They’re not working, are they?

A young girl and boy were orphaned yesterday. Their mother was taken away from them forever, allegedly at the hands of their father. A young woman’s life was cut tragically short because the institutions and society failed her.

We will mourn. We will add Bernice Cassar’s name to the long list of victims of domestic violence, of victims of accidents provoked by collapsed buildings, of victims of road accidents, of victims of firework factory explosions, and of victims of car bombings.

We tend to mourn for a while, get angry that yet another death has occurred on our watch, ask for “something” to be done and then forget it all until the next victim comes along.

All these victims have one thing in common: the institutions designed to protect them have failed them. That is why it is not only about domestic violence. It is about much more.

Bernice Cassar’s case has served to highlight the inadequacy of the justice system. We may be the envy of the world at rapidly introducing progressive legislation – reforms such as the concept of ‘femicide’ are paraded as ‘state-of-the-art’ legislation.

Yet when it comes to putting money where our mouth is and investing in the structures to implement this protection, we fail. Miserably.

Bernice Cassar had made multiple reports of domestic violence to the authorities. Six months of reports and no action seems to have been taken.

MP Karol Aquilina pointed out in parliament on Tuesday night that there are currently 1,429 pending domestic violence cases. Almost 1,500 cases before ONE magistrate. The nature of this type of case is such that they require expeditious decisions. Time is of the essence. Yet.

While commenting on the murder, Minister Farrugia Portelli said that “(…) our justice systems may not have worked in the past and may not have given the people the results they deserve. We must work to improve those systems.” This may be the closest we get to a person in government admitting the vast deficiencies of our justice system.

Once again, we are back to “discussing ways forward to improve justice systems”. We have an inquiry that will essentially measure how bad the situation is.

I said earlier that this problem is not limited to domestic violence. The public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia found numerous institutional shortcomings.

The death of Miriam Pace when a Hamrun home collapsed two years ago led to a fleeting awareness of the increasing number of building accidents. Lack of proper supervision was to blame there.

Deaths of workers at the workplace are often a result of lax supervision too. Again, institutional inadequacies lead to the loss of lives. I could go on. The loss of lives among migrants at sea is nothing less than another aspect of institutional failure.

The bottom line is that the “institutions are working” mantra is a lie. We had warned of the effects of backsliding of the rule of law ages ago.

A society that only values progress on paper and does little to strengthen the institutions that protect it will soon lose its way.

It’s the most vulnerable citizens that lose out first. Bernice Cassar lived in fear. Her cries for help were ignored or lost in the machine of incompetent bureaucracy. The institutions failed her. We failed her.

The institutions are not working. It’s time to stand up to the moral hypocrisy of those who will tell you anything to the contrary.


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13 days ago

The “institutions” as they were known, are now totally compromised by the Mafia that has taken over the government and the LP. The “institutions are just places of employment for “persons of trust”, cronies, and a variety of miscreants from local politics, money comes easy, they don’t have to account for it, anywhere. They are on a mission, each and every one of them to steal as much from the Public Purse before it all grinds to a halt through enormous debt and the collapse of the economy. The “new” systems are just worthless words to impress the Gahans and Bogans that they actually are doing something worthwhile to “protect and serve” them whilst in power. the reverse is true, they couldn’t give a flying fuck about anyone or anything other than their own orgasmic lust for power and cheap money. Life has never been cheaper, a few casualties along the way are about par for these moronic philistines who will not be derailed from creating their own “institutions” to support their quest in everything dishonest.

I. Gatt
I. Gatt
8 days ago

Spot on

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