Cabinet has approved the appointment of six new members of the judiciary - three judges and three magistrates.
All nominees had been previously approved by the Judiciary Selection Committee in line with the Constitution, the government said on Thursday.
The appointments will see the number of judges go up to 24, that of magistrates would remain 22.
Compared to six years ago, if one took into consideration the appointment of Lorraine Schembri Orland as a Judge in the European Court of Human Rights and the imminent retirement of Mr Justice Silvio Meli, the number of both judges and magistrates had increased by two.
This ensured the people got a better service and enabled the possibility of more specialisation, the government said.
The new judges will be Francesco Depasquale, Joanne Vella Cuschieri and Aaron Bugeja, the new magistrates Nadine Lia, Victor Axiak and Bridget Sultana.
The new appointments sees the female percentage of members of the judiciary going up to 53%.
Legal practitioners had told Times of Malta there was “a big rush to fill vacancies with more appointments before a new system is put in place”.
Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said the appointments were in serious contempt of the Venice Commission.
These appointments are in serious contempt of the @VeniceComm that declared our system flawed because Judges & Magistrates are appointed by the Prime Minister in breach of the independence of the judiciary.— Simon Busuttil (@SimonBusuttil) April 25, 2019
They're in a rush to control the judiciary. https://t.co/LVrCgEW5V7
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