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WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION €1.00 Newspaper post PAGE 9 • Editorial WEDNESDAY • 28 DECEMBER 2016 • ISSUE 502 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY PAGE 8 PAGE 6 Chief Justice threatens boycott over 'demotion' in State protocol Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri irked at judiciary being dropped order of precedence below Speaker and Archbishop JURGEN BALZAN A change to the Maltese state's protocol for the hierarchy of officials and function- aries during official events, has irked the Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri after he was dropped two positions in the 'top 5' of the order of precedence. The order of precedence was changed in October and while the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister held on to the top two positions – as heads of state and government respectively – the Chief Justice has been relegated below the Speaker of the House and the Archbishop. In a statement issued yesterday during his New Year's address to the President of the Republic, Camilleri said that this had "left a bitter taste in the Judiciary." He said the change in precedence "took place without the courtesy of the slight- est advance notice and without any sort of consultation with the Judiciary, so much so that I first became aware of the change when I came to take my position in front of the War Monument on Remembrance Day. In my view this is not appropriate, even if courtesy and correctness in the ways things are done might no longer be fashionable in modern times." Camilleri added that after a cordial meeting with the Principal Permanent Secretary over the "ill-advised" changes, he is still awaiting a reply. "I am not sure whether I can hope that perhaps courtesy will prevail for the start of the New Year," he added. MaltaToday is informed that upon learn- ing of the changes, an irked Camilleri sent a letter addressed to justice minister Owen Bonnici and the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in which he protested at being rel- egated in the order of precedence. The strongly worded letter was sent be- fore the crucial Constitutional case in November in which the court presided by Camilleri, decided to award the Opposi- tion two additional parliamentary seats following errors in the vote counting pro- cess in 2013. Abela faces hard slog to bring Dublin impasse to an end MATTHEW VELLA HOME Affairs minister Carmelo Abela has a tall order before him. As Malta takes the presidency of the European Union, it will be his job to attempt to forge a deal between all the bloc's 28 member states on reforming the maligned 'Dublin sys- tem' – a regulation notori- ous for its shortcoming in major crises. The core principle under the current Dublin regime is that the responsibility for examining an asylum claim lies with the first member state accessed by the appli- cant. Frontier states say the rules punish them since they are expected to process the claims of anyone intercepted at their end of the EU border. For a country like tiny Mal- ta, but also for Mediterra- nean states like Italy, Greece and Spain, this is a problem. But Abela's role as an hon- est broker for the whole of the EU has a far greater deal of obstacles. At the negotiating table it- self, the Visegrad Four – the alliance of the Czech Re- public, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – are not keen on Dublin, even though Hun- gary itself was one of the countries to first take on the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis. Joining NATO and the EU fulfilled the original purpose of the alliance cre- ated in 1993. Then migra- tion, and Angela Merkel's open-door policy, brought the countries back together: they want a stricter protec- tion of EU borders, closing them off if possible, and op- pose relocation of migrants. PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JAMES BIANCHI Despite Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri's protestations over what he described as an 'ill-advised' demotion, he still exchanged greetings with the President

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