Prime Minister Joseph Muscat today said he had “noted” what the Chief Justice had to say this week about the rule of law.

Fielding questions after a press conference, Dr Muscat expressed his respect for the Chief Justice and said he would definitely not ignore his words, but that he did not agree with his “interpretation” about the matter.

Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri on Monday emphasised that the rule of law could not prevail unless the laws were fair and enforced without fear or favour.

He called for the rule of law to be safeguarded and enforced, stressing that it was the cornerstone of democracy.

“The laws need to be enforced by the authorities empowered to do so,” he said, referring to the police, the Attorney General, and the courts.

READ: Courts are poweless if AG and police don't act, says Chief Justice

He reminded his audience how in certain serious cases, the Attorney General had some investigative powers, and where the police failed, responsibility shifted to him, but again, if no action was taken, the judicial process could not start.

Investigations, the Chief Justice pointed out, were not only carried out to establish who would have committed a crime, but also to exonerate others over whom a shadow would have been cast.

Former PN leader Simon Busuttil instituted a number of court cases based on leaked documents from the government’s anti-money laundering agency, after the police failed to investigate the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, and Minister Konrad Mizzi.

IVF treatment

Asked about the PN’s motion to stop women seeking IVF treatment abroad being granted medical leave, Dr Muscat said he found the Opposition’s stance on the matter offensive.

He said the government had a strong mandate to modernise IVF laws.

Dr Muscat said he would await the parliamentary debate about the PN’s motion in order to understand the Opposition’s reasoning.

Questioned about the current dispute at PBS, where the board passed a no confidence motion in its CEO John Bundy, Dr Muscat said he would not be getting into the matter. 

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