On Monday there were two articles about the complaints of the judiciary: the timing was perfect

An article from a reader

On Monday, 23rd August, The Times of Malta carried an article written by Mr Justice Francesco Depasquale on the back page and one by Matthew Xuereb on the front page, covering the same topic. The title and subtitle of Xurereb’s article ran as follows:

Judiciary: Rule of law cannot be upheld with lack of staff, resourcesGovernment has to stop dealing with requirements on management – by crisis basis’

Xuereb’s attempt to turn the heat on the Government is far too convenient now that we can see and judge for ourselves where the problem lies. The responsibility lies fairly and squarely with the antics of the police, the office of the advocates of the Republic, the Caruana Galizia family, Jason Azzopardi and not forgetting few members of the judiciary and a media that has permitted the recent unprecedented behaviour of all concerned and are the culprits who have allowed our law courts to make a mangled mockery of the Rule of Law.    

It is obvious that Depasquale’s article, in his vest as President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges, was written in a lame attempt to divert the mea culpa away from the judiciary. But putting the blame for its inadequacies onto lack of space, trained staff etc. is all humbug. In fact, it is downright caddish. It all has to do with the complete incompetence of those who are ready to accept the salaries of magistrate or judge plus the lustre and perks that accompany the posts but at the same time, they are not prepared – whether through lack of adequate experience or competence in the legal profession or through sheer cronyism – to perform according to the Law.

Any experienced individual – just as long as he/she is not a young graduate – with hard-earned experience in HR would be able to find a solution to Depasquale’s complaints regarding staff, space and any other ludicrous complaint he makes in the name of the Association of Magistrates and Judges to detract attention from their mea culpa.

Although the judiciary is independent of the country’s administration, he [Depasquale] said it is the government that must allocate resources for the judiciary to be able to function and deliver justice within a reasonable time.

Is not the last sentence in this quote clearly trying to justify those members of the judiciary who are incompetent and incapable to maintain discipline and adhere to the law of the land during court sessions? Instead, they sit on their chairs just warming them instead of doing their job professionally.

What is certain is that the likes of Depasquale certainly do not have to drive to work, or wait in queues like the poor sods of court employees whatever their grade. Seeing that after all, he accepted the Government increased salary when it was given not too far back. Was the staff that is the mainstay for the ‘overworked’ judges and magistrates given an equitable increase in wages or, as mere second-class citizens, were they given a token increase yet they are still expected to act as lackeys to lawyers, magistrates, and judges as they already do. If one wants efficiency – on the premise that it is lacking – one should look at the real cause which has nothing to do with lack of space etc.

Rule of law should begin with those who should be honest and true to their chosen profession whatever it may be and never try to shift their omissus and shortcomings on others. 

Probably, in this day and age, it would be expecting too much.

Given the current debate and news that are coming out daily regarding the operations of courts, the time of both articles could not have been more perfect.

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