Country Profile: Malta

This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Malta (Repubblika ta' Malta), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Malta’s Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.

Country Background

Malta is an island located in Southern Europe. It is in the Mediterranean Sea and is south of Sicily (Italy). The capital of Malta is Valletta. The official languages are Maltese and English. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 415,000 people, almost half of which are immigrants. The official religion is Catholicism. Malta is a predominantly Christian country, with over 90% of the population Roman Catholic.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Malta is referred to as a parliamentary republic, in which sovereignty belongs to the people and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Malta officially gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964, and became a republic in the Commonwealth in 1974. Malta's Constitution was ratified in 1964 (amended most recently in 2014). The system of government closely resembles the Westminster system and is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. Malta is a member state of the European Union.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Malta.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Malta.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Malta has no official school of Islamic law. 

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

Unofficial Databases


For an extended list of legal resources for this country, see the Library of Congress’s Research Guide, and for a narrative review, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law Research Guide (most updated version, where available). The Constitution is available in the LOC Guide in its original language and at Constitute in English translation. For full versions of past constitutions, amendments, and related legislation, see HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated or Oxford Constitutions of the World [subscription required for each].