Malta - Constitution
Adopted in: 1964 (Document Status: 1996)
Official Title: The Constitution of Malta
Section 2 [State Religion]
(1) The religion of Malta is the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion.
Section 32 [General Provision]
(2) The authorities of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church have the
duty and the right to teach which principles are right and which are wrong.
(3) Religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith shall
be provided in all State schools as part of compulsory education.
Whereas every person in Malta is entitled to the fundamental
rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever
his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but
subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public
interest, to each and all of the following, namely --
Section 40 [Religion, Belief]
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, the enjoyment of property
and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of peaceful assembly and
(c) respect for his private and family life,
the subsequent provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the
purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject
to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions
being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights
and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms
of others or the public interest.
(1) All persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience
and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship.
Section 45 [Discrimination]
(2) No person shall be required to receive instruction in religion
or to show knowledge or proficiency in religion if, in the case of a person
who has not attained the age of sixteen years, objection to such requirement
is made by the person who according to law has authority over him and,
in any other case, if the person so required objects thereto:
Provided that no such requirement shall be held to be inconsistent
with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the knowledge
of, or the proficiency or instruction in, religion is required for the
teaching of such religion, or for admission to the priesthood or to a religious
order, or for other religious purposes and except so far as that requirement
is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
(3) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall
be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1),
to the extent that the law in question makes provision that is reasonably
required in the interests of public safety, public order, public morality
or decency, public health, or the protection of the rights and freedoms
of others, and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be,
the thing done under the authority thereof, is shown not to be reasonably
justifiable in a democratic society.
(3) In this section, the expression "discriminatory" means
affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly
or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political
opinions, colour, creed or sex whereby persons of one such description
are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another
such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages
which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
Note: Further information on the constitutional
background of Malta is provided by the International Constitutional
Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg.
(9) A requirement, however made, that the Roman Catholic Apostolic
Religion shall be taught by a person professing that religion shall not
be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section.