UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
 
You are in the MOST Phase I website (1994-2003).
The MOST Phase II website is available at: www.unesco.org/shs/most.
 


 
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. 
(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.
Section 32 [General Provision] 
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 -- 
(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 association; 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.
Section 40 [Religion, Belief] 
(1) All persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship. 
(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.
Section 45 [Discrimination] 
(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. 
(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.
Note: Further information on the constitutional background of Malta is provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg. 
 


To MOST Clearing House Homepage