My God, you have to read this – Jose Herrera, future Minister of Justice, lashing out in defence of his sister

Published: October 7, 2010 at 7:22pm

Picture from

Picture from

For once, Malta Today has got a story worth reading (good thing the radio was on and tuned to Super One while Karl was in the room). Perhaps they think this is a story that bolsters Consuelo Herrera’s cause.

Oh, how wrong they are.

It looks terrible: the future minister of justice speaking intimidatingly about all those who dared suggest that his sister shouldn’t have a social life (now that’s one hell of a euphemism), and going after the Commission for the Administration of Justice and the outgoing and incoming chief justices.

Yes, we all know their father the judge threw parties and bought a big house for the purpose. He bought that big house and threw the big parties on a judge’s salary. His wife didn’t work but maybe they had flus tal-familja.

If he’s going to hold judges up as an example of how things should be done, to the chav audience of Super One, then he might get away with mentioning his father, but that isn’t going to wash with the rest of us.

And dragging in Arturo Mercieca, for heaven’s sake! Bla misthija ta’ xejn. These Herreras are just plain brazen.
this evening

Magistrate’s brother hits out at Commission’s ‘interference’ in judges’ social lives
By Karl Stagno-Navarra

Labour MP Josè Herrera says the judiciary has a tradition of hosting lavish parties.

Labour MP in ‘harsh’ tirade against Commission for Administration of Justice for prying into the social lives of judiciary.

Labour MP and shadow justice minister Josè Herrera today lashed out at the Commission for the Administration of Justice for “interfering in the private and social lives of judges and magistrates” and defended their right to throw parties, saying the judiciary had a tradition of entertaining people

Herrera is the brother of magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera, who reported Malta Independent columnist Daphne Caruana Galizia for criminal defamation in several blogposts concerning the magistrate’s personal life and parties she hosted, throwing a spotlight on the public behaviour of the judiciary.

Herrera, who is the son of the late judge Joseph Herrera, was speaking on Super One radio’s midday programme It-Tokk, where he even criticised the Chief Justice and the president of the Chamber of Advocates.

“Rather than wasting its time in victimising certain magistrates or judges by looking into their personal and social lives, the Commission for the Administration of Justice should look into the real problems that are hindering the normal administration of justice,” Herrera said about the constitutional body – which is chaired by the President of Malta – and oversees the work of the judiciary.

Herrera let rip during the programme, saying he had never been as harsh in public in his statements on the commission.

“I insist that whoever criticises the social lives of magistrates and judges has no background on lawyers: it is a known fact that judges used to seek homes with big halls to host dinner parties at least once a month,” Herrera said.

The Labour MP also recalled how the former pre-war Chief Justice Sir Arturo Mercieca had purchased a huge house close to the British Governor’s home, apparently in a bid to compete on the social circuit by hosting regular, lavish parties.

“My father had also bought a big house in St. Vincent Street in Sliema, and used to host regular dinner parties,” he added. “But why should the Commission ever have to delve into the social lives of the members of judiciary?” Herrera asked.

“Should judges be locked up in a convent when appointed to the bench?” he added. “Some stare at a wall and watch TV in the evening, others prefer to socialise.”

Herrera even said socialisation helped judges reflect on present-day realities when passing judgement.

He criticised Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri and his predecessor Vincent de Gaetano, for “assuming a political role” in their roles as head of the judiciary.

“A Chief Justice’s role is simply to preside over the Appeals Court, and never to be the general manager at the courts at the same time: where he executes the political responsibility of the justice minister, who seems to have washed his hands of any responsibility over the courts.”

Herrera proposed a parliamentary committee, chaired by the Opposition and with two members from each side, to oversee the work of the judiciary.

Herrera said he favoured the appointment of a president of the Constitutional Court – currently presided by the Chief Justice – that would be totally independent from all other courts, so as to avoid any possible conflict between judgements from the inferior courts.

The Labour MP also criticised the president of the Chamber of Advocates Andrew Borg Cardona: “To me he is not good for the post, he uses two weights and two measures. I know of two young lawyers who were fined by the Chamber for accepting to an interview by the media. They were fined because of this ridiculous rule that lawyers cannot advertise their services, when a simple Google search reveals a long list of financial services lawyers and their firms, which is tantamount to advertising.”

49 Comments Comment

  1. WhoamI? says:

    He is her brudder, wot do u expect? Din billi taghmel naqa festin mal high-society ta’ Malta? Challon, Rollon, Rayon, Hold-all, Maxon, Beat ’em, etc.

  2. Gahan says:

    If I look at Jose Herrera as the son of a late judge who threw parties at home monthl , I cannot blame him for what he reportedly said on One radio. He doesn’t know better.

    I cannot blame him if I see him as the brother of a magistrate defending his sister.

    Should I see this practising lawyer (a court official) in good light when he criticized the present and the previous Chief Justice on very important issues on how magistrates and judges should behave?

    On One radio I assume Dr Herrera was speaking in his capacity as our future Minister of Justice for whom the separation of powers (something which Joseph Muscat claims to be keen on) is not that important.

    Alla jilliberana!

  3. woman from the south says:

    I know that it’s totally obvious but who is expecting magistrates and judges to be cloistered nuns? Of course they should have a social life, of course they should attend parties but they should not put themselves in a position to be blackmailed by anyone.

    [Daphne – Exactly. And they shouldn’t socialise with people who are likely to appear before them as plaintiffs or defendants, either.]

  4. Ta' Ninu says:

    Why doesn’t Jose’ explain to us illiterates how come his sister got Musumeci’s brother off when he was caught red-handed stealing Melita’s network services. My memory’s failing me, D, remind me, did the AG appeal Consie Scerri Herrera’s decision?

    [Daphne – I have no idea. All I know is that she had been secretly sleeping with Robert Musumeci for several months already when she handed down that judgement finding his brother not guilty of stealing from Melita Cable, il-famuz kaz tal-picnic cooler.]

  5. paul azzopardi says:

    Libera nos domine….amen. I intended not to vote PN for the seventh or eighth time but reading the above I have no alternative.

    • Mario Bean says:

      Qed tarawh il-programm elettorali tal-Labour. Qeghdin tarawh li anke mill-oppozizzjoni d-deputati Laburisti jridu jindahlu fl-amministrazzjoni tal-qrati taghna bhalma kien jaghmel dak il-kallu ta’ Mintoff.

      Qeghdin taraw x’jsta jigri lil Mlta kemm il-darba ma nivvutawx jew nivvutaw Lbour jew xi partitin tac-cekcik? Miktub iswed fuq l-abjad li l-Labour huma moghtija grazzja minn Alla biex jiggvernaw u jridu jkissru lil kull min ma jaqbilx maghhom.

      U dan mill-0ppozizzjoni ahseb u ara jekk alla hares qatt jiehdu l-gvern f’idejhom minhabba l-indifferenza u l-qziez ta’ xi Maltin. Dan Herrera jrid li l-magistrati u l-imhallfin taghna jkunu korrotti, mixtrija, vulgari u perversi, mohhom fil-koxox tan-nisa jew fis-safar u jigu jaqghu u jqumu mic-cittadin li jkun qed jitlob gustizzja.

      Mohhom fix-xalar u fis-sokor bla razan. Hekk iridhom l-Onor Herrera? Jew forsi kellu lapsus u xorob ftit izzejjed meta hareg fuq ir-radju.

      Iva ahna c-cittadini Maltin irridu li jkun hemm dixxiplina fil-gudikatura u serjeta’ mhux naraw magistrati inkombuti ma’ kriminali u ma drogati. Inkella ma jaccettawx inkarigi gudizzjali. Jmorru f’xi burdell jekk iridu jixxalaw. U x’ma jkollniex familji mkissra b’nies mahmugin bhal dawn. Dawn ma jridux serjeta’.

  6. Min Weber says:

    I cannot believe the brazen face of this man.

    Of course the judiciary should NOT host parties! Are they running an electoral campaign, or what?

    Herrera’s thinking reminds me of Al Capone inviting judges to his parties to have an alibi. Or the fictitious (?) Don Vito Corleone inviting judges to his parties and brothels to have friends in important places or to blackmail them.

    Herrera’s, however, is the inverse reasoning. Is he saying that it is OK for judges to host parties so that they have more possibilities to attract favour-seekers?!


    SHAMEFUL! This is Herrera’s rant! SHAMEFUL! Imissu jisthi!

    He should listen to his fellow Labour MP, Gavin Gulia, who claimed that his father used to live a reclusive life, to be above criticism.

    THAT was a real judge: Judge Gulia.

    Herrera SHOULD RESIGN from parliament.

    I challenge Muscat – if he has a scrotum – to distance himself from Herrera’s statements. Publicly.

  7. Min Weber says:

    Pastaz Herrera, dak li hu! Pastazun!

  8. Min Weber says:

    The same Hon. Jose’ Herrera today (partially) lost a criminal case in the Court of Magistrates.

    He is being accused of slandering a fellow lawyer. He tried to get off the hook, but to no avail. He tried to clutch to some procedural straw but he did not convince the magistrate.

    Herrera behaves strangely.

    He behaves like someone who believes he is invincible, that the rules do not apply to him, that he is entitled to special treatment. His superman-like behaviour is based on an unnatural self-confidence. He is like a body-builder whose muscles are pumped up not by regular exercise but by other means. Or like the horse which wins the race not because of its physical prowess but because of other means.

    He makes me wonder.

    [Daphne – Other means? No, both Consuelo and Jose are naturally like that. They lack the intelligence to see just how unattractive and unintelligent they are, and they come from the sort of chavvy background where, jekk tilhaq avukat (jew imhallef) had ma jista ghalik. Awful.]

  9. ciccio2010 says:

    “Herrera proposed a parliamentary committee, chaired by the Opposition and with two members from each side, to oversee the work of the judiciary.”

    Oh my God. What is he saying?

    • maryanne says:

      I think that if a student writes that sentence in his exam paper, he will fail. A chairman from the Opposition to ‘oversee the work of the judiciary’? Simply insane.

      “when a simple Google search reveals a long list of financial services lawyers and their firms, which is tantamount to advertising.”

      What is he implying? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to search for a list of lawyers whether they specialise in family law, financial services, civil or criminal court cases?

      • La Redoute says:

        Students who write those kind of things don’t fail. They become lawyers, don’t they? Jose’ Herrera presumably sat for law exams, now here he is saying the sort of thing that makes you think would cause a student to fail.

    • Court expert says:

      Is Jose Harrera proposing that the Court of Appeal or the Constitutional Court be dissolved and replaced by a parliamentary committee chaired by himself?

      • Mario Bean says:

        Yes, and if the Labour Party gets into government, that is what they will do once more like during the bad old Mintoffian times when the Constitutional Court was suspended for months.

        Vote Labour*!*!? Never in all my life. I may vote for the devil but never Labour. Their past is still their future.

    • La Redoute says:

      The man is Shadow Minister of Justice. That puts him in line to be Justice Minister in the next Labour government – assuming Anglu magna-cum-laude Farrugia gives up that particular ghost.

      • Il-Cop says:

        @La Redoute
        “assuming Anglu magna-cum-laude Farrugia gives up that particular ghost”

        I very much doubt he will. And Silvio Meli knows that all too well.

  10. H.P. Baxxter says:

    Dinner parties? Hamallu hamallu u hamallu.

    Since when does proper dress for a dinner party consist of chest hair and shirts unbuttoned to the navel, skintight white jeans and chav shirts? Or a conga line? Or suggestive poses in group photos.

    These Labour caudillos would do well to shut up.

  11. La Redoute says:

    So judge Arturo Mercieca bought a big house and threw lavish parties therefore shadow justice minister Jose’ Herrera’s sister magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera has done nothing wrong?

    Did Arturo Mercieca also:

    1 have sex with policemen who could well have gone on to be prosecuting officers in cases over which he presided

    2 accept drinks from them in public places and then preside over a criminal case involving at least one of them

    3 lie in court about the identity of the policeman

    4 preside over a criminal case involving his lover’s sibling

    5 wear ill-advised clothing in public, with or without a camel hoof effect

    6 give interviews to the media

    7 accept an award from a local council

    8 publish photographs of himself in a denim miniskirt to an audience of half a billion people

    9 host criminal lawyers to a party and then preside over cases in which they represented the accused

    10 preside over cases involving his personal friends

    11 host politicians and journalists employed by political media

    12 have sex with a man half his age while negotiating a business deal with his father

    13 repeatedly violate several articles of the judiciary’s code of ethics?

    That might explain why Shadow Minister Jose’ Herrera is feeling a bit hot under the collar.

    Or maybe he doesn’t think any of those things are worth mentioning because he doesn’t see anything wrong in them at all.

  12. anthony says:

    So this pathetic guy is trying to equate Joe Herrera with Turu Mercieca (Cato to those who knew him). How very sad.

    I expect at least one of the many Merciecas to respond to this affront to their illustrious grandfather.

    I will stop here, for now. Al buon intenditor…..

  13. Court expert says:

    Imagine if this attack on the Chief Justice and the president of the Chamber of Advocates came from the Minister of Justice or someone on the government’s front bench. It would be months of endless criticism on Super One and Maltastar and another debate in Parliament ending with the Leader of the Opposition in tears.

  14. anthony says:

    May I ask anyone who is interested in learning more to google “Gilles de La Tourette” ?

    I am obsessed with egging on others to improve their general knowledge. I just cannot help it.

  15. La Redoute says:

    Another thought:

    Are we to take it for granted that Minister-for-Justice-to-be Jose’ Herrera would vote against any move to have a magistrate impeached?

    On a related note, should we assume that if, say, there were to be a move to have magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera impeached, a Labour Party Minister for Justice would have to abstain from voting for the sake of transparency?

  16. anthony says:

    Thank you La Redoute. If you are a Mercieca SAY SO. If not, I am still waiting for the Merciecas to come in on this.


    He was a Capo Giudice and a real one in the true sense of the word, as we say in English.

    • La Redoute says:

      I am not a Mercieca, but I have another question:

      Did Sir Arturo Mercieca preside over at least 40 cases defended by his brother the criminal lawyer and Minister-of-Justice-in-waiting?

  17. Antoine Vella says:

    Some of the things Jose Herrera says verge on the funny: his sister’s partying has a useful social purpose as it helps her “reflect on present-day realities when passing judgement.” So that’s what she’s doing in all those Facebook photos – reflecting on realities, a sort of meditation.

    On the other hand there is a darker, more ominous side to the outburst, such as when Herrera mentions “the political responsibility of the justice minister, who seems to have washed his hands of any responsibility over the courts.” He seems to be saying that it should not be the Chief Justice but the minister who exercises control over the judiciary. This is typical of Labour and we all know where that particular attitude leads to

    • La Redoute says:

      Doesn’t he also think that the Commission for the Administration of Justice should be replaced by a bi-partisan committee?

      Mur gibu ministru tal-gustizzja. Over Elephant Man’s dead body.

  18. La Redoute says:

    No, I am not a Mercieca.

  19. “Should judges be locked up in a convent when appointed to the bench?” he added. “Some stare at a wall and watch TV in the evening, others prefer to socialise.”

    What strikes me about that statement is the lack of inner peace which afflicts Jose, Consuelo and their network. By our 40s and 50s most of us are sufficiently at peace with ourselves not to feel the need to go running around almost every evening, drinking and talking and ‘socialising’ and networking for sex and money.

    The comfort of evenings at home at that time of life has nothing to do with staring at the wall or the television. For normal people who did all the running around they had to do before they married and started a family, not going out and drinking with the same people all the time and trying desperately to hunt for that elusive thing called fun is really a relief.

    Consuelo and Jose haven’t yet found their peace. Parties are just a way of distracting themselves from self-knowledge.

  20. anthony says:

    We have it here in a nutshell. We have a preview of the Minister of Justice and the Capo Giudice come 2018 ( the year Silvio Camilleri retires).

    Thank God my children have all left the island. I hope I will not be around either. Lieber tot als rot my dear German sister- in- law would say. I am sure it is on Google.

  21. Min Weber says:

    Do you know that there is a rumour that Jose’ once appeared for both plaintiff and defendant?

    • La Redoute says:

      You’re treading on dangerous ground, there. If you can be hauled over the coals for telling the truth, what terrible fate awaits those who speak of rumours?

      • erskinmay says:

        No he/she isn’t. Min Weber said it was a rumour and simply asked a question – fair game, La Redoute.

  22. Funny we should hear this talk about the importance of the judiciary socialising, to the extent that they buy big houses for the purpose.

    I’ve always heard, including here I think, that many judges would be wary of even greeting people in Republic Street/Kingsway and would choose carefully where to stop for a coffee.

    They were also careful in accepting invitations, all of this ‘to avoid giving a reason for talk’.

  23. red nose says:

    Jose and Consuelo know nothing about ethics and gentlemanly behaviour. Climbing up is all they care for, a replica of their father.

  24. Milone says:

    Jose’ Herrera is the Labour Party’s spokesman for justice. That makes this outburst the Labour Party’s official position, unless Dr Herrera left his spokesman’s hat at the studio door.

  25. red nose says:

    Labour’s true colours are emerging.

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