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Attorney General Silvio Camilleri appointed Chief Justice

Attorney General Silvio Camilleri will be sworn in as Chief Justice next week, succeeding Vincent De Gaetano who moves to Strasbourg as judge at the European Court of Human Rights.

Dr Camilleri, 57, was approached after Dr De Gaetano submitted his letter of resignation as Chief Justice last Friday, informing Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi he will step down on September 9 to take up his post in Strasbourg on September 20.

Dr Camilleri, who will be Malta’s 22nd Chief Justice, graduated as doctor of laws in 1975 and was called to the bar in 1976. After four years in privatepractice, he joined the public service as senior counsel and eventually assumed the duties of public prosecutor in the criminal courts. He was appointed Assistant to the Attorney General in 1989 and Attorney General in 2004.

He was chairman of the Council of Europe’s Committee on the Development of Human Rights and the Committee on Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures. He also chairs the Financial Intelligence Analyses Unit.

Dr Camilleri is also a senior lecturer and head of the Department of Criminal Law at the University of Malta. He was made member of the National Order of Merit in 1998.

According to the Constitution, the Chief Justice is appointed by the President, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister. He or she may be chosen from either practising lawyers, magistrates who possess the qualifications required by law to be appointed judge, or serving judges, as was the case with Dr De Gaetano.

The Chief Justice is exofficio president of the Court of Appeal, the Constitutional Court and of the Court of Criminal Appeal. He is also exofficio deputy chairman of the Commission for the Administration of Justice and presides of the Rule-Making Boards set up under the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure and the Criminal Code.

The government is in the process of identifying Dr Camilleri’s successor as Attorney General.

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