Court Presidents

Presidents of H.M. Court of Appeal & Chief Justices

Governor Sir Thomas Maitland abolished the Corte Capitanale, and concentrated all Legal Procedures in the Gran Castellania, in accordance with the reform of the legal system of Malta undertaken by him as the first act of his administration. The new system began to function on the 4th June 1814. Sir Thomas Maitland, in accordance with Royal instructions, laid down by proclamation that there will be six judges and a President of the High Court of Appeal.

The official language of the Court had always been  Italian,  and consequently no English lawyer could be recruited to fill the post of Chief Justice: so the choice had to fall on a Maltese.

Nowadays, the courts in Malta are divided into Superior and Inferior courts.  Judges sit on the Superior Courts, which, in Malta, are made up of the Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeal, the Criminal Court and the Civil Court. The Inferior Courts are the Court of Magistrates (Malta) and the Court of Magistrates (Gozo). The latter court has a both superior and an inferior jurisdiction.

The Chief Justice  and judges are appointed by the President of Malta on the advice of the Prime Minister after consultation with the leader of the opposition. Their mandatory retirement age is 65.

       NAME     TITLE   YEAR
Sir Giuseppe Borg Olivier GCMG President 27 May 1814
Walter Rodwell Wright President 1 Jan 1819
Sir John Stoddart Kt Bach President 2 June 1826
Sir Ignazio Gavino Bonavita GCMG President 2 Jan 1839
Sir Paolo Dingli GCMG President 1 Jan 1854
Sir Antonio Micallef GCMG President 1 July 1859
Sir Adrian Dingli GCMG, CB Chief Justice 2 Nov 1880
Sir Joseph Carbone GCMG, KCMG Chief Justice 1 Jan 1895
Sir Vincent Frendo Azzopardi Kt Bach, CMG Chief Justice 15 Nov 1915
Sir Michelangelo Refalo Kt Bach, CBE Chief Justice 26 Aug 1919
Sir Arturo Mercieca Kt Bach Chief Justice 2 Jan 1924
Sir George Borg Kt Bach, MBE Chief Justice 1 Jan 1941
Sir Luigi Camilleri Kt Bach Chief Justice 24 Apr 1952
Sir Anthony Mamo Kt Bach Chief Justice 7 Dec 1957
John J Cremona LLD, KOM, KM Chief Justice 23 Aug 1973
Carmelo Schembri LLD President 5 Mar 1981
Hugh Harding LLD President Sept 1987
Giuseppe Mifsud Bonnici LLD President 1990
Joseph Said Pullicino LLD President 1995
Noel Arrigo LLD President Nov 2001
Vincent Degaetano LLD President Oct 2002
Silvio Camilleri LLD President Sept 2010



The Magistrature


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