The appointment of The Environment Minister’s daughter as commissioner for justice a mere six months after receiving her warrant has drawn outrage online, with major human rights NGO aditus leading the charge.
“This is ridiculous, with the justice minister shoving aside core principles of a functioning democracy in favour of nepotism,” the human rights NGO said of Martina Herrera’s new job. “Who will suffer in the end? Not her. Not him. But everyone who will appear in front of her and the entire justice system. But as long as we’re all smiling in the photo, life’s a beach…right?”
— Simon Busuttil (@SimonBusuttil) August 23, 2017
Outgoing Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil also weighed in, calling Herrera’s appointment “brazen nepotism and an insult to all students who work so hard to make it through university.”
As a justice commissioner, Herrera will get to preside over local tribunals and rule on traffic and other minor offences. She will keep the job for at least two years, after which she will be eligible for re-appointment.
After receiving her warrant in February, Herrera started working at her father’s law firm Jose Herrera And Associates. Her profile on the firm’s website is short of detail, simply stating she is Jose Herrera’s daughter, her graduation date and how she is the youngest person to join the firm.
Lovin Malta sent questions to justice minister Owen Bonnici today, asking why he cherry-picked Herrera for the role, whether all freshly graduated lawyers are also qualified to serve as justice commissioners, what her salary will be, and whether her appointment gives off a perception that people with close connections to Labour politicians stand a much higher chance of success than their peers. We are still waiting for a reply.