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Constitution of Malta

Country:
Malta

Article 37 (1) No property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, except where provision is made by a law applicable to that taking of possession or acquisition – (a) for the payment of adequate compensation; (b) securing to any person claiming such compensation avright of access to an independent and impartial court or tribunal established by law for the purpose ofvdetermining his interest in or right over the property and the amount of any compensation to which he mayvbe entitled, and for the purpose of obtaining payment of that compensation; and (c) securing to any party to proceedings in that court orvtribunal relating to such a claim a right of appeal fromvits determination to the Court of Appeal in Malta: Provided that in special cases Parliament may, if it deems it appropriate so to act in the national interest, by law establish the criteria which are to be followed, including the factors and other circumstances to be taken into account, in the determination of the compensation payable in respect of property compulsorily taken possession of or acquired; and in any such case the compensation shall be determined and shall be payable accordingly. (2) Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting the making or operation of any law so far as it provides for the taking of possession or acquisition of property - (a) in satisfaction of any tax, rate or due; (b) by way of penalty for, or as a consequence of, breach of the law, whether under civil process or after conviction of a criminal offence; (c) upon the attempted removal of the property out of or into Malta in contravention of any law; (d) by way of the taking of a sample for the purposes of any law; (e) where the property consists of an animal upon its being found trespassing or straying; (f) as an incident of a lease, tenancy, licence, privilege or hypothec, mortgage, charge, bill of sale, pledge or other contract; (g) by way of the vesting or administration of property on behalf and for the benefit of the person entitled to the beneficial interest therein, trust property, enemy property or the property of persons adjudged bankrupt or otherwise declared bankrupt or insolvent, persons of unsound mind, deceased persons, or bodies corporate or unincorporate in the course of being wound up or liquidated; (h) in the execution of judgments or orders of courts; (i) by reason of its being in a dangerous state or injurious to the health of human beings, animals or plants; (j) in consequence of any law with respect to the limitation of actions, acquisitive prescription, derelict land, treasure trove, mortmain or the rights of succession competent to the Government of Malta; or (k) for so long only as may be necessary for the purposes of any examination, investigation, trial or inquiry or, in the case of land, the carrying out thereon - (i) of work of soil conservation or the conservation of other natural resources of any description or of war damage reconstruction; or (ii) of agricultural development or improvement which the owner or occupier of the land has been required and has without reasonable and lawful excuse refused or failed to carry out. (3) Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting the making or operation of any law so far as it provides for vesting in the Government of Malta the ownership of any underground minerals, water or antiquities. (4) Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting the making or operation of any law for the compulsory taking of possession in the public interest of any property, or the compulsory acquisition in the public interest of any interest in or right over property, where that property, interest or right is held by a body corporate which is established for public purposes by any law and in which no monies have been invested other than monies provided by any legislature in Malta.