Many Maltese periti are part of a closed Facebook group, which serves as an excellent platform for discussions. Despite my 27 years of experience in the profession, I still find some of the posts quite intriguing, touching upon numerous issues that I consider rather novel.

This morning, a seasoned perit made a post that highlighted something likely encountered by all periti. His expression of concern revolved around the fact that architects working for local banks are rejecting home loan applications, even for minor variations in measurements, sometimes just a few centimetres.

Undoubtedly, this is a valid concern and can be incredibly impractical and frustrating. Speaking candidly, the insistence on absolute centimetre precision has been driven largely by individuals like me, who are cautious about potential legal consequences associated with inaccuracies in declarations. Perhaps this is a drawback of having a legal background as well.

That being said, this perit’s lamentation is entirely justified. The issue lies in the uncertainty surrounding what can be considered a false declaration and what falls within the legal comfort zone of the de minimis rule, often referred to as “de minimis non curat lex” (Latin for “the law does not concern itself with trifles”) – an acknowledged legal principle suggesting that the law should not be overly concerned with or should disregard minor or trivial matters. Essentially, it is an accepted principle that the law  allows for a degree of tolerance or leniency when dealing with insignificant or minimal deviations from a standard, rule, or regulation.

The core problem revolves around whether periti can independently establish the degree of tolerance within the legal boundaries without risking legal repercussions for potentially making a false declaration.