List of Fonds- Legal Documentation, Mdina

The entities in the alphabetical order of the cataloguing code with the period covered are the following:

ACA​ Supremae Appellationis Curiae et Tribunal Publicae Audentiae 1531-1777
APV​ Appellationem Coram probo Viro 1744-1797​
CAE​ Camera Computorum Communis Aerarii 1552-1796​
CAN​ Curiae Episcopalis et Provincialis Notabilis Civitatis 1587-1824​
CCA​ Curiae Capitanalis 1538-1814
CCR​ Gran Corte Criminale ​1814-1899
CDA​ Corte d'Appello 1814-1899​​
CDC​ Corte del Commercio 1814-1899​
CDM​ Consolato del Mare 1697-1814​
CGU​ Corte Governatoriale 1800-1814​
CLV Tribunale Civile della Gran Corte della Valletta 1800-1814
CPA​ Corte Civile: Prima Aula 1814-1899​
CSA​ Corte Civile: Seconda Aula 1814-1899​
EGA​ Epoca Gallica 1798-1800​
MCC​ Magna Curia Castellaniae 1543-1798​
OAB​ Officium Auditorum pro Alienatione Bonorum 1783-1797​
OBC​ Officium Bullae Sanctissime Crociate 1744-1798​
OCD​ Officium Causarum Delegatorum 1540-1813​
ODD Officium Causarum Delegatorum et Domorum 1672-1798​
ODM Officium Commissariorum Domorum 1555-1798​
OJN​ Officium D.D. Juratorum Notabilis Civitatis 1559-1811​
OMB​ Officium Syndicatus Congregationis Munium et Belli 1604-1798​
OMS​ Officium Magistralis Secretiae 1604-1798
OSI​ Officium Civile Sacrae Inquisitionis 1605-1798
OSO​ Officium Syndicatus Officialium 1597-1715
OVS​ Officium Venerandae Seniscalliae 1604-1798​
SAU​ Sacra Audentia 1538-1788​
SCA​ Suprema Corte d'Appello
SJM​ Supremum Justitiæ Magistratum 1777-1798​
TAR​ Tribunal Armamentorum 1602-1798​
TBP​ Tribunale per l’Amministrazione dei Beni Pubblici 1800-1814​
TDR​ Tribunal Debitorum Religiosorum 1776-1798​
TSJ​ Tribunal Segnaturæ Justitiæ 1799-1800​
TSP​ Tribunal Fabricæ Sancti Petri de Urbe 1625-1716​
The code given to the entities are self-explanatory. The following is a short description of the contents of each entity.

ACA Supremae Appellationis Curiae et Tribunal Publicae Audentiae 1531-1777

Supreme Magisteral Court of Appeal. The Tribunal Publicæ Audentiæ was composed of the Council of the Order, the Castellano and a Judge, to hear the appeals of cases decided by the Officio delle Case, the Magistrato degli Armamenti, and of the Camera dei Conti.

CAE • Camera Computorum Communis Aerarii 1552-1796

The Camera Computorum Communis Aerarii was founded in 1440, with competence and jurisdiction over any matter related to the financial administration. It was composed of a President, two Procurators of the Treasury, a Chief Treasurer, the Procurator of the Grand Master, sixteen Knights, two from each langue, called Uditori dei Conti, and a secretary.


CCA • Curiae Capitanalis 1538-1814

Known also as Corte di Giustizia was presided over by the Capitano delle Verga (Hakem), the Chief Justice, who presided over the Consiglio Popolare assisted by an Assessor (Assessor of the Law) and four Giurati, and who tried all the civil and criminal cases relative to the inhabitans of Mdina and of the surrounding casali. However, the civil cases, with the consent of the parties, could be tried in the Court at Valletta.This Court was sat at Mdina and could not inflict any corporal punishment without the approval of the Grand Master. The President’s and Judges’s income was paid out of fixed fee paid to the Court.During the French period, it was succeed by the Tribunale Provvisorio and Tribunale Civile di Prim’Instanza, and later became recognized as Corte Capitanale and Officio delle Prime Appellazioni till it was suppressed in 1814.


CCR • Gran Corte Criminale 1814-1899

This Court consisted of a President, a Judge, an Advocate Fiscal, a Procurator Fiscal and a General Notary. All cases of a criminal nature came within the jurisdiction of this tribunal. From the sentence of the Grand Criminal Court an appeal lay to the Suprema Corte d’Appello, which exercised the same right of bringing forward or retarding cases at pleasure and possessed the same privileges with regard to the promulgation of the sentence. The members of the Gran Corte Criminale were appointed by Government and were liable to be removed every year at the period of the scrutiny.


CDC • Corte del Commercio 1814-1899

This Commercial Tribunal corresponded roughly to that of the Consolato del Mare, taking cognisance of disputes between merchants. It was consisted of one judge and four consuls and was to try all cases formerly tried by the Consolato del Mare. The judge was to be a lawyer by profession, either British or Maltese. There were to be nominated as consuls, twelve British and twelve Maltese merchants, annually by the general body of merchants to be approved of by the Governor, four of whom were to sit in rotation in the Commercial Court as consuls.



CDM • Consolato del Mare 1697-1814

It was a mercantile tribunal of the country. It was composed of a judge and two consuls who were supposed to be well versed in mercantile affairs. In the case of appeals the parties could ask that a body of merchants be convened in the manner laid down in the Codice de Rohan.


CLV • Tribunale Civile della Gran Corte della Valletta 1800-1814

The Grand Court of Judicature consisted of a President and four judges, whose incomes were paid out of fixed fees paid to the court, sat in Valletta Vide supra Magna Curia Castellaniæ.


EGA • Epoca Gallica 1798-1800


The Justices of the Peace had a civil and a criminal jurisdiction. They could decide lawsuits on personal rights and on movable property with the right of appeal before the Civil Court where the value of the subject-matter in litigation exceeded 100 francs. The Justices of the Peace could also give judgement, without any right of appeal, on question involving the wages of employees, payment of work done, professional fees, and the maintenance suits where the amount did not exceed 100 francs. They were empowered to decree applications regarding appointment of tutors, curators, permission for minors to marry, emancipation of minors, and interdiction of persons. In their criminal jurisdiction they could issue warrants of arrest against anyone suspected of having committed a crime in order to interrogate him before remanding him to the Criminal Court. The judges of the Civil Court exercised jurisdiction in civil matters in first and second instance. Three judges had to preside concurrently in each case.


MCC • Magna Curia Castellaniae 1543-1798

A Tribunal of first instance which was composed of the Castellano and two Judges, one of whom had the jurisdiction over civil and the other over criminal cases. It was presided over by the Castellano, always a Knight of the Order, a Civil and a Criminal Judge, an Exchequer, a vice-Exchequer, two notaries and several clerks. In the event of an appeal the case was referred to the Appellate Court, which was presided over by one Judge, which Court formed a different tribunal in the same Court or CastellaniaDuring the Gallic invasion, it was succeed by the Tribunale Provvisorio and Tribunale Civile di Prim’Instanza. During the protectorate years (1800-1814), it was known as Gran Corte della Valletta.


OCD • Officium Causarum Delegatorum 1540-1813

Between 1800-1814, the Officium Causarum Delegatorum was known as Officio delle Case e delle Cause Delegate.

OMB • Officium Syndicatus Congregationis Munium et Belli 1646-1798

Instituted to raise funds for the defense of the island and for the upkeep of the walls, and to deal with permissions and controversies related to these matters.


OMS • Officium Magistralis Secretiae 1604-1798

Originally it was erected before the arrival of the Order of St. John. A judge presided over this tribunal which was responsible for the valuation of rents and leases of lands belonging to the reign. The Secreto was the collector of rents. The passive cases and all cases related with scisa were dealt by the Judge of the Secretia. These Secreti used to have their lieutenants, assessors and notaries, and had to refer to the Magna Curia, that is, to the supreme tribunal of finance (Tribunale dei conti). Later on it was substituted by the Officium Magisterialis Secretiæ (1570-1798)During the French period it was succeed by the Tribunale Provvissorio and the Tribunale Civile di Prim’Istanza. Between 1800 and 1814 it was known as Amministrazione dei Beni Pubblici.


OSO • Officium Syndicatus Officialium 1597-1715

Instituted by Grand Master Claude de La Sengle in 1554 to deal with cases of challenges to presiding Judical Officers and other related matters.



OVS • Officium Venerandae Seniscalliae 1604-1798

Composed of the Venerable Siniscalco and a councilor, with the competence to deal with all cases related to the land forces, the servants of the Palace, of the Customs, of the Università, the Judges, the solicitors, the financial procurators and the notaries. In case of appeal redress could be sought at the Supremo Magistrato di Giustizia, an Appellate Court.


SAU • Sacra Audentia 1538-1788

Supreme Tribunal of Appeal. It was presided over by the Grand Master, the Council, the Giudice Capitanale, the Castellano, the Judges of Appeal, and others according to the case treated.


SCA • Suprema Corte D’Appello 1803-1814

Or Supremo Tribunale d’Appello set up by Sir Alexander Ball in 1803 which was to consist of three judges and which was to take cognizance of:

a. all those criminal cases which, owing to their gravity, would have been taken cognisance of by the Supremo Magistrato di Giustizia;

b. as a Court of second instance all cases decided by the Criminal Hall of the Gran Corte della Valletta and of the Corte Capitanale, by the Consolato del Mare and the Tribunale per l’Amministrazione dei Beni Pubblici;

c. as a Court of third instance, all civil cases decided by the Gran Corte della Valletta, by the Corte Capitanale and the Corte Governatoriale. It was to consist of a President (to be appointed by the Secretary of State), of one of the Civil judges who had not tried the case, and of one of the judges of the Criminal Court. These judges were to sit by rotation in the Suprema Corte d’Appello, except upon occasions when one of them might appear to be interested in the case, in which case the Governor had to, upon a due representation, direct another of the judges to sit in his stead Vide supra Supremæ Appellationis Curiæ et Tribunal Publicae Audentiæ.


SJM • Supremun Justitiae Magistratum 1777-1798

Founded by Grand Master De Rohan in 1777, it was composed of a President, six Councilors, a Secretary, two Maestri d’Atti, four ordinary clerks and five portiere, so divided in two role to accelerate court business. It was empowered to adjudicate:

a) all crimes punishable by death penalty or life imprisonment;

b) in an appellate jurisdiction all judgments delivered by the Corte Capitanale and Gubenatoriale;

c) those cases related to the liberty and ransom of slaves;

d) feudal and fidecommissarie cases;

e) controversies related to the jurisdiction of the inferior courts;

f) appeals of civil cases decided by the tribunals of the island;

g) appeals in cases decided by the Università, with the consent of the Giurati, and in the case of the Università of Valletta, with the approval of the siniscalco;

h) other various controversies.


TAR • Tribunal Armamentorum 1602-1798

The Magistrato degli Armamenti was founded by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt on 17 June 1605. It was constituted by four knights of different langue’s and a secular Judge nominated by the Grand Master, to hear and judge all the controversies between privateers and corsairs, with a second and last appeal to Rome.


TBP • Tribunale per l’Amministrazione dei Beni Pubblici 1800-1814

Originated as Officium Magistralis Secretiæ.

TDR • Tribunal Debitorum Religiosorum 1776-1798  

Instituted specifically to deal with cases related to debts with or against the Knights.​