POSTS BY Justin Borg-Barthet

A Captured State

The need for a rapid EU response in the rule of law crisis in Malta is evident: Every aspect of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination case is susceptible to political interference from the Office of the Prime Minister. The police force is politically controlled, the magistrate is politically appointed, any pardons which may be granted to extract further information are within the gift of the Prime Minister, as are the chief prosecutors’ career prospects. The question of judicial independence, acute as it is, is just the tip of a rather large iceberg.

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Is a Microstate about to Provide EU Rule of Law with its Van Gend Moment?

In fifteen years of EU membership, Maltese courts have been remarkably reluctant to refer questions of interpretation to the CJEU. This could be about to change in litigation which could have far-reaching consequences for the direct effect of member states’ rule of law and human rights obligations. The dispute raises important, novel questions concerning the extent to which EU law of a classical constitutional nature could be democratised in much the same manner as the law of the internal market was democratised through Van Gend.

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