Owen Bonnici

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Owen Bonnici

Hon. Owen Bonnici MP - Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Malta at the Europeana Strategy meeting “Migration and culture- how can our past educate our present” (34024402984).jpg
Minister for Education & Employment
Assumed office
15 January 2020
Prime MinisterRobert Abela
Preceded byEvarist Bartolo
Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government
In office
13 March 2013 – 13 January 2020
Prime MinisterJoseph Muscat
Preceded byChris Said
Responsible for Justice
Succeeded byEdward Zammit Lewis
Responsible for Justice, Equality & Governance
Member of Parliament
Assumed office
10 May 2008
Personal details
Born (1980-05-24) 24 May 1980 (age 40)
Zejtun, Malta
Political partyPartit Laburista

Owen Bonnici (born 24 May 1980) is a Maltese politician who is currently Minister for Education & Employment since 15 January 2020.

Following the March 2013 General Elections, he was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Justice.[1] After a cabinet reshuffle he was made Minister of Justice, Culture and Local Government in March 2014.[2]

Political life[edit]

Bonnici was first elected to Parliament in 2008 from the third electoral district, which is made up of the residents of the towns of Fgura, Marsascala and Zejtun. After serving as Opposition Spokesperson for Youth and Culture and subsequently for Higher Education, University, Research and Culture, he was handsomely elected in the 2013 elections. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat appointed him Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Justice and then Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government.

Prior to his election to Parliament he served on the Local Council of Marsascala for five years, first as a Councillor and then as Deputy Mayor, and as an elected member of the Labour Executive Council (2004-2008).

Bonnici was responsible for a number of initiatives undertaken during the legislature, including the Whistleblowers' Act, Justice Reform and the Individual Investors' Program.

Controversy[edit]

On 30 January, 2020, the Constitutional Court of Malta ruled[3] that Minister of Justice Bonnici had breached the human rights of protesters for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia by repeatedly and vexatiously ordering the clearing of the makeshift memorial at the foot of the Great Siege Monument throughout 2018 and 2019. In its ruling finding that Bonnici breached blogger and activist Emmanuel Delia and others' freedom of expression repeatedly for over 500 times, the Constitutional Court held that Bonnici's orders amounted to a "systematic" censorship that led to an "absurd" and "divisive" situation.[4] Bonnici's acts were previously condemned by, amongst others, the Council of Europe, the United Nations and the OSCE.[5]

The Court ordered damages for the plaintiff.

Calls for his resignation are ongoing.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Government Cabinet Appointed, Malta Today, Wednesday 13 March 2013
  2. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: 10 changes to fill 4 vacancies - The Malta Independent". www.independent.com.mt. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  3. ^ "Delia vs Dr Bonnici". Courts of Justice.
  4. ^ "Justice Minister's orders to clear protest memorial 'a breach of freedom of expression'". The Shift News. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Malta must establish accountability for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia". COE. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  6. ^ "NGOs demand Owen Bonnici's resignation as court ruled he breached rights". The Malta Independent. Retrieved 30 January 2020.