I refer to the report ‘MPs launch debate on solutions for tribunal’ (February 25).
There is a good number of reasons why during committee stage in Parliament all efforts need to be made to resist the attempts (open or covert) that will undoubtedly be made to see the Industrial Tribunal going the same way of so many other important tribunals — straight into the laps of some new or existing court.
There is much managerial nous which tells us that simply pushing issues and problems ‘upwards’ does not necessarily provide assurance of better decisions, improved expediency, more practical handling of issues at their core lower levels.
The vision, wrongly ingrained in this populace, that justice, fairness and correct procedural treatment are attributes God assigned to and existing only in ‘the courts’, is causing an increase not only in simple problems but also in our evident-in-the-Maltese-genes at-tribute of licentiousness.
The clamour for a repetition of the Administrative Justice Tribunal process, under which a large number of formerly existing national tribunals’ work landed up in the laps of heavily overworked magistrates, must be resisted.
And the matter of security of tenure must not be allowed to be the fifth columnist reason in favour of some other new court, because there are factually ways of deflating that argument: non-lawyers on the Industrial Tribunal can have their status subject to parliamentary approval too.
Malta’s still overburdened courts do not, I think, need the support of any professional chamber doing its utmost towards directing ever more work to that auspicious building in Republic Street. It is an exercise which the populace easily and quickly see through.
How and why, for example, have efforts in Malta towards ensuring the success of independent arbitration and reconciliation been torpedoed?
Minister Helena Dalli has a big task on her hands following the recent sentence by the Constitutional Court. It will be a big test of her creative potential, ably assisted no doubt by Minister Owen Bonnici.
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