Democratic decay and renewal in Malta

In 2017, Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was murdered by a car bomb. Her investigations were raising questions of corruption within the Maltese Government. Whilst those who allegedly planted the bomb await trial, investigations into those responsible for the attack are ongoing. Focus is on figures within and close to Joseph Muscat’s Government. Some have been questioned; others have been arrested on corruption charges and a businessman has been charged with complicity in the murder.

This paper shows how the allegations of corruption, the assassination and the way in which investigations have been organised raise questions of Government actions, as well as features of the Maltese constitutional system. The current imbalance of power in favour of the Government, combined with recent actions of that Government, are arguably leading to democratic decay and neglect for the rule of law. The paper asks how this trend might be reversed, and the rule of law enhanced.