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14/06/2013 - Judge and two Magistrates appointed to the Bench

In the course of a ceremony held this morning at the President’s Palace in Valletta, Magistrate Dr Antonio Mizzi was appointed Judge of the Superior Courts, while two lawyers – Dr Aaron M. Begeja and Dr Charmaine Galea – were appointed Magistrates of the Inferior Courts. The Attorney General, Dr Peter Grech, administered the requisite oaths of allegiance and of office, while H.E. the President of Malta read the warrants appointing them to the respective Bench.

Mr Justice Mizzi (seen here reading one of the oaths during the ceremony) was born in 1953 and received his secondary education at the Hamrun Lyceum, and obtained his doctorate in law from the University of Malta in 1979. He was appointed to the Bench of Magistrates in October 1987, and in 1996 obtained a further degree (in European Law) from the University of Malta. On 7 May 2012 he was designated by the Chief Justice as Senior Magistrate in accordance with Article 7(2) of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure.

Magistrate Dr Aaron M. Bugeja graduated in law from the University of Malta in 1995 and obtained a further degree in law from the same university in 2012. He joined the Attorney General’s Office in 1996 where he worked mainly as a prosecutor. In 2006 he was promoted to Senior Counsel in the A.G.’s Office and in August of last year he was appointed to head the Criminal Prosecutions Unit in the same Office. Magistrate Bugeja has been actively engaged in legal work in international fora, where he has also held the post of Chairman of the Inter-Governmental Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) of the Council of Europe.

Magistrate Dr Charmaine Galea was born in 1976 and received her doctorate in law in 2001. She has worked as a trial lawyer for the last twelve years, specialising in civil and family law. She has also worked as a part-time Judicial Assistant assigned to the First Hall of the Civil Court and, more recently, to the Office of the Chief Justice.

In the course of the customary short addresses made on such an occasion, the Chief Justice, after congratulating the new appointees, lamented the fact that the first report of the Justice Reforms Commission (see news item of 05/06/2013) was published without the slightest prior consultation with the Judiciary.

Also present at the ceremony was the Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat, the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Justice, Dr Owen Bonnici, and family members of the new judge and magistrates.

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