Gozo Court impasse not yet overcome

A meeting between Minister of Justice, Edward Zammit Lewis, and the Gozo Chamber of Advocates did not put an end to the strike by lawyers who work in the Gozo Court, but could pave the way.

Lawyers who practise in Gozo have not attended Court sittings since the end of September and said they would be continuing with this collective strike until the serious shortcomings in the Gozo Court were finally addressed and resolved.

The Gozo Chamber of Advocates said that the meeting addressed the main issues that needed to be tackled including the lack of staff, the implementation of the Law on a Judge for Gozo, and the construction of a new Court for Gozo. Lawyers said the Minister promised that instructions would be given to improve the situation immediately.

Replying to questions by the news centre, Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that in the coming days he would see that, among others things, the scanning of all documents would continue and the issue of notifications – for bailiffs and court marshals to ensure that notifications arrive on time.

He explained that over time, retired employees were not replaced in the Gozo Court and that temporary measures were being taken where officials and people from the Court of Malta were going to Gozo, but in future Gozitan people must be found to work in the Court of Gozo. He said that it was crucial that the Gozo Court was efficient not only for lawyers and judges but also for the public.