The British claim to rule Malta 1800-1813

Barry Hough, H. Davis

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The question of the nature of the legal authority exercised in Malta by British officials prior to 1813 has been a rich source of debate and controversy. The moment at which the British officials had a legal power to exercise full legislative and executive authority is elusive, despite its prominence as a seminal moment in Maltese constitutional history. Whether legal authority arose because of cession or conquest matters because, as we shall discover, the events on which these alternative possibilities are founded occurred at different times. If, for example, cession explains the legal and constitutional authority of the British Crown in Malta, we need an explanation of the legal source of that authority prior to cession. This is the question upon which this article focuses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-408
Number of pages22
JournalMelita Historica: The Journal of the Malta Historical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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