Joining the ceremony with the Judiciary virtually was a representative from the Australian High Commission to the Maldives, who delivered a message from HE David Holly, High Commissioner. “Australia is proud to support the Government of Maldives in its priority justice sector reforms. Australia is pleased to assist, through partnership with UNDP, in enabling remote judicial services during the pandemic, and to help build public transparency and accountability in the sector. Australia looks forward to continuing to work with Maldives as an Indian Ocean neighbour.”
Most court processes still require physical submission of forms, which amplifies existing challenges for vulnerable groups in the community such as women, during crises such as COVID-19. This poses challenges particularly for those residing in outer atolls and outside the central region of the Maldives, as appeal courts are situated in the capital city Malé. Introducing technological solutions to court processes can address geographical challenges, bridge the gap between courts and communities, and provide speedy and efficient justice services to the public.
“I understand that making courts open and accessible is one of the key priorities of the newly appointed Supreme Court Bench. I believe the webcast of the hearings will bring Courts closer to the people. This is a step towards increasing public trust and confidence. UNDP is committed to continuing support to the Maldives in achieving SDG 16, which is focused on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions,” said Akiko Fujii.
Digital devices were also handed over to Employment Tribunal later in the day. “Employment Tribunal expresses gratitude to the generous assistance afforded by UNDP to alleviate the unforeseeable challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The digitalization of Tribunal’s hearing rooms would ensure uninterrupted service to the people of Maldives. We look forward to the continued co-operation and partnership of UNDP to enhance the capacity building initiatives of Employment Tribunal,” said Hassan Ibrahim, Member of the Employment Tribunal.