Incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has expressed satisfaction with the rate at which judicial reforms have been carried out during his term in office. Responding to reporters’ questions in Laamu Atoll, President Solih emphasised that the Supreme Court has gained greater public trust but acknowledged that considerable work remains to enhance the judicial branch.
Reforming the judiciary was a key plank of his electoral platform. He observed that various influences and hindrances have slowed the desired pace of these reforms.
He also spoke about efforts to reform the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), stating that extensive consultations have been conducted to draft necessary legal revisions. He reassured that these would soon be presented to Parliament.
Judicial reform is not solely an executive concern; the judiciary itself, including several judges, has recently questioned the JSC’s oversight of the judicial branch.
Earlier this month, Supreme Court justices directed probing questions at the JSC during a hearing for a collective lawsuit filed against the body.
During the trial, Justice Suood posed incisive questions about the JSC’s effectiveness in managing the judicial system, noting that the position of Secretary-General of the Supreme Court had been vacant for over two years.
“For over two years, the most senior administrative role has remained vacant. If you, the JSC, hold the highest authority in these matters, when can we expect this position to be filled?” he inquired.
He went on to say, “This institution is at a standstill. This is the Supreme Court of the Maldives. When can we anticipate a resolution? Could you elucidate? How are we to operate this institution? We lack both the administrative capacity to run it and the authority to appoint staff.”
Justice Suood expressed the view that, despite being one of the three branches of state power, the Supreme Court is reliant on external resources for its functioning.
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