The Indian government has offered to assist in training judicial officers and judges in the formation of rules and regulations, reports the Times of India.
According to the report, the offer was conveyed to Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain on Monday by the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain is on a five day official visit to India at the invitation of the Chief Justice of India, Altmas Kabir.
According to Indian media reports, Faiz Hussain is set to take part with the Chief Justice of India and other Supreme Court Judges which will also be attended by Indian Law Minister Kapil Sibal and External Affairs Minister Khurshid.
The reports also claimed that Hussain is expected to travel to Bhopal, to observe the functioning and operation of India’s National Judicial Academy.
The Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) had previously announced plans to set up a Judicial Training Academy in the Villimale ward of Male’, with India is expected to establish ties between the two academies.
During a dinner hosted by Khurshid in honor of Chief Justice Hussain, the Indian external affairs minister claimed India was privileged to work closely and partner the people of Maldives in their nation building efforts.
Khurshid also noted that Maldives had undertaken reforms necessary for the independent functioning of the judiciary and other organs of the state.
In her final report to the UN Human Rights Council, United Nation’s Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on Independence of Judges and lawyers Gabriela Knaul expressed “deep concern” over the failure of the judicial system to address “serious violations of human rights” during the Maldives’ 30 year dictatorship, warning of “more instability and unrest” should this continue to be neglected.
“It is indeed difficult to understand why one former President is being tried for an act he took outside of his prerogative, while another has not had to answer for any of the alleged human rights violations documented over the years,” read the report.
The report is a comprehensive overview of the state of the Maldivian judiciary and its watchdog body, the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). Knaul examines the judiciary’s handling of the trial of former President Nasheed, the controversial reappointment of unqualified judges in 2010, and the politicisation of the JSC.
Knaul also examines parliament’s failure to pass critical pieces of legislation needed for the proper functioning of the judiciary and “legal certainty”, as well as raises serious concerns about an impending budget catastrophe facing the judicial system.
“The immediate implications of the budget cuts on the judiciary are appalling. For instance, the Department of Judicial Administration only has funds to pay staff salaries until November 2013 and it had to cancel training this year,” Knaul notes.
“The Civil Court reported that it would not have sufficient funds to pay its staff salaries after October 2013; furthermore, existing budgetary resources would not be sufficient to pay for utilities and facilities after June 2013,” she added.
The government of Maldives responded to the report by issuing a statement inferring that UN Special Rapporteur had undermined the country’s sovereignty and legal jurisdiction in her report on the state of the country’s judiciary.
The government on May 28 issued a statement via its Permanent Representative at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Iruthisham Adam.
“Engagement between national governments and international actors should not undermine national jurisdiction and the court system of any country, especially relating to ongoing cases,” reads the statement.
In light of this the Maldivian delegation, said Adam, “wishes to discuss specific matters contained in the report with the rapporteur.”
At the same time the statement “welcomed” the UN Rapporteur’s report and “fully acknowledge[s] that the various challenges she has identified and raised in her report are in fact the residue challenges present in a system in the midst of democratic consolidation.
The Maldives judicial system continues to be hampered by structural deficiencies and resource constraints in addressing the difficult challenges facing the country in general.”
Read the UN Special Rapporteur’s full report