Malta: Implementation of Public Inquiry recommendations must meet international standards


14 January 2022

No Comments

Malta: Implementation of Public Inquiry recommendations must meet international standards

14 January 2022

Our organisations note the announcement by Prime Minister Abela of the appointment of a Committee of Experts to implement the recommendations of the Public Inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The recommendations include the recognition in law of journalism as the fourth pillar of democracy, and the need to create an enabling environment for independent journalism and measures to address impunity, corruption and the abuse of power. 


In our meetings and communications with Prime Minister Abela, our organisations emphasised the need for the full independence of the Commission of Experts, to ensure that the terms of reference of the Commission meet international standards and that the composition of the Commission reflects the expertise in role of press in a democracy needed to effectively undertake the full scope of responsibilities. We have been concerned by a lack of transparent consultation with civil society and key stakeholders in this process to date. We urge the Prime Minister to engage in meaningful and transparent consultation going forward, in particular through publishing proposed legislation relating to media freedom.


In our meeting in Valletta in October 2021 concerning the implementation of the Public Inquiry recommendations, we sought assurances from Prime Minister Abela to not amplify a policy of media regulation, to ensure the passage of comprehensive legislation tackling Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs), to improve access to information, to engage in continuous transparent consultation and dialogue with civil society and journalists’ organisations and contribute to changing the culture of how journalists are treated in Malta – including ensuring better protections for journalists to be able to do their jobs safely. We now expect the process led by the Committee of Experts to fulfil these assurances.


Our organisations will closely monitor the work, process and outcomes of the Committee of Experts which should be undertaken free of government influence and in the framework of Malta’s international human rights obligations, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights, the recommendations of the Council of Europe, in particular its Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, and the European Commission’s Recommendation on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists.


While our offer of technical assistance to the Prime Minister has to date not been taken up, we continue to stand ready to assist the process.

Signed by:


Association of European Journalists (AEJ)

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)


Index on Censorship

International Press Institute (IPI)

PEN International 

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Read news by categories:

Related news


Journalists-in-Residence Programm-Mitarbeiter*in


Serbia: New draft media laws represent another step backward for media freedom

The partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today raise the alarm about two draft media laws brought forward by the Serbian government for their lack of compliance with international freedom of expression standards.


Murdered, surveilled and sued: decisive action needed to protect journalists and salvage press freedom in Greece

Following a mission to Athens, eight international organisations call on the Government and Prime Minister to show political courage and urgently improve the climate for independent journalism and salvaging press freedom in Greece.


Urgent appeal to European Parliament: Ban spyware against journalists

ECPMF and 79 civil society and journalists' associations are calling on European Parliament to ensure that journalists are completely protected from spyware in the European Media Freedom Act.

Press release

Turkey: Annual international press freedom mission to Ankara, Diyarbakır, and Istanbul

Between 2 and 5 October 2023, five international media freedom organisations will conduct an annual joint press freedom mission to Ankara, Diyarbakır and Istanbul.


Cyprus: Call for thorough investigations into surveillance of Makarios Drousiotis

We are highly concerned about the alleged surveillance of journalist Makarios Drousiotis, and the lack of prompt, adequate or thorough investigation of the matter.