Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil sits on the panel that will assess the nomination of lawyer Ramona Frendo to the post of judge at the General Court of the European Union.

Contacted by the Times of Malta, Dr Busuttil would not be drawn into commenting as to whether he would support Dr Frendo, saying he was not at liberty to comment on individual nominations.

The family lawyer’s nomination to the prestigious post was announced by the government last week.

The post was recently vacated by Peter Xuereb, whose nomination to the European Court of Justice was recently approved.

Prof. Xuereb had been nominated to the EU General Court in 2016. Prior to that, he served as head of the University of Malta’s department of European and Comparative Law and chair of its Institute of European Studies.

Questions have been raised about whether Dr Frendo’s affiliation with the PL will prove to be an obstacle to her nomination. Apart being a prominent supporter of the Labour Party in the 2013 election campaign, Dr Frendo has also served in a number of government-nominated roles.

A prospective judge’s independence, impartiality, probity and integrity must be beyond doubt

A 2017 report by the panel that Dr Busuttil sits on said that a prospective judge’s independence, impartiality, probity and integrity must be beyond doubt.

When contacted, Dr Frendo said she did not feel it would be appropriate to comment about her nomination.

It is rare for the panel to reject a nominee for such posts.

Since 2014, the panel has delivered 58 favourable opinions and six unfavourable ones about nominees seeking a first term of office or renewal of roles in the Court of Justice and General Court.  

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