“But Mrs M and her redoubtable lawyer Dr Azzopardi had other irons in the fire.”
Dr Tonio Azzopardi has extensive experience in complex litigation. His practice focuses mainly on human rights cases in Malta, specialised litigation before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, cases against the police, international fraud, criminal trials, compensation for wrongful conviction, confiscation of proceeds, public law, corruption, medical malpractice, professional negligence, liability of auditors and representation in disciplinary processes.
He is an expert in European Human Rights Law and the Law of Evidence in Criminal and Civil matters and has extensive experience in litigation before the Constitutional Court of Malta.
He pleaded successfully Rosaria Schembri and Others v. Malta, John Anthony Mizzi v. Malta, Paul Mercieca and Others v. Malta before Chambers of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In 2008 he argued successfully the case Micallef v. Malta before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, a case that is covered by all major books on European Human Rights Law.
Dr Tonio Azzopardi has the experience to match the challenge that invariably lies ahead. His expertise in criminal, civil and fundamental rights law enables him to seek solutions that are not always easily discernible. This multidisciplinary outlook frequently paves the way that leads to an effective remedy.
He was defence counsel in the case “The Republic of Malta vs. Anthony Mifsud”, a prison warden who was wrongly accused of aiding and abetting two prisoners to escape. Anthony Mifsud was acquitted following a trial by jury in June 1987. Anthony Mifsud then instituted fundamental rights redress proceedings which resulted in the award of compensation for wrongful imprisonment and torture.
Dr Tonio Azzopardi was defence counsel in the case “The Republic of Malta vs. Louis Bartolo”, who was accused of murder of a notorious criminal. Louis Bartolo was acquitted on grounds of self-defence following a trial by jury decided in 1988.
Dr Azzopardi was legal counsel in the case “The Police vs. Emanuel Camilleri”, who was accused of having defiled his own daughter. Emanuel Camilleri always claimed that he was innocent and strongly contested the charge throughout the proceedings. On 2 May 2013, the Court of Criminal Appeal confirmed the judgment delivered by the first court declaring him guilty of the crime of defilment of minors. However, following human rights redress proceedings instituted in 2013, Emanuel Camilleri was released from prison while serving a two-year prison sentence after a Magisterial Inquiry established that his daughter had lied under oath. “There is no greater satisfaction than assisting an innocent person to regain his freedom.”Doctor of Laws
(University of Malta)MA (Financial Services)
(University of Malta)
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- Criminal proceedings
- Actions against the Police
- Compensation for wrongful conviction
- Human Rights litigation
- Administrative proceedings
- Public Law litigation
- Fraud litigation
- White collar and corporate litigation
- Civil litigation
- Collective action litigation
- Commercial litigation
- Construction litigation
- Confiscation of proceeds litigation
- Environmental litigation
- Health Care litigation
- Injunction proceedings
- Professional negligence litigation
- Medical malpractice and actions against hospitals
- Liability of Auditors litigation
- Banking and Financial Institution litigation
- Tort litigation
- Industrial injuries litigation
- Disciplinary processes
Emanuel Camilleri vs. Spettur Louise Calleja u Kummissarju tal-Pulizija, 2 June 2014, First Hall of the Civil Court (Constitutional Jurisdiction)
Emanuel Camilleri, convicted in proceedings at first instance and on appeal, was released from prison following a wrongful conviction – Interim measure.
Repubblika ta’ Malta vs. Louis Bartolo, 2 November 1981, Court of Criminal Appeal
Character evidence of the deceased person – Preliminary judgment.
Louis Bartolo was acquitted of the charge of wilful homicide during the subsequent trial by jury.
Repubblika ta’ Malta vs. Anthony Mifsud, 22 January 1985, Court of Criminal Appeal
Questioning by the Police after arraignment is illegal – The privilege against self-incrimination – Preliminary judgment.
Anthony Mifsud was acquitted of all charges connected with the escape from prison of two prisoners accused of wilful homicide who were awaiting trial.
Repubblika ta’ Malta vs. Francis Casaletto, 22 March 1985, Court of Criminal Apeal
What is ‘viva voce’ evidence? – Preliminary judgment.
101A, Old Mint Street, Valletta VLT 1517 Malta
Telephone:(+356) 2124 4644
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Name: Tonio Azzopardi
Date and place of birth: 11 June 1954, Malta
Primary education: St Catherine High School
Secondary education: St Aloysius College
Doctor of Law, University of Malta, 1977
Master of Arts (Financial Services), University of Malta, 1996
- Advocate in private practice specialising in Criminal Law & Procedure, Tort Law and Human Rights
- Member of the Permanent Commission Against Corruption, 1988-1993 and 1994-1998
Substitute Chairman of the Permanent Commission Against Corruption
- Legal counsel in many human rights actions
- Defence counsel in many criminal trials including homicide cases
- Legal counsel in cases involving compensation for wrongful conviction
- Legal counsel in claims for damages arising from criminal offences
- Pleaded successfully several cases before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and won the case Micallef v. Malta before the Grand Chamber of the European Human Rights
- Chairman of the Appeals Board of Air Malta p.l.c.
- Chairman of the Appeals Board of Bank of Valletta p.l.c.
- Chairman of the Disciplinary Board of the Central Bank of Malta
- Legal counsel for the national television and radio station TVM owned by Public Broadcasting Services Limited
- Legal counsel for the Malta Stock Exchange
- Defence counsel before the Medical Council of Malta
- Legal counsel for the Pharmacy Board
a. Details of judicial and non-judicial legal activities
- Resident guest and legal adviser in ‘Crimewatch’ [“Il-Kaz”] on local television
b. Details of all non-legal professional activities
- Lecturer on Human Rights Actions at the University of Malta
- Lecturer on Due Process of Law under Maltese Law at the University of Malta
- Lecturer on The Law of Evidence at the University of Malta
- Theses Examiner on Human Rights Law at the University of Malta
- Held a course on Victimology at the Malta Police Academy
- Held a course on Criminal Procedure at the Institute of Forensic Studies
- 1983: Co-Founder of a human rights group “Hielsa”
- 1981-1987: Human rights activist
- Led a team of lawyers who assisted victims of torture and other human rights violations between 1984 and 1987
- Co-author of articles featuring in “Page Thirteen” published in a leading Sunday newspaper in defence of human rights
Posts held in a political party: None
Membership of parliament: –
- Given an Award for Gallantry by Princess Alexandra (Royal Humane Society, London) for saving the life of a person who was drowning
- Former Venture Unit Leader of St Aloysius College Scout Group
- Awarded a Visiting Scholarship by the United States Government on “The U.S. Criminal Justice System”
- Attended an international seminar in Strasbourg on “Human Rights in Criminal Justice Systems” – 9th Informal Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Seminar on Human Rights.
- Preparing a book for publication on “Maltese Law of Evidence in Criminal Matters”
- Anniversary Feature: “The European Convention on Human Rights – 50 years on” published in “The Times” (Malta) on 3 November 2000
- “The right to legal assistance during questioning – Why are we lagging so far behind?” published in “The Sunday Times” (Malta) on 23 January 2005
- Paper delivered at an International Conference of the “International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law” – Auditors as Guardians against Fraud
- Paper delivered at an International Conference of the Federation of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities
- Several articles in Law Journals, e.g. “Id-Dritt” and “De Jure”
- Mother tongue: Maltese (speaks, reads and writes)
- Official languages:
Fluent in English (speaking, reading and writing)
French: reads only
- Other languages:
Fluent in Italian (speaking, reading and writing)
Latin: reads only
Well-versed in medical matters, Traumatic Medicine and Medical Law
Dr Tonio Azzopardi proposed to the Bonello Commission the establishment of our Constitutional Court as a court separate from the rest of the Judiciary, a proposal that was adopted by the Bonello Commission at page 171 of its report:
“Mizura 405: Twaqqif ta’ Qorti Kostituzzjonali b’Imhallfin addetti biex jaqdu Dmirijiet Esklussivament f’din il-Qorti:
Qed jigi propost li l-Qorti Kostituzzjonali tkun maghmula minn tliet Imhallfin li jaqdu d-dmirijiet taghhom f’din il-Qorti biss u mhux f’Qrati ohra, li din il-Qorti jkollha l-budget taghha separat u distint minn dak tal-Qrati l-ohra, li ma tkunx preseduta mill-Prim Imhallef, u li l-post fejn din il-Qorti tiltaqa’ u zzomm is-seduti taghha (ikun) f’bini iehor li mhux fil-Qrati tal-Gustizzja. Peress li Malta qieghda kontinwament tkun ikkritikata mill-Qorti Ewropeja ghad-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem li qed iddum hafna biex tiddeciedi kawzi ta’ natura kostituzzjonali u peress li hafna mis-sentenzi tal-Qorti Kostituzzjonali qed jispiccaw jintilfu quddiem l-istess Qorti Ewropeja tad-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem, jinhtieg li din il-problema tigi affrontata bil-hatra ta’ tliet Imhallfin li idealment ikunu esperti fil-ligi dwar id-drittijiet umani biex jigi zgurat li l-Imhallfin li jpoggu fil-Qorti Kostituzzjonali jsegwu s-sentenzi tal-Qorti Ewropeja bl-akbar reqqa u b’hekk ma jkunx hemm dak in-numru allarmanti ta’ kawzi (80%) fi Strasburgu tal-Qorti Kostituzzjonali li jigu rovexxati.
Jekk din is-soluzzjoni tigi addottata, ghandu jkun hemm anqas kazijiet li jispiccaw fil-Qorti Ewropeja u li jintilfu hemmhekk ghax inkunu indirizzajna verament il-problema li hafna nies iridu jmorru Strasburgu biex jinghataw rimedju minn sentenza tal-Qorti Kostituzzjonali li tivvjola d-drittijiet u l-libertajiet fundamentali tal-bniedem.”
My aim is to:
- provide specialist legal advice and assistance to clients in a prompt and efficient manner by combining the experience gained in my forty years of practice at the Bar of Malta and before the European Court of Human Rights with the expertise in my areas of legal practice – civil, criminal and human rights cases;
- to be a trusted and reliable advisor.
Private Practice as Advocate since 1978.
Member of the Malta Chamber of Advocates.
Expert Advocate before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Former member of the Permanent Commission against Corruption.