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Murder by Omission

Posted on 22-12-14
Written By: Gianella Farrugia

The following case deals with the proceedings held in front of the Civil Court First Hall in its Constitutional Jurisdiction following a claim by Conċetta Decelis and her son Jason Decelis that the Criminal Court had years prior violated their fundamental right to a fair hearing, where it had found them guilty on the basis of the notion of ‘the duty of care’. This did not form part of Maltese law, but was instead found within English Law. They pleaded that the court could not establish guilt for a crime by omission and that there was a violation of the principle nullum crimen sine lege. Following a trial by jury in June 2006, Concetta Decelis and Jason Decelis were found guilty of wilful homicide by omission, thus making it the first instance and chilling landmark whereby a murder by omission was accepted by the Maltese courts.