Sep
04

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

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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, ...
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Jul
31

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

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This article was written by Michael E. Camilleri & Ilenia Agius In a judgment delivered on 20 th 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 leas...
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Feb
20

Articles of the Customs Ordinance and Excise Duty Act Declared Unconstitutional

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In the case 'Michael Zammit v. Kontrollur tad-Dwana et ' decided on the 8 th February 2019, the First Hall of the Civil Court (Constitutional Jurisdiction) found that Articles 68 and 72(4) of Chapter 37 of the Laws of Malta (Customs Ordinance), together with Article 16A of Chapter 382 of the Laws of Malta (Excise Duty Act), are in breach of Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights and Article 37 of the Constitution of Malta (the right to property). It also found that Articles 72 and 73 of Chapter 37 of the Laws of Malta (Customs Ordinance...
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Dec
14

THE CASE OF BUTTIGIEG AND OTHERS v. MALTA (Application no. 22456/15) 11 December 2018

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The applicants are the owners of an apartment in Melita Street, Valletta which was inherited from their father who died in September 2006. The father of the applicants and his brothers had entered into a contract granting a temporary emphyteusis on August 4, 1981.In this contract the apartment was given for a period of 17 years on temporary emphyteusis which commenced on August 12, 1981 and the ground rent was set at Lm120 annually. The concession expired on August 11, 1998 but in virtue of Article 12(2)(b)(i) of Chapter 158 of the Laws of Malta the tenants had th...
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Aug
10

Amendments to Housing (Decontrol) Ordinance (Chapter 158 of the Laws of Malta)

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Amendments to Chapter 158 were introduced by Act No. XXVII of 2018. The amendments affect the leases created by virtue of a previous title of emphyteusis or sub-emphyteusis which commenced before the 1 st June 1995 through the application of article 5, 12, or 12A of Chapter 158. The constitutionality of the provisions of Chapter 158 has been challenged repeatedly in front of the Maltese Courts and in front of the European Court in Strasbourg. Since the case of Amato Gauci v. Malta, (App no 47045/06 [ECHR, 15 September 2009]), the majority of the cases brought by o...
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