The Government of the Maldives has proposed amendments to the Judicature Act to establish district courts in three regions of the country and dissolve magistrate courts.
The amendment was submitted to the Parliament of the Maldives on behalf of the government by Parliamentarian Mohamed Nihad. The amendment bill is part of the government’s pledge to reform the judiciary.
The bill details the establishment of district courts as superior courts in three regions, dissolving the magistrate courts already established in these regions. As such, the bill states the district courts are to be established in Male’, Kulhudhuffushi and Addu judicial districts. The bill also grants the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) the authority to allocate new judicial districts based on the population, average number of cases and available resources.
Furthermore, the bill states circuit courts shall be established on a regional basis, allowing JSC to appoint magistrates from a circuit to oversee cases in an island without a resident magistrate. Although the law previously mandated the establishment of magistrate courts in all inhabited islands, the amendment bill states magistrate courts shall now only be established in islands without district courts.