Among the Bills being discussed at a legislative level, the Equality Bill is certainly one of the most prominent.
First brought up in the parliamentary discussions as early as 17th July 2019, this Bill pushes further the idea of equality in the Maltese islands to further facilitate and help ease the fight for discrimination. According to the document the Maltese government posted in 2015, the Bill purports to be “An Act to prohibit discrimination in various spheres of life, to promote equality and prevent discrimination”. Currently, the Bill is close to being finalised as it is being studied by the “Adjunct Committee for the Consideration of Bills”.
Legalising and officially publishing this Bill will leave a massive effect on the Maltese nation. The Bill complements the idea that every man or woman is considered guilty until found innocent, in order to facilitate the idea of further equality. What will vary from previous laws carried out by the parliamentary group is that previous laws upheld the concept “Innocent till proven guilty”. This law will play a whole other role which will certainly leave an impact on the constantly fluctuating rate of discrimination.
A lot of public places and organisations maybe fall a victim to this act. Some may include religious outlets or organisations that follow certain symbolic beliefs and traditions. With this law, we could see the Maltese islands known for their religious traditions and beliefs turn into a more secular country. The reason for this is that with this law, individuals or groups who could get offended by certain symbols will have much more liberty and opportunity to find what they believe is discrimination. Places like policlinics and hospitals will have to remove the crucifixes if anyone gets offended by them. Personally, I see this as a disadvantage to a certain point as I believe the Maltese islands need to be represented by some sacred traditions and objects such as crucifixes of the Catholic Church which has a vast impact on the Islands history. Freedom of expression will be highly restricted and also the opportunities for one to follow his or her religious beliefs. Personally, these are factors which I highly disagree with because I believe that every individual forming part of a society should have the opportunity to follow a religion and have the liberty to show and display various symbols of the religion. I also believe that every individual is entitled to their opinion, which they have every right to share amongst others.
Furthermore, I also believe that by legalising this law there will be a numerous spike of justice fulfilled. As for individuals who are getting discriminated, for any reason in places like workplaces or schools. If an individual is getting discriminated against for his or her race at her workplace it will be easier to accuse the employer and get justice. The victim of discrimination could get compensation up to € 10,000 depending on the case and matter. Subsequentially false accusations will decrease at a phenomenal rate as it would be much easier for the victim of accusation to pledge guilty thanks to the Equality Bill.
The Equality Bill will certainly leave a massive impact of changes, which some of them could benefit the country inequality matter and others could kill the basic human right of people having an opinion and being eligible to state it publicly. As the law will be legalised a board of people will be created in order to make the decisions regarding any accusations of breaking the Equality Bill.
Considering this law will be above all laws it will certainly not be impacted by what others say, according to the Bill there will not be any other law superior to it. Only the Superior court will be as equal as this board. I disagree with this as there will be a high risk of the people in this role abusing their power and discriminating against the accused, which goes totally against the ethics of this Bill.
(This article was originally posted on civilsocietymt.com)
Written by: Neil Camenzuli
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