The Civil Court (Voluntary Jurisdiction Section) was established by the Civil Courts (Establishment of Sections) Order 2003, made by the President of Malta in terms of Article 2 of the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure (Chapter 12 of the Laws of Malta). This court was formerly styled Second Hall of the Civil Court.
One Judge sits in the Voluntary Jurisdiction Section of the Civil Court. In Gozo this section is part of the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) in its Superior Jurisdiction.
This court does not in principle hear and decide cases of a contentious nature. Its main function is to oversee and protect certain rights and interests, which for some reason or other are not exercised or not exercisable by the person to whom the right or interest appertains. It has jurisdiction to deal with applications relating to adoption, matters relating to trusts (under the Trusts and Trustees Act - Cap. 331 of the Laws of Malta), tutorship and curatorship and other administrators (including testamentary executors), interdiction and incapacitation, absentees, the depositing, opening and publication of secret wills, and declarations of the opening of succession. Any person who wants to accept an inheritance with the benefit of inventory or who does not want to accept an inheritance, has to file a note in this court. Requests for the taxation of fees due to notaries, advocates and legal procurators for extra-judicial services are also dealt with by this court. Under the Foster Care Act (Cap. 491) in the event of a disagreement between a foster carer and the accredited fostering agency in respect of any amendment to the foster care agreement, either party may refer the matter to the Voluntary Jurisdiction Section of the Civil Court, and the court "shall decide in the best interest of the child concerned" (Art. 24(6)).
Although no appeal lies from decrees issued by this court, any interested party who feels aggrieved can file an action before the First Hall of the Civil Court requesting that the decree be quashed.
At present three Judges ordinarily sit (separately) in the Voluntary Jurisdiction Section of the Civil Court: the Hon. Mr Justice Gino Camilleri, the Hon Mr Justice Joseph Azzopardi and the Hon. Mr Justice Michael Mallia. In Gozo, the Magistrates ordinarily sitting in the Voluntary Jurisdiction Section of the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) in its Superior Jurisdiction are Magistrate Dr Josette Demicoli and Magistrate Dr Neville Camilleri.