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To understand timeshare laws appertaining to Malta, we first have a need to understand the Maltese legal system, as it is, like many other countries, a mixed legal system.

To understand a mixed system of law, we must go back to the past history of Maltese legal practices.

Malta’s legal system was based on Roman law which was codified by the Emperor Justinian. With the arrival of the Order of St John, the law was essentially augmented and strengthened. The 1784 Code de Rohan and maritime code of the Consolato del Mare adopted and adapted the Roman law system and in the particular circumstances of Malta and the Maltese people.

The French invasion (in 1798) brought about a revolution in Maltese law and Maltese society itself but had very little time to establish fundamental legal roots. The British were asked to oust the French and then stayed, bringing a very different and alternative legal system. At first, the British endorsed the old Roman law as practised in Malta. In time, however, the British introduced more and more legal institutions and principles, such as trial by jury, the rules of evidence and the organisation of the courts itself.

In time the hybrid legal system was broadened and deepened by laws disseminated by the Maltese Parliament, especially after the 1964 Independence.

From then, the European Union Treaty was transposed into Maltese law and is now adopted as the law of the land.

Given the history of the Maltese legal system, we can state that it has its roots in the civil law but has absorbed many features of British common law. In other words, it is a mixed legal system.

The written Maltese law may be divided into four main sub-divisions:

  • Civil Law and Criminal Law
  • Public Law and Private Law
  • Substantive Law and Procedural Law
  • Municipal Law and Public International Law

In timeshare cases, we deal with a mixture of civil, common law and European regulations, supported by Maltese institutional regulators.

The Maltese civil law is primarily concerned with the rights and obligations of persons towards one another and provides a complete system of remedies, such as damages and/or specific performances.

Private law includes both civil and commercial law and aims to protect private interests.

When the European Convention Act 1972 was adopted by Malta it stated that any law which is/was interpreted as conflicting with the 1972 Act, the existing laws of Malta would be null and void, accordingly, this approach was adopted by Malta.

In respect to timeshare, the Maltese timeshare sellers and re-sellers are in full subjection to the ruling and regulations arriving from the European Union. British and European consumers can apply the same logic and to the many issues, they face when encountering timeshare problems.

TESS Law is very familiar with the many legal authorities and EU regulations and applies them in a similar manner in timeshare exit and compensations claims in Malta. British consumers via TESS Law can and do quote the many high court authorities in Maltese submissions.

Last modified: 23rd April 2020