Prime minister in breach of terms of reference he set for press freedom reform

According to terms of reference for press experts' committee, OPM was ‘bound’ to table copy in Parliament 10 days after receiving copy

 

Prime Minister Robert Abela is in breach of the terms he set for the press experts’ committee set up in January, which stipulate that a copy of the review must be presented to parliament ten days after it is received.

According to the secretary of the press experts’ committee, Frank Mercieca, the committee presented “its reactions to the draft legislative amendments as prepared by the government” on 1 June, further adding that “the work of the Committee of Experts is not finished and further meetings are scheduled”.

When asked about whether the committee intends to publish its assessment, Mercieca told The Shift that “it is not within the Experts Committee remit to share copies of the document as this is a prerogative of the government”.

The committee is tasked with examining draft legislative amendments prepared by the government. The amendments should be drawn from the conclusions of the public inquiry on the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Given that Abela sat on the report for over a month and failed to table it in parliament before the summer recess, the review of the government’s proposals remains hidden from public scrutiny. Parliament will reconvene on 3 October.

The extract from the press release published on 11 January outlines the prime minister’s obligation to publish the committee’s review.

The prime minister had at least a full month to publish the review for public scrutiny before parliament shut down for the summer. The review is supposed to shed light on what the press experts’ committee thinks of the government’s six proposals linked with press freedom.

This, after the government rejected 12 Bills by the Opposition that included the full recommendations by the three judges that led the inquiry.

The government’s proposals focused on anti-SLAPP legislation that must be implemented because of an EU directive, an amendment to the Media and Defamation Act to discontinue defamation cases following the death of the defendant, an increase in the severity of punishments committed against journalists while exercising their profession, and a reference to freedom and media pluralism in the Maltese Constitution.

This already falls short of the comprehensive list of recommendations by the judges.

The media experts committee consists of IGM president and Assistant Editor at The Times of Malta, Matthew Xuereb, Media Today co-owner Saviour Balzan, Malta Today’s editor Kurt Sansone, The Malta Independent Senior Editor Neil Camilleri, University Pro-Rector for Student & Staff Affairs Carmen Sammut, Criminology professor Saviour Formosa and chaired by Michael Mallia, a former judge who was one of three handling the public inquiry on the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

                           
                               
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viv
viv
11 days ago

Nero fiddles.

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
11 days ago

‘Delaying tactics’ is widely used in politics especially by politicians who have plenty to hide. What this infantile PM cannot hide is his inability to act as a decent PM and a politician who is bound to act in the best national interest. This PM and his cronies have become so arrogant that nothing would stop them from continuing with the manifestation of bad practices and deceit. Our people is the only hope to stop this monster of Government.

Francis Said
Francis Said
11 days ago

When not in line with government’s ideology, procrastination is the answer.
Shame to this rubbish of governance.

makjavel
makjavel
11 days ago

He is a plain lollipop licking coward.

KLAUS
KLAUS
11 days ago

Once again ROBBER Abela makes a deep fool of himself.

Sometimes I wonder why he doesn’t walk around with a red clown nose. He will go down in Malta’s history as a staircase joke:

Promising a lot and delivering absolutely nothing.
What a role model for this woeful government

Chris
Chris
10 days ago

BOBBYGATE: WILL MALTA’S PRIME MINISTER RESIGN OVER MEETING WITH AN ACCUSED MONEY LAUNDERER IN CASTILLE AFTER HIS ARREST

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2022/07/bobbygate-will-maltas-prime-minister.html

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