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Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Azzopardi – Commissioner for Standards in Public Life

Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Azzopardi was appointed Commissioner for Standards in Public Life on 8 March 2023.

He was born in Senglea on 8 April 1955, son of Michael and Mary née Azzopardi (both deceased). He attended state primary and secondary schools and the University of Malta, from where he graduated as a lawyer in 1979. He obtained his warrant to exercise the profession on 11 January 1980.

He always practiced as a lawyer in the courts, and he also served as a legal consultant to various public corporations including Lohombus Bank and the Transport Authority. In 1980 he became the first president of the Federation of Youth Organisations. In addition, he served as director of Mid Med Bank between 1980 and 1987, and a member of the board of the Housing Authority between 1997 and 2003. Between 1997 and 2003 he was also Commissioner for Justice. He was elected to the committee of the Chamber of Advocates in 1998 and as president of the Chamber in 2000. He continued to serve in this capacity until he was appointed judge.

He was appointed judge of the Superior Courts on 23 May 2003, serving in the First Hall of the Civil Court (of which he became chamber president in 2009), the Family Court and the Second Hall of the Civil Court. In February 2013 the Chief Justice assigned him to the Court of Appeal (Superior Jurisdiction). In 2010 his colleagues elected him as member of the Commission for the Administration of Justice, and he was re-elected each year until 2018, when he was appointed Chief Justice and thereby assumed an “ex officio” membership of the same Commission. Between 2011 and 2020 he represented the Commission in the European Network of Judicial Councils. He retired on 8 April 2020. In 2021 he was appointed Chairman of the Judicial Studies Committee.

He married Maria née Attard in 1981 and has a daughter, Annalies, born in 1986. A lawyer, she is married to Jean Paul Muscat and they have two children, Julian and Matthew.

Former Commissioners

The office of the Standards Commissioner in St Paul Street, Valletta

The office of the Commissioner

The Standards Commissioner is served by a small office headed by a Director General.

The office shares a building in St Paul Street, Valletta, with the office of the Ombudsman.

Logo image

The logo of the office

The logo of the Commissioner’s office is an image of one of the projections on the facade of the Parliament building in Freedom Square, Valletta. The image is a cropped and edited version of a photograph which was taken late on a winter’s day, when the setting sun was almost in line with the facade of the building and the light was picking out the projections.

The logo represents the close relationship between the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life and Parliament, in that members of Parliament are subject to the Commissioner’s scrutiny and the Commissioner in turn reports to Parliament’s Standing Committee for Standards in Public Life.

The logo was developed in-house by the office of the Commissioner. It was the first Commissioner’s own idea that a detail from the Parliament building should be used as a logo, and the photo was shot and edited by the Director General in his office.

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