from the Department of Gender and Sexualities and Rev. Dr Nicholas Doublet from the Faculty of Theology were the keynote speakers at the virtual conference marking 100 years since the 1921 Constitution, organised by the Office of the President on 12 April.
President of Malta, His Excellency, Dr George Vella, said he would like the people of Malta to better understand who they are, having a history that should give us a sense of pride and understand that unity is an important step to move forward.
Prof. Mangion’s contribution focused on how 1921 marked an event which the Maltese population had been working hard for, an event which was important not just for the legislative system, but also the institutional one.
Prof. Pirotta said the fact that the British used to view Malta as a fortress didn’t help, and the fact that they tried to promote the Maltese language as an Arabic dialect to counter the promotion of Italian didn’t help either, but the Constitution gave Malta a fresh new page.
Prof. Camilleri Cassar spoke about the role of women in public life, saying that her research suggests that political parties need to address the traditional cultural subjugation of women, and institutional resistance to women's presence amongst political elites. Only then will Malta’s parliament become synonymous with equality, and with democracy.
Fr Doublet offered an analysis of how the British viewed the Maltese embracing the religion, whereas they embraced the concept of tolerance.
This Conference was linked to the Conference for National Unity organised last February, with the President saying he feels this knowledge of the foundations of the country is a fundamental step in appreciating more what brings us closer.
You can watch the conference again below: