About Local Government

Local Government was established in 1993 following the Maltese Parliament’s approval, on 30th June 1993, of the Local Councils Act, 1993 (Act No. XV of 1993). This law made it possible for Local Councils to be set up. Furthermore, it presently serves as a regulatory mechanism for Councils` operation.

The Local Councils Act was modelled on the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which the Maltese Government had signed and ratified. According to this Act, "The Council shall be a statutory local government authority having a distinct legal personality and capable of entering into contracts, of suing and being sued, and of doing all such things and entering into such transactions as are incidental or conducive to the exercise and performance of its functions as are allowed under the Act."

Today, Malta has 68 Local Councils - 54 in Malta, the main land; 14 in Gozo, the sister island. On 21st December 1999, the Local Councils Act was revised considerably and Act No. XXI (1999), the Local Councils (Amendment) Act 1999, was published.

Another important step taken to consolidate Local Government in Malta was when the system of local government was entrenched in the Constitution of Malta. In fact, on 24th April 2001, Act No. XIII of 2001 established that: "The State shall adopt a system of local government whereby the territory of Malta shall be divided into such number of localities as may by law be from time to time determined, each locality to be administered by a Local Council elected by the residents of the locality and established and operating in terms of such law as may from time to time be in force."