(5) Targeted Legislation
The referendum petition will identify specific legislation (regulations) which permit spring hunting and will in accordance to the Referendum Act request whether voters agree that this legislation shall cease to be applicable in Malta.
Maltese legislation permitting Spring Hunting is Legal Notice 221 of 2010 entitled : Framework for Allowing a Derogation Opening a Spring Hunting Season for Turtledove and Quail Regulations.
Sub-section (1) of section 14 of the Referendum Act uses the following words : “Any number of persons registered as voters for the election of members of the House of Representatives, being not less than ten per cent of the total number of persons registered as voters as appear in the revised Electoral Register last published …………….. may by signing a declaration in the form set out in the First Schedule demand that the question whether one or more provisions of an enactment to which this Part applies, shall not continue in force, shall be put to those entitled to vote in a referendum under this Act.”
Mark Anthony Falzon in today’s Sunday Times suggested that an abrogative referendum cannot be used to abrogate a non-existent law, given that we have no LAW on spring hunting. Is this a valid leagal point?
Mark Anthony Falzon is not correct. The Referendum Act does not speak of a “law” which can be abrogated but of an “enactment” and proceeds to define an enactment as “an Act of Parliament and any Act passed by the Legislature of Malta and includes any Code, Ordinance, Proclamation, Order, Rule, Regulation, Bye-law, Notice or other instrument having the force of law in Malta.”
As explained in this post there is an enactment which regulates spring hunting. This is Legal Notice 221/2010 and is named Framework for Allowing a Derogation Opening a Spring Hunting Season for Turtledove and Quail Regulations.