When a cause has been assigned to a Judge, he shall as soon as practicable give such orders as may be conducive to an expeditious conclusion of the written pleadings. After the written pleadings have been concluded, the judge may give such orders as may be conducive to the proper conduct of the pre-trial or trial hearing. Unless a cause is appointed for a trial hearing, it shall be appointed for a pre-trial hearing. A cause shall be appointed for a pre-trial hearing not later than two months after the conclusion of the written pleadings.
The purpose of the pre-trial hearing, which is presided by a Judge or a judicial assistant acting under the guidance and directives of the Judge, is among others to identify the factual and legal issues involved in the case, examine the possibility of an agreed settlement or application for conciliation and mediation process before proceeding further with the cause and to identify the witnesses and documents necessary for determining the cause. The pre-trial procedure does not apply to the Civil Court (Family Section), the Court of Magistrates (Malta) and to the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) in its inferior jurisdiction.