Welcome to the website of the ecclesiastical tribunals in Malta: the Metropolitan Tribunal of First Instance and the Regional Tribunal of Second Instance, both housed within the historic Archbishop's Palace in Valletta.

This website is constantly being updated in order to be more user-friendly and to provide our clients with all the information they may require. The tabs at the top of the page will take you to the different sections of the website and the links in the right column of each page will offer further in-depth explanations and additional information which might be of interest.



"The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple." (Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, par. 66)



"When legitimate doubts exist about the validity of the prior sacramental marriage, the necessary investigation must be carried out to establish if these are well-founded. Consequently there is a need to ensure, in full respect for canon law, the presence of local ecclesiastical tribunals, their pastoral character, and their correct and prompt functioning. Each Diocese should have a sufficient number of persons with the necessary preparation, so that the ecclesiastical tribunals can operate in an expeditious manner. I repeat that 'it is a grave obligation to bring the Church's institutional activity in her tribunals ever closer to the faithful'. At the same time, pastoral care must not be understood as if it were somehow in conflict with the law. Rather, one should begin by assuming that the fundamental point of encounter between the law and pastoral care is love for the truth: truth is never something purely abstract, but 'a real part of the human and Christian journey of every member of the faithful'." (Pope Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, par. 29)



"The canonical proceedings for the nullity of marriage are essentially a means of ascertaining the truth about the conjugal bond. Thus, their constitutive aim is not to complicate the life of the faithful uselessly, nor far less to exacerbate their litigation, but rather to render a service to the truth. Moreover, the institution of a trial in general is not in itself a means of satisfying any kind of interest but rather a qualified instrument to comply with the duty of justice to give each person what he or she deserves. Precisely in its essential structure, the trial is instituted in the name of justice and peace. In fact, the purpose of the proceedings is the declaration of the truth by an impartial third party, after the parties have been given equal opportunities to support their arguments and proof with adequate room for discussion. This exchange of opinions is normally necessary if the judge is to discover the truth, and consequently, to give the case a just verdict. Every system of trial must therefore endeavour to guarantee the objectivity, speed and efficacy of the judges' decisions." (Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, 28 January 2006.)