The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order is based in Rome, in via Condotti. It has its own Government, an independent magistracy, bilateral diplomatic relations with more than 100 countries and is granted the status of Permanent Observer in many international organisations, such as the United Nations. Its operational activities are managed by its 11 Priories and 48 National Associations of Knights in the five continents. The Order issues its own passports and stamps and creates public institutions, endowed with independent juridical personality. The Order’s life is governed by its Constitutional Charter and the Code, reformed in 1997. A new Constitutional Charter and Code came into effect on 3 September 2022.
Elected government of the Sovereign Order of Malta
The Sovereign Council assists the Lieutenant of the Grand Master in the government of the Order of Malta. It is composed of the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, who presides over it, the holders of the four High Offices (Grand Commander, Grand Chancellor, Grand Hospitaller and Receiver of the Common Treasure) and nine members.
Apart from the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, they are elected for a five-year term by the Chapter General.
The Sovereign Council is called by the Lieutenant of the Grand Master and meets at the seat of the Order of Malta at least six times a year and whenever special circumstances require it.
SOVEREIGN COUNCIL (2022-2023)
H.E. Fra’ Roberto Viazzo
H.E. Fra’ Richard J. Wolff
H.E. Fra’ John Eidinow
H.E. Fra’ João Augusto Esquivel Freire de Andrade
H.E. Antonio Zanardi Landi
H.E. Michael GraceH.E. Fra’ Thomas N. Mulligan
H.E. Francis Joseph McCarthy
H.E. Clemente Riva di Sanseverino
The legal system of the Order is expressed by the usual division into three powers:
Rests with the Grand Master and Sovereign Council for non-constitutional matters; with the Chapter General, representing the Supreme Assembly of Knights, as far as constitutional rules are concerned.
Rests with the Sovereign Council, chaired by the Grand Master and composed of ten Knights elected by the Chapter General.
It is exercised by the Magistral Courts of First Instance and of Appeal, composed of judges appointed by the Grand Master and the Sovereign Council from Order members of legal expertise.