This Court, which is composed of one Magistrate, exercises both a civil and a criminal jurisdiction.
The Court of Magistrates, in civil matters, has an inferior jurisdiction of first instance, limited to claims exceeding €5,000 but not exceeding €15,000. In criminal matters, the Magistrates’ Court has a two-fold competence, either as a Court of Criminal Judicature or as a Court of Criminal Inquiry. The competence of the Court is determined by the punishment that a particular offence carries with it. In the case of offences that carry two years imprisonment or less, these fall within the original competence of the Court, with respect to offences which carry more than two years and less than twelve years, these fall within what is known as the extended competence of the Court. The Magistrates’ Court is also involved in the compilation of evidence in cases which exceed its competence, however in this case, the Magistrate’s Court is only responsible for compiling the evidence, as judgement is then reserved for a higher court.
There is a Magistrates’ Court for the Island of Malta and one for Gozo and Comino.