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Cohabitation among 15 Bills put on hold

Cohabitants and whistleblowers will have to wait until the next legislature for the legal protection they have been promised for years following the dissolution of Parliament.

Among Parliament’s unfinished business is also the ratification of the European Fiscal Compact agreed upon in March. The treaty, which introduces the imposition of balanced budgets on member states, will enter into force on January 1, provided 12 eurozone countries ratify it. So far, only 10 countries have done so.

The Government chosen at the next general election will now have to decide what business to carry forward from the 11th legislature to the 12th.

Among the Bills in the balance is one proposing better financial conditions for the judiciary through a reform of their pension system, which was criticised by the Labour Party.

There is also a related amendment to the Constitution, which would raise the retirement age of the judiciary to 68 from 65, which the Opposition had supported.

Bills amending the Acts relating to cultural heritage, the financial services sector and the Central Bank of Malta will also be dropped, along with proposed regulation for architects, lawyers and counsellors.

Bundled changes to the Civil Code and the Criminal Code, mostly the work of former Justice and Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici, will also be discarded. 

Lastly, a detailed Bill intended to set up a centralised registry – proposed  Transport Minister Austin Gatt – is another initiative that will be shelved, even though it had reached the final committee stage of the parliamentary process.

Meanwhile, a set of laws meant to be spearheaded by Dr Gatt will now never see the light of day, including those introducing a set of digital rights.

These were proposed in a White Paper last October in response to the EU-wide Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (Acta), which was dropped following international controversy.

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