Earlier this year, the Republic of Malta quietly passed the the Online Publication of Court Judgments Conferment of Functions Regulations, 2021 Act. We have attached the complete text of the law above, in English, for the ready reference of the reader; Please read it carefully.
Going much further than the EU contemplated in its Data Protection legislation, what is commonly known as "The Right to be Forgotten," the Maltese law gives the Director General of the Court Services Agency unfettered and absolute discretion and power to determine whether to remove online records of court judgments from the website or websites where they are stored for public access.
The DG alone can remove court judgments, for any reason, or no reason at all, denying this information to investigators, compliance officers conducting due diligence inquiries, or the investing public checking an individual or company for evidence of prior fraud, bad debts, or civil judgments for any number of criminal acts which also translate into civil causes of action that result in judgments. This new law has nothing to do with the relevant EU principle of "inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant, or excessive." It authorizes a government known to be corrupt to conceal legal records of misconduct through deletion of court judgments.
In essence, the DG can hide the dark truth about an individual's prior bad acts from the public at large, and the financial world specifically. Given that the law has, most likely, already been abused through the deletion of court judgments, in exchange for bribes or other illegal consideration, checking Maltese court records will not now give those inquiring a true representation of an individual's business conduct and record. EU-based Compliance officers are now completely on their own when conducting due diligence in Malta through court records. Official court records have now, by definition, become unreliable sources of information on a target individual. Let those who are searching those records conduct themselves accordingly.
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