Age of Consent -- Country of Malta
From: "Aron Mifsud-Bonnici"
Subject: RE: research assistance
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 18:16:10
Maltese law makes it an offence for a person to "defile" a minor.
Consequently, the predominant view is that when a minor is involved (ie a person under
the age of 18) there is a criminal offence. This is, however, subject to interpretation.
Besides, the term "defile" must be put in context. Eg, if a person is
sexually mature (even if minor) then he/she cannot be defiled. Thus the sexual intercourse
would probably be legal.
One thing to note is that if a person involved in a sexual relationship in under the age
of 12 then there is a legal presumption that there was rape.
Nonetheless, it is safer to state that the age of consent in Malta is 18.
Dr. Aron Mifsud Bonnici
Dr. A. Mifsud-Bonnici LL.D. Advocate
10 Triq San Anton, Attard BZN 10, Malta
Malta - Malte - Malta
I. Ages for legal purposes
Age of majority (civil)
The age of majority is fourteen (14) years old (subject to parental authority).
Age of consent for a sexual activity
Eighteen (18) years is the legal age of consent for sexual activity.
Age of consent for civil marriage
The age of consent for civil marriage is sixteen (16) years.
Rape and carnal knowledge with violence, Article 198 Criminal Code
" Whosoever shall, by violence, have carnal knowledge of a person of either sex,
conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term from three to nine years, with or without
III . Other forms of child sex abuse
Abduction, Article 199, 1°, Criminal Code
" 1) Whosoever shall, by violence, abduct any person, with intent to abuse or marry
shall, on conviction, be liable, in the first case, to imprisonment for a term from
eighteen months to
three years, with or without solitary confinement, and, in the second case, to
imprisonment for a
term from nine to eighteen months. "
Defilement of minors, Article 203 Criminal Code
" 1) Whosoever, by lewd acts, defiles a minor of either sex, shall, on conviction, be
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, wit or without solitary confinement ;
Provided that the offence shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term from three to
with or without solitary confinement, in each of the following cases :
a) if the offence is committed on a person who has not completed the age of twelve (12)
years, or with violence ;
b) of the offence is committed by means of threats or deceit ;
c) if the offence is committed by any ascendant by consanguinity or affinity, or by the
adoptive father or mother, or by the tutor of the minor, or by any other person charged,
even though temporarily, with the care, education, instruction, control or
custody of the minor. "
IV. Child prostitution
Prostitution of spouse under age or of minor by husband or wife or tutor,
Article 199, 2°, Criminal Code
" The same punishment (Art. 199, 1°) shall be applied to any husband or wife or
tutor who, by the
use of violence or by threats, compels, or, by deceit, induces to prostitution his or her
under age or the minor under his or her tutorship. "
Prostitution of descendant or spouse of age, by ascendant or husband or wife,
Article 199, 3° and 4°, Criminal Code
" (3) If the ascendant or the husband or wife, by the use of violence or by threats,
compels, or by
deceit, induces the descendant or his or her spouse, of age, to prostitution, he or she
conviction, be liable to imprisonment of a term from one to four years, with or without
(4) A conviction under this section shall entail the forfeiture of every authority and
to the offender over the person or property of the husband or wife or of the descendant to
prejudice the offence shall have been committed, and, in the case of the tutor, his
removal from the
tutorship and his perpetual disability from holding the offence of tutor. "
Inducing , etc., persons under age to prostitution, Article 204 Criminal Code
" (1) Whosoever in order to gratify the lust of any other person, induces a person
under age to
practise prostitution, or instigates the defilement of such person, or encourages or
prostitution or defilement of such person, shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment
term from eighteen months to four years, with or without solitary confinement. "
It is considered as aggravating circumstances punished with imprisonment for a term from
two to six years
" a) If the offence is committed to the prejudice of a person who has not complete
the age of twelve (12) years ;
1.if the offence is committed by deceit ;
2.if the offence is committed by any ascendant by consanguinity or affinity, by the
adoptive father or
mother, by the husband or tutor of the minor, or by any other person charged, even through
temporality, with the care, education, instruction, control or custody of the minor ;
3.if the offence is committed habitually or for gain. "
V. Child pornography
Offence relating to pornographic or obcene articles, Article 208 of the
" Whosoever, for gain or for distribution or for display in a public place or in a
to public, manufactures, prints or otherwise makes or introduces into Malta, or acquires,
puts in circulation or exports, any pornographic or obcene print, painting, photograph,
book, card, or writing, or any other pornographic or obcene article whatsoever, wether
the above or not, shall on conviction , be liable to imprisonment not exceeding six
monthsor to a
fine not exceeding two hundred liri, or to both. "
This article does not refer specifically to child pornography but to pornography in