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Future judicial cooperation between the EU & UK: Assessing the implication of a “Hard Brexit” for judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters.

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the "TCA") concluded on Christmas Eve, 2020 is silent with respect to judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters (as opposed to cooperation in criminal matters). Consequently, as from 1st January, 2021 the UK is treated as a third state with respect to the application of a number of significant EU legislation regulating matters of cross-border judicial cooperation (e.g. the rules governing the recognition and enforcement of court judgements or the choice of jurisdiction and applicable law clauses). Given the regularity with which an English law clause, usually supported by a choice of English…
Simon Pullicino
8th February 2021
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

The Court of Appeal on: Onus of Proof & Defects Liability Period

In a recent judgment in the case Middlesea Insurance plc illum Mapfre Middlesea p.l.c. vs Spot On Gypsum Limited, the Court of Appeal overturned the conclusion of the First Hall, Civil Court with respect to the onus of proof. The case referred to an action for damages following an accident suffered by a resident in a hotel due to defective works carried out by the defendant company. The First Hall of the Civil Court had concluded that the defendant company was, in fact, responsible for the damages, but failed to liquidate the damages or to condemn the defendant company to…
Louise Sant Fournier
4th February 2021
Litigation & Dispute ResolutionNews

Tenants’ Rights Safeguarded by Constitutional Court

Constitutional Court, Gerald Camilleri et vs Advocate General et, 6th October 2020The Maltese courts of Constitutional Jurisdiction were tasked with deciding a claim of violation of fundamental human rights as filed by the applicants, who had purchased a property in Sliema - in respect of which the provisions of the Housing (Decontrol) Ordinance, Chapter 158 of the Laws of Malta are applicable - and which the applicants knew was tenanted by third parties under a title of lease resulting from a previous title of emphyteusis. Notwithstanding the fact that the applicants were well aware of the tenants' rights and indeed…
Kirk Brincau
8th October 2020
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Two Landmark judgments by the European Court of Human Rights against Malta

In the Case of Aquilina v Malta (Application no. 40246/18) decided on 9 June 2020 and the Case of Montanaro and Others v. Malta (Application no. 29964/18) decided on 1 September 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) overturned yet another decision taken by the Constitutional Court here in Malta. Both judgments dealt with the 1979 amendments to Chapter 158 whereby a temporary emphyteusis (cens) would upon termination convert into a protected lease. The law has been found in breach of human rights in several cases both in Malta and in Strasbourg. However, in the cases of Aquilina and…
Michael E. Camilleri
4th September 2020
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Constitutional Court Increases Damages Due to Landlords of Sliema Property Because of Prejudicial Rent Laws

This article was written by Michael E. Camilleri & Ilenia AgiusIn a judgment delivered on 20th July 2020, the Constitutional Court ordered the State Advocate to pay €250,000 in damages, including moral damages, to the landlords of a property in The Strand, Sliema. The property in question was initially acquired in 1919 by title of temporary emphyteusis which is to expire in 2028. In 1976 the emphyteuta leased the property at an annual rent of Lm4,000 subject to an increase of 5% every five years. The parties had also agreed to enter into a new lease agreement after the lapse of fifteen…
Michael E. Camilleri
31st July 2020
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

It’s not always the driver’s fault!

In a judgment delivered on Friday 12th June 2020, the Civil Court, First Hall (the 'Court') found that a pedestrian was solely responsible for a traffic accident, as a result of which the same pedestrian had died. A third party witness had given evidence in the criminal proceedings instituted against the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident, stating that he had seen the pedestrian crossing 4 to 5 feet away from the pedestrian crossings and whilst the traffic lights were red for pedestrians. The victim had also managed to pass through barriers in the road to cross the…
Christine Calleja
15th June 2020