Miscellaneous

ARTICLE 116 Individual Complaint Against Invalid Laws
A right of action for a declaration that any law is invalid on any grounds other than inconsistency with the provisions of sections 33 to 45 of this Constitution shall appertain to all persons without distinction and a person bringing such an action shall not be required to show any personal interest in support of his action.

ARTICLE 117 Unlawful Associations
(1) It shall be unlawful to establish, maintain or belong to any association of persons who are organised and trained or organised and equipped for the purpose of enabling them to be employed for the use or display of physical force in promoting any political object.

(2) The provisions of this section shall be enforced in such manner as may be provided by Parliament.

ARTICLE 118 Broadcasting Authority
(1) There shall be a Broadcasting Authority for Malta which shall consist of a chairman and such number of other members not being less than four as may be prescribed by any law for
the time being in force in Malta.

(2) The members of the Broadcasting Authority shall be appointed by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after he has consulted the Leader of the Opposition.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold office as a member of the Broadcasting Authority if he is a Minister, a Parliamentary Secretary, a member of, or candidate for election to, the House of Representatives, a member of a local government authority or if he is a public officer.

(4) A member of the Broadcasting Authority shall not, within a period of three years commencing with the day on which he last held office or acted as a member, be eligible for appointment to or to act in any public office.

(5) Subject to the provisions of this section, the office of a member of the Broadcasting Authority shall become vacant --
  1. at the expiration of five years from the date of his appointment or at such earlier time as may be specified in the instrument by which he was appointed; or
  2. if any circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Authority, would cause him to be disqualified for appointment as such.
(6) A member of the Broadcasting Authority may be removed from office by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, but he may be removed only for inability to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or for misbehaviour.

(7) If the office of a member of the Broadcasting Authority is vacant or if a member is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, given after he has consulted the Leader of the Opposition, may appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed to be a member to be a temporary member of the Authority; and any person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of subsections (5) and (6) of this section, cease to be such a member when a person has been appointed to fill the vacancy or, as the case may be, when the member who was unable to perform the functions of his office resumes those functions.

(8) In the exercise of its functions under section 119(1) of this Constitution the Broadcasting Authority shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

ARTICLE 119 Functions of Broadcasting Authority
(1) It shall be the function of the Broadcasting Authority to ensure that, so far as possible, in such sound and television broadcasting services as may be provided in Malta, due impartiality is preserved in respect of matters of political or industrial controversy or relating to current public policy and that broadcasting facilities and time are fairly apportioned between persons belonging to different political parties.

(2) The function of the Broadcasting Authority referred to in subsection (1) of this section shall be without prejudice to such other functions and duties as may be conferred upon it by any law for the time being in force in Malta.

ARTICLE 120 Employment Commission
(1) There shall be an Employment Commission for Malta which shall consist of a chairman and four other members.

(2) The members of the Employment Commission shall be appointed by the President who, in appointing the chairman shall act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after he has consulted the Leader of the Opposition, in appointing two of the four other members shall act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, and in appointing the other two members shall act in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold office as a member of the Employment Commission if he is a Minister, a Parliamentary Secretary, a member of, or a candidate for election to, the House of Representatives, a member of a local government authority, or if he is a public officer.

(4) A member of the Employment Commission shall not, within a period of three years commencing with the day on which he last held office or acted as a member, be eligible for appointment to or to act in any public office.

(5) Subject to the provisions of this section, the office of a member of the Employment Commission shall become vacant --
  1. at the expiration of three years from the date of his appointment; or
  2. if any circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Commission, would cause him to be disqualified for appointment as such.
(6) A member of the Employment Commission may be removed from office by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the holder of the office on whose advice such member was appointed, given, where applicable, as provided in subsection (2) of this section, but such member may be removed only for inability to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or for misbehaviour.

(7) If the office of a member of the Employment Commission is vacant or if a member is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the holder of the office on whose advice such member was appointed, given, where applicable, as provided in subsection (2) of this section, may appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed to be a member to be a temporary member of the Commission; and any person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of subsections (5) and (6) of this section, cease to be such a member when a person has been appointed to fill the vacancy or, as the case may be, when the member who was unable to perform the functions of his office resumes those functions.

(8) It shall be the function of the Employment Commission to ensure that, in respect of employment, no distinction, exclusion or preference that is not justifiable in a democratic society is made or given in favour or against any person by reason of his political opinions.

(9) Any person who alleges that any distinction, exclusion or preference as aforesaid has been made or given to his prejudice may apply to the Employment Commission, in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed, for redress.

(10) Parliament shall make provision conferring upon the Employment Commission such powers as are necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the Commission ;effectively to afford adequate redress and generally to carry out its function under this Constitution.

ARTICLE 121 Other Commissions
(1) Any Commission established by this Constitution may, with the consent of the Prime Minister or such other Minister as may be authorised in that behalf by the Prime Minister by regulation or otherwise regulate its own procedure and confer powers and impose duties on any public officer or authority of the Government of Malta for the purpose of the discharge of its functions.

(2) Any Commission established by this Constitution may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership or the absence of any member and any proceedings thereof shall be valid notwithstanding that some person who was not entitled so to do took part therein.

(3) Any question proposed for decision at any meeting of any Commission established by this Constitution shall be determined by a majority of the votes of all the members thereof, and if on any such question the votes are equally divided the member presiding shall have and exercise a casting vote.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) of this section, the references to a member of the Electoral Commission shall be construed as including a reference to the Chairman of that Commission.

(5) The provisions of this section shall apply to the Broadcasting Authority established by this Constitution.

ARTICLE 122 Right to Resignation
(1) Any person who is appointed, elected or otherwise selected to any office established by this Constitution (including the office of the Prime Minister or other Minister or Parliamentary Secretary) may resign from that office by writing under his hand addressed to the person or authority by whom he was appointed, elected or selected.

(2) The resignation of any person from any such office as aforesaid shall take effect when the writing signifying the resignation is received by the person or authority to whom it is addressed or by any person authorised by that person or authority to receive it.

ARTICLE 123 Re-Appointment
(1) Where any person has vacated any office established by this Constitution including the office of Prime Minister or other Minister or Parliamentary Secretary, he may, if qualified, again be appointed, elected or otherwise selected to hold that office in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to the office of President, but shall apply to a person appointed to perform the functions of President in accordance with section 49 of the Constitution.

(3) Where by this Constitution a power is conferred upon any person or authority to make any appointment to any public office, a person may be appointed to that office notwithstanding that some other person may be holding that office, when that other person is on leave of absence pending relinquishment of the office; and where two or more persons are holding- the same office by reason of an appointment made in pursuance of this subsection, then for the purposes of any function conferred upon the holder of that office the person last appointed shall be deemed to be the sole holder of the office.

ARTICLE 124 Definitions
(1) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires --
  1. "Act of Parliament" means any law made by Parliament;
  2. "the appointed day" means 21st September 1964;
  3. "the Cabinet" means the Cabinet established by section 79 of this Constitution;
  4. "the Commonwealth" means Malta, any country to which section 28 of this Constitution applies and any dependency of any such country;
  5. "the Consolidated Fund" means the Consolidated Fund established by section 102 of this Constitution;
  6. "Constitutional Court" means the Constitutional Court established by section 95 of this Constitution;
  7. "financial year" means the period of twelve months ending on the thirty-first day of December in any year or on such other date as may be prescribed by Parliament;
  8. "Gazette" means the Malta Government Gazette or any other official journal substituted therefor published by order of the Government of Malta;
  9. "House" means the House of Representatives established by section 51 of this Constitution;
  10. "law" includes any instrument having the force of law and any unwritten rule of law and "lawful" and "lawfully" shall be construed accordingly;
  11. "Malta" means the Island of Malta, the Island of Gozo and the other island of the Maltese Archipelago, including the territorial waters thereof;
  12. "oath of allegiance" means the oath of allegiance set out in the Third Schedule to this Constitution or such other oath as may be prescribed by Parliament;
  13. "Parliament" means the Parliament of Malta;
  14. "public office" means an office of emolument in the public service;
  15. "public officer" means the holder of any public office or a person appointed to act in any such office;
  16. "the public service" means, subject to the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the service of the Government of Malta in a civil capacity;
  17. "session" means the sittings of the House of Representatives beginning when it first meets after the commencement of this Constitution or after the prorogation or dissolution of Parliament at any time and terminating when Parliament is prorogued or is dissolved without having been prorogued;
  18. "sitting" means a period during which the House of Representatives is sitting continuously without adjournment and includes any period during which the House is in committee;
  19. "the Speaker" and "Deputy Speaker" mean respectively the Speaker and the l:)Deputy Speaker elected under section 59 of this Constitution.
(2) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, "the public service" includes service in the office of judge of the Superior Courts, service in the office of magistrate of the Inferior Courts and service in the office of a member of the Malta Police Force.

(3) In this Constitution "the public service" does not include service in the office of --
  1. Prime Minister or other Minister, a Parliamentary Secretary, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, a member of the House of Representatives, a member of a Commission established by this Constitution;
  2. save where the holder of the office is selected from the public service, an Ambassador, High Commissioner or other principal representative of Malta in any other country; or
  3. save in so far may be prescribed by Parliament, a member of any council, board, panel, committee or other similar body established by or under any law.
(4) For the purposes of this Constitution a person shall not be regarded as holding a public office by reason only of the feet that he is in receipt of a pension or other like allowance in respect of public service.

(5) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires --
  1. a reference to an appointment to any office shall be construed as including a reference to an appointment on promotion or transfer to that office and to the appointment of a person to perform the functions of that office during any period during which it is vacant or during which the holder thereof is on vacation or unable (whether by reason of absence or infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) to perform those functions; and
  2. a reference to the holder of an office by the term designating his office or by reference to the provision of this Constitution establishing that office shall be construed as including a reference to any person for the time being lawfully performing the functions of that office.
(6) Where power is vested by this Constitution in any person or authority to appoint any person to act in or perform the functions of any office if the holder thereof is himself unable to perform those functions, no such appointment shall be called in question on the ground that the holder of the office was not unable to perform those functions.

(7) References in this Constitution to the power to remove a public officer from his office shall be construed as including references to any power conferred by any law to require or permit that officer to retire from the public service:
Provided that --
  1. nothing in this subsection shall be construed as conferring on any person or authority power to require any person holding any of the offices referred to in sections 91, 95(6), 100 or 108 of this Constitution to retire from the public service; and
  2. the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any power conferred by any law to permit a person to retire from the public service where that person has requested permission to retire from the public service on proved medical grounds.
(8) Any provision in this Constitution that vests in any person or authority power to remove any public officer from his office shall be without prejudice to the power of any person or authority to abolish any office or to any law providing for the compulsory retirement of public officers generally or any class of public officers on attaining an age specified therein.

(9) Where any power is conferred by this Constitution to make any proclamation, order, rules or regulations or to give any directions or to make any designation, the power shall be construed as including a power, exercisable in like manner, to amend or revoke any such proclamation, order, rules, regulations, directions or designation.

(10) No provision of this Constitution that any person or authority shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority in exercising any functions under this Constitution shall be construed as precluding a court from exercising jurisdiction in relation to any question whether that person or authority has performed those functions in accordance
with this Constitution or any other law.

(11) Where a person is required by this Constitution to make an oath he shall be permitted, if he so desires, to comply with that requirement by making an affirmation.

(12) Any reference in this Constitution to a law made before the commencement of this Constitution shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to that law as in force immediately before the appointed day.

(13) Any reference in this Constitution to a law that amends or replaces any other law shall be construed as including a reference to a law that modifies, re-enacts with or without amendment or modification, or makes different provisions in lieu of that other law.

(14) Where Parliament has by law provided for the interpretation of Acts of Parliament, the provisions of any such law, even if expressed to apply to laws passed after the commencement thereof, shall apply for the purposes of interpreting this Constitution, and otherwise in relation thereto, as they apply for the purpose of interpreting and otherwise in relation to Acts of Parliament as if this Constitution were an Act of Parliament passed after the commencement of any such law as aforesaid:

Provided that, until such time as Parliament has made provision as aforesaid, the law applicable for the interpretation of this Constitution and otherwise in relation thereto shall be the law which was applicable for that purpose on the appointed day.