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IRIS 2012-7:1/31

Malta

Shifting of Ministerial Responsibility for Classification of Films, Drama and other Stage Productions

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Kevin Aquilina

Department of Media, Communications and Technology Law, Faculty of Laws, University of Malta

On 9 March 2012, following the publication of a consultation document on film and stage classification (see IRIS 2012-3/29), the Minister responsible for Culture published a Bill to amend various laws relating to the classification of films and of dramatic and other stage productions. In actual fact, the Bill aims to ‘facilitate the establishment of a system of cinema and dramatic and other stage productions, and to transfer the laws regulating the classification of cinema and dramatic and other stage productions from the competence of the Ministry responsible for the Police to the competence of the Ministry responsible for Culture’.

The Bill proposes the repeal of paragraph (e) of Sub-article (1) of Article 203 of the Code of Police Laws, which states that the Minister responsible for the Police may make regulations concerning the ‘appointment and functions of censors; the payment to them of such fees as the Minister responsible for the Police may establish from time to time; and an appeal from decisions of the censors’.

It then proposes to amend the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts Act, Chapter 444 of the Laws of Malta, through the insertion of a new Sub-article (4) in Article 33 empowering the Minister responsible for culture to ‘make regulations in respect of the classification of cinema and dramatic and other stage productions and the procedure related thereto.’

This Bill is essentially an enabling provision which, if approved, will shift responsibility for the classification of cinema and dramatic and other stage productions from the responsibility of one Ministry to another. It does not however state what the regulations will contain, even though a draft version of these regulations has been published during the consultation process.

References
ATT biex jemenda diversi liāijiet li għandhom x’jaqsmu malklassifikazzjonital-films u l-palk MT
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15946
 
  A Bill entitled an act to amend various laws relating to the classification of films and of dramatic and other stage productions, Malta Government Gazette of 9 March 2012 EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15946