The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Sharon Xuereb, Nicholas Trapani Galea Feriol
On Thursday 26 January 2012, 22 EU Member States, including Malta, signed ACTA in Tokyo. ACTA is a multilateral agreement which establishes international standards for the enforcement of intellectual property rights. ACTA has sparked local consternation, with opponents claiming that it may have adverse effects on fundamental civil and digital rights, in particular the freedom of expression, and privacy of communication. The agreement does not make any significant introductions or alternations to the existing Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (Regulation) Act, Chapter 488 of the Laws of Malta. However, the vague wording of the agreement affords wide legal interpretation. The implementation of ACTA is still subject to ratification by the Maltese National Parliament as well as the European Parliament.