A court has provisionally upheld a request for an injunction by the engineers’ union against the Engineering Profession Board, in the latest move to safeguard the rights of professional engineers. 

This request follows a judicial protest filed by two elected members on the board, formally disassociating themselves from the allegedly “abusive and divisive” attitude of the board chairperson who was refusing or ignoring their repeated calls for information and consultation. 

Having been served notice of this judicial protest, the Malta Association of Professional Engineers (MAPE) wrote to the engineering board, formally requesting consultation on a crucial topic, namely that concerning engineering courses offered at MCAST. 

As detailed “clearly and unequivocally” in the judicial protest filed by engineers Samuel Bonanno and Brian Micallef, those courses were far from equivalent to engineering courses run by the University of Malta and other European universities. 

The inherent “divergences” and “gross deficiencies” were acknowledged not only by the board, the Chamber of Engineers, MAPE and other entities, but also by MCAST itself, which has agreed to embark upon a new course, tailored to “bridge” the gap in the academic content of said courses. 

Yet, all attempts to consult the board on the review of MCAST courses, including the newly introduced additional pre-warrant qualification course, specifically intended to “bridge” those divergences, had, so far, been ignored.

Such consultation was mandatory in terms of the law, which laid down rules for conducting proportionality assessments before introducing or amending any legislative or administrative changes.

In line with the relative EU directive, that law made it obligatory for authorities to “make information available to citizens….and other relevant stakeholders,” involving “all parties concerned” and allowing them “the opportunity to make their views known”.

The need for such consultation had been acknowledged by the First Hall, Civil Court in November when confirming another warrant of prohibitory injunction obtained by MAPE against the board, to stall the proposed amendments to the engineering profession law.

However, even after that court pronouncement, the board persisted in ignoring the union’s requests for consultation, prompting this second call for an injunction. 

The union was “utterly convinced” that such “serious shortcoming” by the engineering board could only be interpreted as “another condemnable attempt” to push forward the said MCAST courses for approval, without the required consultation. 

This spelt negative repercussions not only on the profession but also on the health and safety of Maltese society at large, the union claimed. 

Its application for a warrant of prohibitory injunction in this regard, was provisionally upheld by the court on Friday and a hearing on the issue scheduled for this week. 

Lawyer Michael Tanti-Dougall signed the application. 

Meanwhile, in a press release on Saturday, MAPE said that it was the union’s “primary function” to defend its rights and also those of the profession, reiterating its calls “for the immediate resignation” of the chairperson of the Engineering Profession Board. 

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