Labour refused to impeach Judge Depasquale and instead lynches Carm Mifsud Bonnici

Published: June 1, 2012 at 1:03am

Tonio Borg raised a crucial point today about the Opposition’s naked lust for power, and its opportunism.

Judges and magistrates can be impeached only by parliamentary vote. A simple majority is not enough, though. This is a constitutional safeguard to ensure that members of the judiciary are not at the mercy of the government.

Some years ago, Judge Anton Depasquale decided to stop going to work, claiming that he objected to the setting up of the Commission for the Administration of Justice. He did not resign. He just stopped going to court and working. He carried on collecting his salary and kept using his car and driver perks.

After seven years of this irresponsible bum collecting a salary for doing nothing, the Nationalist government finally decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to impeach him, given that he couldn’t be sacked for not working like the rest of us can be.

It moved a motion to have him impeached by parliament, on the understanding that the Labour Opposition would vote for it because, like the government, it objected to having a judge refuse to work for seven years while still being paid.

But the Labour Opposition voted against the motion and so Judge Depasquale was not impeached. He carried on collecting his salary.

Isn’t that nice?

Now the party that refused to impeach a judge like that has instead voted for the resignation of a cabinet minister who’s been slogging away, and whose crime was to incur Franco Debono’s displeasure.

The hypocrites.

As somebody commented on this blog, the rampant abuse in the judiciary can be traced back to Labour’s refusal to impeach Judge Depasquale, which sent out the message that for Labour, partisan concerns come first and anything a judge or magistrate does is fine.

11 Comments Comment

  1. John Schembri says:

    With colleagues like Franco on the backbench or as minister (God forbid) who would dare accept to be minister?

    From what I gather from the newspapers it was all your fault, Daphne…

    When someone can’t handle the situation by sending some anonymous defamatory letters or spreading false rumours or writing under a plethora of false names on the blogs the coward would coerce other people to bring the heads of the targeted victims for them on silver platters.


    You’re Franco’s next target.

  2. La Redoute says:

    If the Labour Party truly believes in meritocracy – which is why they supported Franco Debono, right? – they would move to impeach Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera, who is the sister of the future Minister of Justice, depsite Anglu Farrugia’s designs on the job.

  3. Lord Lucan says:

    Dogs will be dogs.
    Labour will be scum.
    Franco will be a paranoidpsychoegomaniac vindictave bastard.

    Do these fools realize what they are heading into? I can hardly wait for them to win the next election. Big deal. They might win an election, but always remember their moral mandate to govern comes from the gutter, unlike the PN which, with all its problems, remains a humane party that really believes in individual liberty.

  4. Manuel Camilleri says:

    Ara veru wicchom u s**mhom l-istess.

  5. Matt B says:

    By the same token, Magistrate Scerri-Herrera should have been impeached for that which was revealed on this very blog a while back.

    I remember clearly criticism from Silvio Camilleri in his opening speech upon accepting the role of Chief Justice, even though he did not explicitly refer to Magistrate Scerri-Herrera and her behaviour.

    While the PN did not move any motion to have her removed – and what she was doing was definitely tantamount to abuse of power in my opinion – there is no chance in hell that Labour would have supported the notion, despite the obvious shortcomings in her character.

    Indeed, I suspect that no motions in this regard were moved because of the fact that despite it being proven that her actions were not worthy of being in the judiciary, the PN knew that they wouldn’t be able to get the required majority of votes (two-thirds of Parliament is needed, if my memory serves me correctly) to impeach her.

    Apart from the obvious reason of Jose Herrera, Labour will always show support to someone who does not behave in the manner that society expects them to. That’s how pitiful they are, unfortunately.

  6. mc says:

    The one chance they had to show that they really cared about taxpayers’ money, and they squandered it.

    It would be useful to cost how much Judge Depasquale was paid for all the time he stayed away from work.

    • etil says:

      Totally agree. Can we know or is this against the data protection act! Then the PL could do us the favour of splashing it out on their newspapers as they do when they mention the various salaries of people who are not to their liking. To them this is not squandering public funds.

  7. SC says:

    This is the fundamental problem with Joseph Muscat’s Labour. Had he kicked out all the old guard and brought in fresh competent people he then could have moved on from their murky past. Joseph is a front man to the archaic group of people that just hasn’t moved with the times. Time and time again they demonstrate that they haven’t changed.

  8. NikiB says:

    One point which Tonio Borg failed to make to Jose Herrera, (who mentioned the failure of the minister of justice to speed up cases in the courts as one reason for the motion of censure), last night in Bondi+ was the following.

    The Minister had tried to reduce the workloads of the civil court by moving disputes on minor traffic collisions and other similar disputes to the arbitration centre. This also provided a cheaper and faster method of resolving these disputes (most of which are petty anyway).

    Jose Herrera made it a personal campaign of his to declare these types of mandatory arbitrations as unconstitutional and he managed.

    Even worse, a few days ago was reported in Maltstar ( as saying that decisions taken in arbitration can be contested in the civil court. Can you image what that would do to the court workload! What a hypocrite!

  9. Francis Saliba MD says:

    The hypocrisy of the MLP/LP makes one retch. How do they dare to show their face in public and to request an electoral mandate from an intelligent electorate!

  10. Simon says:

    Dr Saliba, an answer to your question, they do this because when it comes to put pen to paper in an election, the electorate tends to be…’Not So Intelligent’.

    All members of parliament have learnt this very well, along the years.

    I think they are the ones playing the intelligent game and not the electorate. When are we going to learn ?

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