It is a frequent occurrence for lawyers and police inspectors to inquire about the existence of specific legal provisions that grant the police the authority to initiate legal proceedings against individuals whose buildings pose a threat to public safety.

Remarkably, a thorough search conducted on the court’s database reveals a multitude of criminal judgments wherein the police have indeed taken decisive action against owners of hazardous structures. These enforcement actions consistently relied upon the provisions outlined in Article 25 of the Code of Police Laws.  One such judgment is The Police vs John Vella decided by the Court of Appeal on 25th June 2001.

However, upon closer examination of the current iteration of the Code of Police Laws, it becomes apparent that Article 25 is no longer present within its provisions.

This situation is not uncommon in the realm of legal frameworks, as it is well-known that legal provisions are subject to changes, including revocation or replacement. Legal systems are inherently dynamic and consistently adapt to address evolving societal needs, policy adjustments, and developments in jurisprudence. Consequently, specific provisions may undergo repeals, amendments, or relocations to different sections or statutes over time. As I said, such revisions are typically instigated by factors such as legal reforms, the consolidation of laws, or the necessity to confront emerging legal challenges.

In light of these circumstances, an important question arises: Does the police still possess the authority to initiate legal proceedings against owners of dangerous structures?

The answer to this query is explored and provided in detail within the pages of another concise publication entitled “Il-Pulizija u Bini Perikoluż.”