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Maldives: further strides towards power separation

Maldives takes further strides towards separation of powers

The Maldives is to fast-track a further tranche of political and judicial reform measures, President Gayoom announced in a televised interview before departing for the 13th SAARC Summit in Bangladesh. The President announced the implementation of steps designed to bring about the separation of Executive and Judiciary, seen by many as a key element in the ongoing reform programme announced by the President in June 2004.

The cornerstone of the measures announced today, aimed at securing the independence of the judiciary, is the establishing of a Judicial Services Commission. Speaking on the mandate of the Commission, the President confirmed that the Commission would oversee the appointment and dismissal of judges, and would act as a ‘watchdog’ to ensure that Judges uphold their own codes of conduct.

Today’s measures also see the Chief Justice taking over the judicial functions of all court. The President today also changes to the Committee on Judicial Matters, designed to increase the Committee’s transparency and accountability.

Commenting on the measures, Attorney General Dr. Hassan Saeed said: “We have been aware for some time that, in order to fully enact the reforms announced by the President in June 2004, we must take steps to separate the roles and authorities of Judiciary, Legislature and Executive. The decision to establish an independent Judicial Services Commission, following from the successful introduction of political parties in June of this year, is an important step toward the completion of the reform process.”

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