The recent reported cases of novel coronavirus in Malta have called authorities into action to tackle this unprecedented situation.

As part of a coordinated effort to make sure that businesses continue to have the legal certainty they need to continue operating, all key legal and judicial timeframes have been suspended with immediate effect.

This guidance highlights the key timeframes which have been suspended.

Suspensions of legal timeframes and closure of all Maltese judicial bodies

On Friday 13 March, Malta's Superintendent of Public Health ordered the following closures and suspensions:

  1. the closure of all courts with effect from Monday 16 March, remaining in force until further notice, by virtue of Legal Notice 65 of 2020. This includes all courts, irrespective of their competence and jurisdiction, as well as tribunals, boards, commissions, committees or other entities before which proceedings are heard, subject to legal or administrative time limits for filing any claims or other acts. It also covers the court registry. The Maltese courts shall however retain the power to order the hearing of cases of an urgent nature or that are in the public interest.
  2. the suspension of any legal and judicial times applicable to proceedings or other procedures before the said courts, by virtue of Legal notice 61 of 2020. This suspension will remain in force for seven (7) days following the lifting of such order by the Superintendent.
  3. the suspension of legal timeframes relating to promise of sale agreements, notarial and other related matters, by virtue of Legal Notice 64 of 2020. All legal timeframes will remain suspended for a period of twenty (20) days from the repeal of the order, in the event that the expiration of the legal term falls during the first five (5) days immediately following the repeal of the same by the Superintendent of Public Health.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.