Legal experts say “other hobbies are not at risk” from a referendum

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Legal experts say "other hobbies are not at risk" from a referendumThe Spring Hunting Out campaign this afternoon welcomed a joint declaration from eminent Maltese legal experts in Valletta, that the hunters’ threat that other hobbies will be next to face a referendum is “totally without any legal basis.”

The declaration was signed by 11 renowned legal experts including Dr Giovanni Bonnello, Former Judge on the European Court of Human Rights, Dr Kevin Aquilina, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Malta, Dr Reuben Balzan Advocate and Dr Andrew Borg Cardona Advocate.

Presenting their judgement at a press conference in Valletta, Judge Emeritus Dr Giovanni Bonello and Dr Mark Bencini Advocate dismissed the hunters arguments and signed the joint declaration which stated that “other hobbies are not at risk.”

Speaking after the press conference, Romina Tolu of SHout welcomed their dismissal of the claims, saying “These lawyers have completed an in depth legal analysis of the legislation covering various activities including horse riding and racing, fireworks and band clubs, pigeon racing and fishing. Their professional decision is that all of these are safe from abrogative referenda.”

“In fact,” Ms Tolu continued “the legislation for these other hobbies and pastimes acts to regulate the activity, so any referendum would actually only make the activity easier and less regulated.”

Ms Tolu stated, “The hunters have been spreading this ‘your hobby will be next’ lie maliciously, in an attempt to instill fear among the voting public. Well now we have the final word from these legal experts, your hobbies are safe. You have nothing to fear.”

She continued “The hunters are trying to bully and frighten the voting public, the same way they have bullied the politicians for years with threats of lost votes. Now is the time to stand up to these bullies. Together, let’s speak out, let’s shout Spring Hunting Out.”

Ms Tolu reiterated that, contrary to hunters’ assertions, the campaign has no intention of later turning to other hobbies and pastimes, saying “This referendum is on the issue of spring hunting only. Conservation science proves that shooting birds in spring is unsustainable, and that’s what this referendum is about.”

The document signed by the 11 legal experts quoted the legislation regulating various sports, hobbies and activities including horse riding, fireworks, car enthusiasts, pigeon racing and fishing. The lawyers and jurists gave their professional reasoned opinion’ that “the fears being raised that regulated sports, hobbies and activities could be threatened or prejudiced by future attempts to have an abrogative referendum related to the legislation or regulations of their hobbies is totally without any legal basis.”

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