Malta 1964 Constitution (reviewed 2016)

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I The Republic of Malta

1. The Republic and its territories

  1. Malta is a democratic republic founded on work and on respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.
  2. The territories of Malta consist of those territories comprised in Malta immediately before the appointed day, including the territorial waters thereof, or of such territories and waters as Parliament may from time to time by law determine.
  3. Malta is a neutral state actively pursuing peace, security and social progress among all nations by adhering to a policy of non-alignment and refusing to participate in any military alliance. Such a status will, in particular, imply that:
    1. no foreign military base will be permitted on Maltese territory;
    2. no military facilities in Malta will be allowed to be used by any foreign forces except at the request of the Government of Malta, and only in the following cases:
      1. in the exercise of the inherent right of self-defence in the event of any armed violation of the area over which the Republic of Malta has sovereignty, or in pursuance of measures or actions decided by the Security Council of the United Nations; or
      2. whenever there exists a threat to the sovereignty, independence, neutrality, unity or territorial integrity of the Republic of Malta;
    3. except as aforesaid, no other facilities in Malta will be allowed to be used in such manner or extent as will amount to the presence in Malta of a concentration of foreign forces;
    4. except as aforesaid, no foreign military personnel will be allowed on Maltese territory, other than military personnel performing, or assisting in the performance of, civil works or activities, and other than a reasonable number of military technical personnel assisting in the defence of the Republic of Malta;
    5. the shipyards of the Republic of Malta will be used for civil commercial purposes, but may also be used, within reasonable limits of time and quantity, for the repair of military vessels which have been put in a state of non-combat or for the construction of vessels; and in accordance with the principles of non-alignment the said shipyards will be denied to the military vessels of the two superpowers.

2. Religion

  1. The religion of Malta is the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion.
  2. The authorities of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church have the duty and the right to teach which principles are right and which are wrong.
  3. Religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith shall be provided in all State schools as part of compulsory education.

3. National Flag

  1. The National Flag of Malta consists of two equal vertical stripes, white in the hoist and red in the fly.
  2. A representation of the George Cross awarded to Malta by His Majesty King George the Sixth on the 15th April, 1942 is carried, edged with red, in the canton of the white stripe.

4. National Anthem

The National Anthem of Malta is “L-Innu Malti” opening with the words “Lil din l-Art helwa l-Omm li tatna isimha”.

5. Language

  1. The National language of Malta is the Maltese language.
  2. The Maltese and the English languages and such other language as may be prescribed by Parliament (by a law passed by not less than two-thirds of all the members of the House of Representatives) shall be the official languages of Malta and the Administration may for all official purposes use any of such languages:Provided that any person may address the Administration in any of the official languages and the reply of the Administration thereto shall be in such language.
  3. The language of the Courts shall be the Maltese language:Provided that Parliament may make such provision for the use of the English language in such cases and under such conditions as it may prescribe.
  4. The House of Representatives may, in regulating its own procedure, determine the language or languages that shall be used in Parliamentary proceedings and records.

6. Constitution to be supreme law

Subject to the provisions of sub-articles (7) and (9) of article 47 and of article 66 of this Constitution, if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

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