Photo: UNDP Maldives

Maldives Judicial Academy in partnership with UNDP Maldives, and supported by the British High Commission, successfully concludes 'Training of Judicial Trainers' programme

 

As Dr. Mohammed Abad Alrazak rightly wrote, “denying access to justice, is injustice.” It remains a fundamental right and an essential ingredient in rule of law. As the Maldives continues its journey towards sustainable and inclusive development, it has witnessed many a positive reforms and remarkable progress in rule of law and access to justice. While these are steps in the right direction, there is a lot of work to be done to strengthen the justice sector and the legal framework. Targeted efforts are required to enhance capacities of justice institutions and access to justice to ensure that we leave no one behind.

Judicial education is crucial to the administration and dispensation of justice. It not only contributes to increased capacities of institutions but also helps to build public confidence and trust in the system, ultimately paving the way for fair and equitable justice for all.

The Maldives Judicial Academy (JA) is mandated to promote legal and judicial knowledge in the Maldives by taking necessary measures to help judges, members of the Judicial Service Commission, and the staff of the Maldives Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission to enhance their knowledge, academic capacity, and professional skills.

In 2020, UNDP together with the Judicial Academy and key judicial stakeholders undertook a training needs assessment to evaluate the current training requirements and to review the existing judicial training curriculum and programmes. The assessment was designed to identify gaps in knowledge and skills and perceived training needs. As such, procedure, substantive law, sexual and gender-based violence including interaction with victims and witnesses, professional ethics and conduct were identified as priority areas.

From the Training of Judicial Trainers programme held at K.aafu Thulusdhoo from 16-18 September, 2021.

 

The curriculum and training needs analysis marks the beginning of a long but significant journey which continues with the ‘Training of Judicial Trainers’ by JA and UNDP held from 16 – 18 September 2021 in K. Thulusdhoo. A total of 26 judges from supreme, apex and magistrate courts were trained extensively as part of this initiative facilitated by Judge Malcolm Simmons, who also led the training needs analysis with the aim to impart knowledge about the modules in the revised curriculum.

From the Training of Judicial Trainers programme held at K.aafu Thulusdhoo from 16-18 September, 2021.

 

This three-day Training of Judicial Trainers program was carried out by UNDP Maldives in partnership with Department of Judicial Administration, and was made possible with the generous support of the British High Commission in the Maldives

From the closing ceremony of the three-day Training of Judicial Trainers programme. Front row from left: Vera Hakim, UNDP Resident Representative ad interim, Ustaza Aishath Rizna, Chief Judicial Administrator, Department of Judicial Administration, Hon. Ibrahim Riffath Attorney General of the Maldives, Judge Malcolm Simmons.

 

In going forward, the judges trained as part of this initiative will be utilized to support further training programmes with the objective to enhance knowledge and skills of all judges and other relevant stakeholders in the Judiciary.

In her speech at the closing ceremony of the Training of Judicial Trainers program, Vera Hakim, UNDP Maldives Resident Representative a.i. said that judicial education is paramount in the fair administration and dispensation of justice for all. She also assured that UNDP remains committed to support an independent, accountable, and effective justice system, which protects and promotes human rights standards, gender equality and ensures access to justice for all.

UNDP Resident Representative ad interim, Vera Hakim at the closing ceremony of the Training of Judicial Trainers programme.

 

UNDP Maldives through its Integrated Governance Programme (IGP) continues to support work towards strengthening justice sector, legal framework, and capacity building of governance institutions alongside efforts to promote access to justice and an empowered civil society. For instance, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNDP has provided digitalization equipment to the Magistrate Courts and Apex Courts in Male’. along with other key justice sector stakeholders such as the Prosecutor General's Office and the Attorney General’s Office.

In partnership with Department of Judicial Administration, UNDP has also worked to ensure fair administration and dispensation of justice for all through resources for judges to equip them with adequate knowledge and training. Judges were provided with access to case reports and documents from other jurisdictions as part of their learning and research. As part of this project, 200 users including judges and their legal officers have been given access to online legal resources of Lexis Nexis.

As part of the continuous education system to ensure fair administration of justice for victims of violence, UNDP further facilitated interventions to bring change to the patriarchal and discriminatory attitudes and practices towards women in the Judiciary and ensure equal rights for vulnerable groups, by equipping judges with gender sensitizations training and knowledge and awareness sessions on gender equality and women’s rights. 

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More on UNDP's support to judicial education in the Maldives.

 

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