Malta Chamber expresses views on Equality Bill, Human Rights and Equality Commission Bill

4th May 2018

Delegation proposes amendments to the draft bills to the Venice Commission


The Malta Chamber continued to contribute to the consultation process currently underway, in relation to the draft legislation on equality and human rights.

In fact Dr Matthew Brincat and Mr Andre Fenech on behalf of the Malta Chamber met with the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, on 3rd May and proposed amendments to the Equality Bill and the Human Rights and Equality Commission Bill.

The Venice Commission which is the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters, was tasked to compile an independent report on the said Bills as requested by the Maltese Government.

During the meeting, the Chamber’s observations and reservations to the draft bills were explained in detail. The Malta Chamber representatives explained that there existed a duplication of clauses in the case of discrimination at the place of work. Certain aspects, the Chamber representatives explained, were already dealt with under EIRA and other legal notices under the same act.

The creation of another level of redress in the cases of discrimination at the place of employment was also seen to be problematic, as well as the plenipotentiary powers of the new Commission of Human Rights and Equality.

The Chamber’s delegation also made their argument that the penalties proposed in the two bills were seen to be exorbitant, while the elevation of the new Commission of Human Rights and Equality to act as an independent tribunal, was considered to be problematic when an Industrial Tribunal was already functional.

Finally the Chamber expressed its view that the powers given to the new commission to investigate ex-officio were too wide and should be limited.

During this visit, the Commission’s rapporteurs met with authorities, social partner and civil society organisations, in order to discuss a number of issues pertinent to recommendations and conclusions on the above-mentioned Bills.


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Malta Chamber expresses views on Equality Bill, Human Rights and Equality Commission Bill