Registration of Trade Dispute & Directives

  • Registration of Trade Dispute & Directives

    Registration of Trade Dispute & Directives

    Subject: Registration of Trade Dispute against the Commissioner of Police re: GHQ Circular 35/16 entitled Personal Appearance – Male Members in Uniform or in Plain Clothes – Facial Hair


    The Executive Committee today registered a Trade Dispute against the Commissioner of Police as the latter failed to acknowledge and let alone give a reply to the Union for its request dated 20th September 2021 and subsequent reminder to repeal a GHQ Circular imposing that also non-uniformed members are obliged to shave, under the threat of disciplinary action for non-compliance.


    In its letter to the Commissioner, The Union noted that this order is in conflict with the Law, and therefore unlawful.


    In Schedule II of the Police Act, we find the relative legal provision related to offences for this particular subject ‘Beard’ as named in the quoted GHQ Circular, under the uncleanliness side-title;


    ’Uncleanliness, that is to say, if a member of the Force while on duty or while off duty in uniform in a public place is unshaven, or improperly dressed, or is dirty or untidy in his person, clothing or equipment.’’


    The Police Act, does not provide for any derogation, addition or subtraction by the Commissioner of Police. The Commissioner, like everyone must abide with the legislation, enacted by the President of Malta, after it passed the legislative process.


    GHQ Circular 36/16 dictates under the usual threat of Disciplinary action, that all male members of the force are not permitted to sport a beard.


    Seems that the principle ‘Ubi lex voluit dixit, Ubi noluit tacuit (when the law wills, it speaks, when it does not, it is silent) has not been adopted by the Malta Police Force, and the Commissioner of Police turned legislator and added what the law did not consider, rendering his position ultra vires.





    In view of the above, with effect from 6am on Monday 8th November 2021, the Malta Police Union is directing its members to;


    • Male members of the Force, whether uniformed or plain clothes, may sport a beard as long as it is well groomed;
    • All members of the Force, whilst on all duties and at the ADF are not to wear their police cap;
    • Hair may be dyed (except in conspicuous colours);
    • Nail polish of any colour may be used.



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