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Legal system

Malta’s legal system draws upon the cultural influences of the countries that have shaped much of its history, namely Britain and Italy. As a result, the legal system is a mixture of British Common Law and European Civil Law. Civil Law applies in nearly all elements of private law; however the British system directs many commercial and public activities. Two examples of the influence of Common Law on Maltese commercial law are the Investment Services Act, which is closely modelled on the Financial Services Act (1986) of the United Kingdom, and the introduction of the Common Law concept of a trust (1988). The system consists of a constitutional court, two courts of appeal, the civil court, court of magistrates, criminal court and special tribunals. The Constitutional Court has jurisdiction in matters relating to elections and membership of the House of Representatives and hears appeals involving human rights, the constitution and the integrity of laws. The Court of Appeal receives appeals regarding civil cases from the civil or magistrates’ courts, or from several administrative tribunals. Unlike many other countries, Malta has only a single-tier system of appeal, with the Court of Appeal being the final appellate court in civil matters. The Court of Criminal Appeal deals with appeals arising from criminal cases in the criminal or magistrates’ courts. Criminal courts generally sit with a judge and jury. The president has the authority, on the advice of the prime minister, to appoint the chief justice and 16 judges. The judiciary is independent.

Legal organisations in Malta
Chetcuti-Cauchi Advocates
Ellul Mifsud & Debono Advocates
Fenech & Fenech
Fenech & Fenech Advocates
Fenlex Corporate Services Limited
Griscti & Chetuti Advocates
Hugh Peralta & Associates
Mamo TCV Advocates
Muscat Azzopardi and Associates

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