The Local Enforcement System scheme groups together up a number of participants including statutory bodies and private agencies. Key Players
Local Enforcement can be divided into two main divisions:
The Ministry for Justice and Local Councils is the Ministry to which the Central Government assigned, amongst other responsibilities, the implementation of the policy of Local Government. As a Ministry it established the general policies and objectives that provided the backbone of the system - a system the implementation of which safeguards the best interest of the public. Local Enforcement was launched in February 2000 in terms of Legal Notice 32 of 2000, following the enactment of the PRIVATE GUARDS AND LOCAL WARDENS ACT (CAP. 389) in 1996.
In terms of the LOCAL ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM COMMITTEE REGULATIONS (S.L. 291.06) "There shall be a Management Committee for the Local Enforcement System that shall be responsible to provide guidelines, the general policy and the local enforcement system function, and there shall also be a Stakeholders Committee that shall be responsible to give recommendations to the Management Committee." Reg. 3 (1).
The Management Committee is composed of a Chairperson and four members who shall be appointed by the Minister (Reg.3 (2)).
The Stakeholders Committee is composed of representatives of Trade Unions, the electronic local enforcement system service provider, Authorized Officers, Local Warden Agencies, the Police and the five Regional Committees, which shall be chaired by the President of the Local Councils Association. (Reg. 3 (5))
LESA responsibilities are determined by the Public Administration Act by virtue of Legal Notice 153 of 2015. They are generally responsible:
The Department of Local Councils is the central point of reference for Local Enforcement queries. It is also responsible for the development of policy options within the framework set by the Minister responsible for Local Councils.
The Department of Local Councils exercises a general administrative supervision over the activities of Local Councils and ensures that Local Councils have the legislative authority required to respond to local needs. It reviews and develops legislation, regulations, operating guidelines and policies.
The Department of Local Councils also has a customer-care branch. If offers a solution to any member from the general public who has any query about Local Enforcement. The Local Council's Help desk may be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Councils functional responsibilities are determined by the Local Councils Act which sets them up. They are generally responsible:
The Local Councils Association was statutorily constituted in November 1994 by virtue of Legal Notice 153 of 1994. The role of the Local Councils Association is to protect and promote the common interests of all the Local Councils. It is the body that has been involved from the outset in the setting up of the Local Enforcement system. Apart from coordinating all the activities of the Local Councils it also coordinates ongoing discussions to improve the system.
The Regional Committees responsibilities are determined by the Local Councils Act by virtue of Legal Notice 320 of 2011. They are generally responsible:
The Executive Secretary is appointed by the Region Committee to administer the said Committee and act as a Financial Head. His/Her duties are:
The Prosecutor is a person who is appointed by the Regional Committees to prosecute on their behalf against those offenders who have been accused of having committed a contravention within the boundaries of that particular Regional Committee.
The Prosecutor prosecutes all the offences that are brought before the Local Tribunal. He or she prepares each case and makes sure that he or she has all the necessary evidence at hand. All prosecutions are carried out with fairness and all the people who are summoned to appear before the Local Tribunal are given equal treatment.
The Prosecutor may also lodge an appeal before the Court of Magistrates as a Court of Appeal in those instances where the Prosecutor is dissatisfied with the Tribunal judgment.
Before the introduction of Local Enforcement, enforcement fell exclusively within the competence of the Malta Police Force. However, Local Enforcement saw the introduction of other Enforcement Officers - the Local Wardens through the Warden Agencies. The logic behind this increase in the number of Enforcement Officers is to ensure that every district in Malta is constantly being patrolled by these Officers.
The Local Tribunal is an extension of the Courts of Law. It is that building where the Commissioner for Justice holds the sittings to consider any charge brought before him in terms of the Commissioners for Justice Act.
The Local Tribunal was set up to ensure that the fundamental right to a fair hearing is given to every person who has been booked for a contravention. For this reason the Local Tribunal has been entrusted with a specialized competence - it adjudicates only in respect of delegated contraventions. Furthermore appointment of cases takes place within a relatively short period and there are no lengthy proceedings involved. The cases are dealt with summarily.
In all there are eight Local Tribunals. There is at least a Local Tribunal for every Regional Committee. Therefore all the cases in respect of contraventions which have been committed within the boundaries of a particular Regional Committee will be brought before the Local Tribunal of that group of localities.
The role of the Commissioner for Justice is to consider and deliver judgment on every charge that is brought before him for hearing. He or she hears any statements that both the offender and the prosecuting party might wish to make. He or she also hears any witnesses that either party might have brought. After also taking into consideration any documentary evidence, He or she will proceed to deliver the judgment.
The Tribunal Clerk is the person chosen to act as a deputy registrar of the Local Tribunal. The person appointed to this position is responsible to take down in writing all the instructions handed down by the Commissioner for Justice. He or she is also responsible to note down the judgment as delivered by the Commissioner for Justice in respect of every case brought before the Tribunal.