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Maldives: regulations strengthen Judicial System

The Justice Ministry announces the introduction of new regulations to strengthen the Judicial System.

Male’ The Ministry of Justice has announced the introduction of a series of regulations to make the Judicial System more efficient and effective.

In addition to the amendments brought to the existing regulations a wide range of new regulations would be implemented from the 15th of this month.

These include regulations which provide for an effective debt collecting mechanism; strengthen the court summons procedure, regulation governing arrest, interrogation and detention of juveniles, and an amendment to the regulation relating to family law.

Speaking to members of the media on the on the 5thof this month, the Minister of Justice Mohamed Jameel said the aim is to make the justice system fair and accessible to all, and to enhance public confidence in the delivery and efficacy of judicial services in the country.

He said that the new regulations are a significant part of a broader package of reform measures that are being taken to strengthen the Judicial System.

The Justice Ministry is committed to formulate sound strategies and take effective measures to change the whole judicial outlook and believes that the new regulations when implemented would cater to some of the immediate needs of dispensing justice.

Background information:

Under the President’s Democratic Reform Program a number of initiatives and measures have been taken to modernize and strengthen the Judicial System, which include: the implementation of a Criminal Justice Action Plan designed to overhaul the entire criminal justice system to bring it inline with international standards. The major provisions of the Action Plan include;

1. Drafting of the Maldivian Penal Code

2. Drafting of standards on sentencing guidelines

3. Drafting of Criminal Procedures Code

4. Drafting of the Police Act

5. Drafting of the Armed Forces Act.

6. Drafting of the Evidence Act

7. Strengthening of jail system

8. Drafting of the Prisoners and Parole Act

9. Implementation of a Juvenile Justice System in concurrence with the International Convention of Rights of Child

10. Strengthening the Court System.

In addition, the creation of a Judicial Services Commission; the introduction of bail system; overseas training of Judges to raise court standards; steps to strengthen the independence of judges; implementation of regulation specifying arrestable and non-arrestable offences; provision for legal representation; recording of interviews to further strengthen the investigative process; drafting of the regulation on physical restrain and the use of batons; drafting of the regulation on physical restraint and the use of handcuffs in order to protect people from physical harm during arrests, all constitute important aspects of judicial reforms.

The Democratic Reform Agenda was announced by the President on
9 June 2004.

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