The Attorney General’s Office, acting on behalf of the government, submitted a bill to Parliament on Monday, proposing an amendment to the composition of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). The bill aims to reduce the number of JSC members to seven by excluding the Speaker of Parliament, Member representing Parliament, Member appointed by the President, and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission.

Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath took to Twitter to announce the government’s proposal, highlighting the extensive consultations held with various stakeholders, including the judiciary, legal professionals, civil society, and the general public. The objective behind the amendment is to ensure the independence of the judiciary and prevent undue influence from other branches of government, as per Riffath.

Judicial reform has been a key promise of the government in its pursuit of social justice. To this end, the government has introduced a total of nine relevant bills in Parliament, according to Attorney General Riffath. The submission of the two bills related to the JSC signifies the completion of this comprehensive reform, as stated in Riffath’s tweet.

The current composition of the JSC includes the Speaker of Parliament, a judge from the Supreme Court, a judge elected by the High Court, a judge elected by the lower courts, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, an appointee by the President, the Attorney General, and a lawyer chosen from the licensed practitioners in the Maldives.

The government-backed bill to amend the JSC aligns with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s commitment to reform the commission.

The proposed bill will now undergo deliberations in Parliament. If passed, the amendment will reshape the JSC with a reduced number of members, reflecting the government’s commitment to judicial reform and ensuring the autonomy of the judiciary.