Constitutional remedy for prolonged tribunal proceedings.

The Union Haddiema Maghqudin (UHM) resorted to Constitutional procedures in First Hall of the Civil Court in its Constitutional Jurisdiction after a number of meteorologist workers, on behalf of whom the Union had started procedures in the Industrial Tribunal to claim what was fairly theirs, are still waiting for a Tribunal decision which is long overdue and has been pending for more than three years. Therefore the UHM together with the workers, are pleading to the Court to order payment of damages in their favor for all these years of unwarranted delays.

Although the case was differed for judgement, it has not been detrimented not only because of the parties, but also due to a lack of justice. The Constitutional action was inbstituted against Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, Labour and Industrial Relations Director and as well as the Secretary to the Industrial Tribunal.

In 2009, the UHM had registered an Industrial dispute against the Malta International Airport to safeguard the position of its staff members working in the position of meteorologist within the MIA.

The hearings of this dispute were heard before the Industrial Tribunal composed of Dr Leslie Cuschieri as the chairperson, along with Charles Magro and Joseph Farrugia as the appointed members. In proceedings the UHM stated that it has always followed orders to appear before the Tribunal. During hearings, the Tibunal had all the opportunity to listen to all versions and facts which were presented by the parties to substantiate their position.

After the submissions were made on the 29th March 2011, the Tribunal deferred the dispute for a final decision without appointing a date for judgement. The UHM said that despite the fact that more than three years have passed from the last hearing, it has stil not been appointed and decision is not yet given. This, despite several attempts made by the UHM pressing for judgment, including action which was taken in September 2013 and the Judicial Protest dated 29th January 2014.

The Union lamented that this long unreasonable delay has tampered the fundamental rights of a fair trial within a reasonable time as is stated in Article 39 of the Constitution of Malta and Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The UHM and the respective workers said that they have no other remedy other than seeking protection and redress before the Constitutional Court. The UHM is thus asking the Constitutional Court to give such remedies as it deems effective and appropriate in these circumstances, including compensation in material damages and moral damages for the violations that took place. The Application was signed by attorneys Ian Spiteri Bailey and Andrew Grima.


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