Ena Cremona graduated at the end of a course of laws studded with judicial and political prima donnas, among whom featured two prime ministers, a president of the republic, various ministers, a chief justice, together with other judges, international and domestic, magistrates, professors, ambassadors – the 1958 Establishment, to abuse a phrase compulsory in today’s vocabulary.

Ena was the only woman in her law course, and that perhaps accounts for her compulsion to assert herself. She almost always scored highest in the law exams; Eddie Fenech Adami was a close contender, with all the others more or less left behinds.

As the very first woman litigation lawyer in the history of Malta (preceded only by one pioneer office practitioner), she retained − if not fortified − an admirable and daunting fighting spirit. Invariably ethically correct, never uncourteous, she was a formidable, relentless opponent anybody would want on their side, rather than on the other.

Her ethical compass functioned infallibly

Like several later women lawyers after her, she was as much a Rottweiler in her profession, as she was gentle, considerate and caring in her social interactions.

Life treated Ena any way but even-handedly. She lost the father of her children at a brutally early age, billowed through a stellar legal career to the higher rungs of the judiciary of the European Union, only to be dogged by crippling ill health in her last years.

Although academically gifted to an extravagant degree, she rarely felt the need to commit her learning, wisdom and knowledge to writing. Unwaveringly principled, no one will ever be able to pinpoint a single instance when she negotiated or came to terms with what she considered her moral, social and political imperatives. Her ethical compass functioned infallibly. And with enviable effortlessness.

Giovanni Bonello

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us