Why do we have (big) issues with Malta’s Immigration Appeals Board?

The Immigration Appeal Board is established under Malta’s Immigration Act. It is tasked with deciding appeals on a long and varied list of immigration decisions: visas, age assessments, detention of asylum-seekers, reception conditions, removal orders, Single Work Permits, Specific Residence Authorisation… Because this list is so long and because it affects a core element of people’s lives, we cannot underline how important this Board is in Malta’s migration regime.

We appear before this Board on a weekly basis. In most situations, our clients are appealing decisions to detain them or decisions stating that they are adults and not children. But we have (big) issues with the Board, from how the law establishes it to how it operates in practice. These issues are presented in a recently-published article here.

Is the Immigration Appeals Board an effective remedy?

Can the Board be defined as independent and impartial, as dictated by the ECtHR and the EU Charter?

This article written by our former team members Alexis Galand and Mireille Boffa for id-Dritt published by GħSL – Malta Law Students’ Society, unpicks and answers these questions.

In conclusion, they hold that the IAB does not comply with the EU’s and the ECtHR’s definition of an effective remedy, which should entail a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal