President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the 4th amendment to the Judicature Act, which includes the dissolution of the northern and southern branches of the High Court of the Maldives.
Attorney General’s Office (AGO) proposed the bill to amend the Judicature Act to remove the northern and southern branches of the High Court to make the administration of the courts more efficient. The two branches of the High Court were established in 2015 and have since been criticised for not bringing positive results compared to the cost of maintaining the branches. The Parliament of the Maldives passed the bill at the 19th sitting of its second session on June 27.
The amendment stipulates that the judges of the High Court would be based in Male’ and that all court proceedings would also be based in the city. It also outlines the provisions for dissolving the northern and southern branches of the High Court and transferring their functions and cases to the High Court.
The bill also transfers all assets and staff of the former northern and southern High Court branches to the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA). The DJA is mandated to transfer the staff to other judicatory bodies, within first 60 days from ratification while ensuring the continuity of their employment.
Upon ratification, the bill was published in the Government Gazette and is now in effect.