Frequestly Asked Question


What is Supreme Court?
Article 141 (a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives states that “the judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, the High Court, and such Trial Courts as established by law”. Likewise, Article 141 (b) states that the Supreme Court is the highest authority for the administration of justice in the Maldives, and the Chief Justice should be the highest authority in the Supreme Court. Article 145 of the Constitution also states that the Supreme Court should consist of the Chief Justice and such number of Judges provided by law and that it should consist of an uneven number of Judges. Similarly, all the matters disposed of in the Supreme Court shall be by an uneven number of Judges sitting together in session.
What types of matters are heard by the Supreme Court?
Supreme Court will hear two types of matters. That is: 1. Constitutional matters 2. Matters adjudicated by the High Court. Likewise, on the interpretation of the Constitution, the law, or any other matter dealt with by a court of law, the Supreme Court’s decision will be the final authority on any such matter.
What are constitutional matters?
Constitutional matters are, such matters deciding about questions or clarifications regarding an Act of the Constitution or part of an Act, or matters deciding about questions concerning the Law or any part of the Law, or questions concerning Regulations or any part of a regulation, or any order from a state body or whether an act or a decision by employee of such a body contravenes the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives.
What are the matters that can be appealed?
Such matters are matters submitted to the Supreme Court by the party to the case contesting any decision or order or ruling of the High Court on grounds of breaching the Constitution, a law or a regulation made pursuant to a statute. Moreover, the court would also accept matters submitted under Article 282 (e) of the Constitutions. Such matters are: - Those cases disposed of by the High Court where the right of appeal has been lost between the commencement of the Constitution on 7th August 2008 and establishment of the Supreme Court on 21st September 2008. - Those cases disposed of by the High Court between the commencement of the Constitution on 7th August 2008 and establishment of the Supreme Court on 21st September 2008.
Is there any type of matter which could be adjudicated by the Supreme Court only?
The Constitution of the Republic of Maldives states the matters which could be adjudicated only by the Supreme Court. Such matters are: 1. Disputes concerning the qualification of a presidential candidate 2. Disputes concerning the qualification of a running mate of the presidential candidate 3. Disputes concerning the election of a President 4. Disputes concerning the removal of the President by the People’s Majilis 5. Disputes concerning the qualification of a candidate to the People’s Majilis 6. Disputes concerning the removal of a member of the People’s Majilis 7. Disputes concerning the vacating of seat of a member of the People’s Majilis 8. Matters under Article 258 of the Constitution with regard to the validity in whole or part of the declaration or any law or order made pursuant to a state of emergency.
How can I apply for leave to the Supreme Court?
Application must be submitted by the specified form. The forms are available from the Supreme Court counter and the website www.supremecourt.gov.mv
Is any fee taken to register a case in the Supreme Court?
The case will be registered once the applicant deposits MVR500 to the Supreme Court as the registration fee.
When will the date of hearing be scheduled at the Supreme Court? How is the date of hearing scheduled at the Supreme Court?
If a case is filed in accordance with the Supreme Court regulations, the court will give consideration to schedule the case as soon as possible. The respondent will be given 5 days to submit their reply to the case. Once the court receives the reply to the case by the respondent, the court will schedule the case and notify the parties to the case. Once the 5 days given to the respondent to reply to the case has expired, even if the reply is not submitted, the court will continue to schedule a date of hearing as aforementioned.
How many days will it take for the Supreme Court to make a judgment about a case from the date of registration?
In general, the court will give high consideration to conclude the hearings and make the judgment in all the cases registered at the court. However, the time of conclusion in a particular case may vary depending on the type of the case.
When will the Judgment report be issued?
Once the judgment is made, the case summary report will be issued to the parties to the case, on the day of judgment or within three days of judgment.
What can a party to the case do if he/ she have a reasonable reason so as not to attend the court?
If parties were summoned before the court, and they have a reasonable reason so as not to attend the court, the parties should notify the court one hour prior to the specified time in writing. If the reason is reasonable the court would accept it.
What if a party to the case has to leave Male’ suddenly while case is ongoing?
If there is an ongoing case, and if the party has to leave Male’ they can do so after notifying the court in writing and with the court’s permission.
What should I do if I want to get the Judgment Report?
If the parties to the case want the judgment report, parties can request for the judgment report by submitting the specified form, which is available from the Supreme Court counter and website. If the parties request for the statement and documents tendered to the Court, MVR 1 will be charged per page. In addition, a revenue stamp of MVR 20 should be submitted. If the request for the judgment report is made after 90 (ninety) days, an additional MVR 100 will be charged.
What factors will be considered by judges in concluding a case submitted to the court? And what is the role of a judge in deciding the case?
In looking at cases before them, judges will work in accordance with the Constitution. The decisions taken by a judge will be fair, just and impartial. As mentioned in Article 42 of the Constitution, all judgments or orders of the Court will be pronounced publicly within a reasonable time by an independent court, unless the Court specifically orders otherwise for reasons stipulated in the Constitution. Likewise, other than that of closed hearings, trials of any matter will be held publicly. As all cases submitted to the Supreme Court will be disposed of by an uneven number of judges sitting together in session, the ruling on the matter will be determine by the majority of the individual verdicts of the Judges in session.
Will all the hearings of court be held publicly?
Trials of any matter adjudicated by the Court will be held publicly, and all judgments or orders of the Court will be pronounced publicly. However, if any of the reasons stipulated in Article 42 (c) of the Constitutions occurs, the presiding Judge may exclude the public from all or part of a trial in accordance with the democratic norms which are: - In the interests of public morals, public order or national security - Where the interest of juveniles or the victims of a crime so require - In other special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interest of justices.
How can I get information regarding a judgment of the Court?
In trials of matters held publicly, or orders issued publicly, Court will issue a copy of such information. Likewise, such information made public would be available from the Supreme Court website.
What are the regulations of the Court in disclosing information to the media regarding matters submitted to the Court?
The court shall not disclose any information to the media regarding the individual matters submitted to the court. However, the website of the court contains information of cases scheduled for each day. If the media wants information regarding a scheduled case, they will have access to the court hearing of the case. Media personnel’s, like individual persons, should also note their names before 15 minutes of the time scheduled for the hearing. Personnel representing media should provide their media pass indicating the media he is representing.
How should the media work in disclosing the information about judicial proceedings?
The media should be fair and just when disclosing the information about the trials of the court. However, under conditions mentioned below disclosing information about the trials would be illegal. - The information disclosed should be illegal by an existing law or regulation. - Under the power bestowed to the court, if the court has forbidden publicizing any information regarding the trial in order to protect the interest of the parties. - If the trial is not open for public in order to protect the interest of the parties. - If the trial is related to confidential issues regarding the national security. - If the court has forbidden to disclose information about a trial due to specific reasons.
Is it possible for a person from public to attend the hearing of a case submitted to the court?
If the case submitted to the court is a public/open hearing case any person will have access to the court hearings. Such a person should note his/her name one hour before the time scheduled for the hearing. Personnel noting their names for the hearing should provide documents with a photograph for identification.
What are the points to be kept in mind by personnel attending for the court hearings?
Personnel attending for the court hearings should respect the court rules and should be in an appropriate dress code. It is prohibited to do an act which amounts to court contempt.
What is the inappropriate dress code of personnel attending the Court?
Inappropriate dress for personnel attending the court will be decided in accordance with the “Regulation on dress code for personnel attending the Court”. - Attires must not hide the identity of the person. This includes attires which covers the face. - Attires which are revealing, short shorts, t-shirts without collar, tracksuit and clothes with inappropriate writings on them is not allowed to wear to the court. - Clothes and jewelry which portrays ideologies against religion of Islam are prohibited. - Any attire which the court deems to be inappropriate will not be allowed. - However government offices with uniform should attend the court in their respective dress code. Any personnel attending the court in an inappropriate dress code will not be allowed to enter the court.
What is Court Contempt?
If any of the following act is done either inside the Court building or outside the Court building in respect to court it amounts to court contempt. - Attempting to or giving a false impression of the court - Hindering or attempting to hinder the process of judicial proceedings. - Hindering the delivery of a fair judgment in an ongoing trial or matter - Willfully disobeying a judgment, order or any instruction given by the court. - Refusing to testify in a trial or refusing to give information to the trial as a witness - Obstructing or attempting to obstruct course of justice. - Willfully disobeying a court order given by a judge in a court trial - Any act or a word which might harm the order of the court, a justice or a staff of the court - Obscene language, inappropriate behavior and attire in court premises. - Harming the body or the property of a judge or a court staff. - Harming the body or the property of any present in the court. - Harming the property of the court. - Taking a device which might record audio or video the court room without the Court’s permission.
Will the information about judgments be available to the general public?
All the judgments made by the Supreme Court are available from the Supreme Court website www.supremecourt.gov.mv
What are the actions to be taken against a person for contempt? Or what is the punishment for court contempt?
The Judges have the discretion to take actions against the person who is in breach of court contempt under the Article 88, 87 and 85 of the Penal Code.
How are the Judges appointed to the Supreme Court?
The president as the Head of the State will be appointing the Judges of the Supreme Court, after consulting the Judicial Service Commission and confirmation of the appointee by a majority of the members of the people’s Majlis present and voting.
How is the Chief Justice appointed?
The President as the Head of the State will appoint the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, after consulting the Judicial Service Commission and confirmation of the appointees by a majority of the members of the People’s Majlis present and voting. In the Interim Supreme Court, the Chief Justice will be appointed by the judges themselves.
Are there any specific qualifications for the Supreme Court judges?
A person appointed as a judge must possess educational qualifications, experience and recognized competence necessary to discharge the duties and responsibilities of a judge, and must be of high moral character. In addition the judge must possess the following qualifications: - Possess at least seven years’ experience as a Judge or practicing lawyer or both as a Judge and a practicing lawyer, - Must be educated in Islamic Shari’ah or law. - Be Muslim and a follower of a Sunni school of Islam. - Reached age of thirty - Has not been convicted of an offence for which a hadd is prescribed in Islam or criminal breach of trust or bribery - Be of sound mind.