Saturday, January 23, 2021

Malta’s courts are EU’s slowest for money laundering cases

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Money laundering cases take longer to be resolved in Malta than in other EU countries, the EU’s 2019 Justice Scoreboard reveals.

According to the figures, parties involved in money laundering cases waited an average of over 1,400 days for the court to deal with their cases 2017. Latvia was a distant second, with the court taking 800 days to deal with such cases.

The time needed to resolve civil, commercial and administrative cases has been on a steady decline since 2010, the scoreboard revealed. That year, Malta had one of the highest waiting time to solve legal cases, with some taking over 800 days to resolve, figures show.

In 2017, the time needed to resolve those cases declined to almost 400 days.

Malta's courts are EU's slowest for money laundering cases 1

However, Malta had the second-highest waiting time needed to resolve litigious civil and commercial cases in court of appeal. Cases there still take up to 800 days to be resolved, the figures showed.

Malta had by far the longest waiting time for decisions on judicial review cases on electronic communications in 2016. People could wait up to 2,500 days for the review to be completed, the report noted. In 2017, the average waiting time was almost 1,000 days.

The scoreboard also revealed judges had received some training on communication with asylum seekers and victims of gender-based violence but had no training on dealing with children or media disinformation.

Around 20 per cent of companies said they believed there was interference or pressure from politicians on the judiciary. The same percentage also said they believed the status and position of judges do not sufficiently guarantee their independence.

Government positive about progress

In a statement, the government welcomed the results, saying it was positive that Maltese companies’ belief that the judiciary is independent improved compared to last year.

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