High Court overrules Civil Court injunction ordering JSC to halt appointment process

The High Court has overruled a Civil Court injunction issued on September 8 ordering the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to halt its appointment of judges to superior courts pending a ruling on the constitutionality of the process.

The temporary injunction was appealed by the JSC at the High Court, which ruled today that the Civil Court did not have jurisdiction to rule on the constitutionality of laws and regulations.

A group of lawyers had filed a case at the Civil Court contesting that regulations drafted by the JSC – containing evaluation criteria for selecting judges to superior courts – conflicted with both the constitution and the Judges Act. The lawyers requested the court abolish the regulations and declare the commission’s shortlist void.

The final interviews of 17 shortlisted candidates were due to place on September 10, two days before the injunction or staying order was delivered.

In its verdict today, the  three-judge panel unanimously ruled that the Civil Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case, citing article 143 of the constitution as well as provisions of the Judicature Act.

Briefing press after filing the case at Civil Court, lawyers Ali Hussein and Ismail Visham argued that the evaluation criteria formulated by the JSC unfairly favoured graduates of the College of Islamic Education (Kulliya).

Ali Hussein explained that under the regulations drafted by the JSC, a candidate with a masters degree and a graduate of Kulliya both receive 25 marks for educational qualification.

“We are saying this is not fair,” he said. “We especially note that the Faculty of Sharia and Law teaches shariah subjects to the same extent as Kulliya [Islamic College], but graduates of the faculty receive 20 marks while students from Kulliya receive 25 marks.”

Kulliya graduates also received higher marks than graduates of the Islamic University of Malaysia, he said.

The lawyers also claimed that two shortlisted candidates had close ties – as a spouse and a business partner – with two members of the commission, suggesting a clear conflict of interest as neither had recused themselves from voting in the JSC panel.

Moreover, the lawyers observed that the JSC criteria also conflicted with the academic rankings of the Maldives Qualification Authority (MQA), formerly the accreditation board, which places Kulliya certificates below those of overseas institutions.

Following today’s ruling, the lawyers are preparing to file their case at the High Court.


2 thoughts on “High Court overrules Civil Court injunction ordering JSC to halt appointment process”

  1. This is a political matter.

    Kulliyya = PPM/DQP/DRP

    IIUM = A mix but a great number of those who work for Hsuood and other MDP-leaning lawyers.

    MNU/FSL = A garbage bin where the students are so ignorant and cheap that anyone can buy them for a lollipop.

  2. You should not bring IIUM in to this.. this case does not promote IIUM or sharia.. The case says priority should not be given to those studied sharia.. if this is a IIUM thing they would not call for that, as iium is a shariya based university… Those 10 lawyers are only asking for qualified people to be appointed as judges. Qualification comes from educational back ground.. the best law universities are western universities. That’s what the lawyers are saying.. give priority to Harvard graduates and oxford graduates over Kulliya graduates… Kulliya is a local madrasaa who just gives out free certificates with big titles..


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