Commission: 'Every judge should recognise that his first loyalty is towards the Judiciary'
The Commission for the Administration of Justice said in a statement today that every judge should recognise that his first loyalty is towards the Judiciary he forms part of and the confidence which it should enjoy from the community is serves.
The Commission has been in the spotlight after the Prime Minister on Saturday presented motions for the impeachment of judges Ray Pace and Lino Farrugia Sacco. Judge Pace has since resigned and the motion against him has been dropped.
In a statement, the Commission said its investigations are held behind closed doors and it cannot comment about them.
It said it could investigate a member of the judiciary to draw his/her attention on any matter, in any court, which may not be conducive to an efficient and proper functioning of the court.
It also carries out an investigation after an impeachment motion is presented to the Speaker of the House.
In the case of the former, when a shortcoming is found, the only action the Commission may take is to draw the attention of the member of the judiciary involved that his/her action are in violation of the Code of Ethics and may undermine confidence in the Office.
In the past, the Commission investigated Mr Justice Lino Farrugia Sacco and drew his attention as explained.
In the case of investigations into an impeachment motion, should the commission find prima facie misbaviour by a member of the judiciary, the impeachment motion is referred to the House of Representatives for further action.
Decisions on the removal or otherwise of a judge can only be taken by the House of Representatives.
The Commission said it acts in a collective manner and all its members have to be involved in the discussion, meaning that cases cannot be tackled with the speed which the commission itself may wish.
The Commission said that expressions of confidence in a judge for extra-judicial activities, made by organisations which are not involved in the judiciary, do not conditions the commission.
"Every judge should recognise that his first loyalty is towards the Judiciary he forms part of and the confidence which it should enjoy from the community is serves.
(The Malta Olympic Committee last week expressed confidence in its president, Judge Farrugia Sacco)