Malta faces human rights challenge over Legal Aid

By Neasa MacErlean

10 February 2014 at 13:07 BST

Malta is being challenged in its Constitutional Court over the way Legal Aid is allocated, with allegations that the system violates both local and international law.

Legal aid issues in Malta Malcolm Gruma

Lawyers Franco Debono and Michaela Spiteri have made the challenge on behalf of their client, John Udagha Omeh. They claim that people such as their client - who was convicted of selling drugs - are given such a limited choice of Legal Aid practitioners that 'a proper defence' cannot be guaranteed. Several points are being argued by the two lawyers. Outlining one of them, Franco Debono said: 'Having legal aid lawyers paid from the budget of the Attorney General, who is public prosecutor and thus in general an adversary to the same legal aid lawyers, is also of great concern.' Source: Malta Today


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