Attorney General’s Office and UNDP launch the Legal and Justice Sector Baseline Study

Aug 27, 2015

The Attorney General’s Office and UNDP has launched the Legal and Justice Sector Baseline Study on this Wednesday (26th August 2015).

The Legal and Justice Sector Baseline Study is the first of its kind in the Maldives which will create the foundation regarding the state of an evidence based approach to access to justice in the Maldives. The Study provides a clear picture of the state of the legal and justice sector including how the major justice sector agencies are performing, how people resolve legal disputes and the challenges they face in doing so across both formal and informal justice systems.  

Speaking during the launching ceremony held at Hotel Jen, the Attorney General Uz. Mohamed Anil highlighted on the importance of strengthening the Legal and Justice Sector. He also spoke on the importance of using approaches backed by evidence and research in taking policy and strategic decisions by the government.

“Evidence based approaches is one notion the country is yet to become familiar with.” He said.

Attorney General Anil, however, remained optimistic that the government will begin incorporating this approach in future strategic plans and targets.

Ms. Shoko Noda, the UNDP’s Resident Representative, spoke of the achievements of the legal and justice sector in the recent years.

“Over the last five years, the Maldivian legal and justice sector has taken important steps to build upon the 2008 reforms and strengthen the institutional capacity of agencies to deliver services,” she said.

Ms. Noda also reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to further support for legal and justice sector strengthening in the Maldives.

The justice and legal sector of Maldives has undergone significant changes over the past few decades, most notably with the ratification of the 2008 Constitution which established the Supreme Court of the Maldives independent from the executive and paved the foundation for fair, transparent, and impartial adjudication and access to justice.

Despite these recent achievements, the sector still remains in transition and the baseline study explores the current situation from the perspective of legal and justice experts, government officials, and the people of Maldives. While anecdotal information are available on people’s perception and institutions performance and challenges, lack of concrete information on the progress made within the justice sector has made it difficult  in developing and formulating  programmes that will have long lasting impact in the sector leading to enhanced access to justice for the people of Maldives.

Key objective of the Study which includes quantitative and qualitative analysis from the perspective of users, justice sector service providers and the practitioners will form the basis for both short term as well as long term reform in the sector. Furthermore, the study is important for the legal and justice sector institutions and the UNDP Maldives to make evidence-based decisions and measure changes over time to the sector.

The Baseline Study was commissioned by the Attorney General’s Office with technical support provided by the UNDP Maldives and with support from the Government of Australia. The study was conducted from April to September 2014 and focused on three methods of quantitative and qualitative data collection: an extensive desk review of data from legal and justice sector, a nationwide public perceptions survey on barriers to the justice system, and focus groups.

Contact information

Mohamed Naahee

Communications & Advocacy Associate,
United Nations Development Programme in Maldives
Tel: +960 334 3277
Email: mohamed.naahee@undp.org

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