The Department of Justice which for six years operated from Valletta, is operating from a new building in Floriana.
Last year Justice Commissioners who fall under this department presided over over 2,200 hearings, mostly in respect of traffic, education, quarantine, and simple drug possession.
Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis announced that by 2023, this department will be finalizing a project with the European Commission with regard to information sharing to combat organised crime in respect of Europeans and third country nationals.
The Justice Department has a new building in Floriana. The department appoints justice commissioners who preside over various tribunals.
Last year justice commissioners presided over 2, 210 hearings consisting of more than 213,000 cases, most of these (207,000) were traffic hearings, mainly due to fines imposed by LESA. Education hearings accounted for more than three thousand cases, hearings on fines in respect of waste, Covid-related cases and quarantine accounted for more than 1,800 cases while over 500 cases were simple drug possession. .
Justice Department Director Katia Caruana said the new building will strengthen the work of the department, which previously did not have enough space to operate, and is currently working on several projects in partnership with both European Commission and also with the Council of Europe.
Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said the department is currently working on a major project with the European Commission, called ECRIS, a European Criminal Records Information System, which consists of sharing information on people with a criminal record – a project which will be completed in another two years.
“Criminal conduct sheets will no longer fall under the remit of the police commissioner but under the justice department. There will be a common database, intelligence sharing with other member states, both with regard to European citizens and Third Country Nationals, to facilitate the prosecution of cross border crime in respect to organized crime ”
Minister Zammit Lewis said that this department which employs about ten people, oversees the Court experts who provide their services, both in criminal and civil cases and in magisterial inquiries. He said that the department oversees the process of pardons, even requests for minor cases of pardons such as withdrawal of a driving licenses. The department also looks after without prejudice compensations to Government officials who have suffered any damage during the performance of their duties.