Final Authority in the administration of Justice
The Supreme Court as stipulated in Article 4(b) of the Judicature Act shall be the final authority on the interpretation of the Constitution, the law or any other matter being adjudicated by a court of law.
The Supreme Court as stipulated in Article 141 of the Constitution is also the highest authority for the administration of justice in the Maldives, thus the Justices Council of the Supreme Court is entrusted with formulating the policies in administering justice in accordance with the Constitution and laws.
The Judicial Council established under Article 81 of the Judicature Act was abolished under the Supreme Court Ruling No 2011/SC-RU/02 (14th March 2011). As the highest authority for the administration of justice in the Maldives is the Supreme Court, the functions of the Judicial council was transferred to the Justice Council of the Supreme Court by the Supreme Court Circular No 2011/03/SC (10th August 2011).
Power to establish rules and regulations
The functions of the Justices Council include, determining the strategic plan for the Maldives Judiciary, formulating guidelines to regulate the administrative and procedural frameworks of the courts, standardizing the trial procedures of the court and ensuring speedy disposal of cases and easy access to justice.
The Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) was established in August 2008. It is the administrative arm of the judiciary Majority of the administrative, and management and financial functions carried out by the former Ministry of Justice was mandated to the newly formed DJA. In December 2008 the Department of Judicial Administration was placed under the Supreme Court under the Supreme Court ruling 2008/SU-RU/01 to ensure independence of judiciary. Its mandate includes: preparation and submission of the consolidated annual budget of the courts to the Government, the development of the physical infrastructure of all the courts in the judiciary, providing technological assistance to the courts, conducting training programs for judges and support staff, compiling and publishing judicial statistics.
Training of Judges and Lawyers
Maldives Judicial Academy was establish by the Justices Council of the Supreme Court on 16th Dhul Qadah 1436, corresponding to 31st August 2015. On the same date, the Justices’ Council also passed the Regulation of Administering the Maldives Judicial Academy 2015 (MJA Regulation), which stipulates in Section 12 that it would come into force on the 01st of December 2015.
Following the advice of the advisory counsel chaired by the Chief Justice of the Maldives, the Academy is to take all responsibility in conducting continuing judicial education and legal training programs for its target audiences; namely, judges of the Maldives, members of the Maldives Bar, and the staff of the Courts and other institutions of the Maldives Judiciary (See 3.5). As such, the Academy shall conduct orientation and induction programs, and provide in-service training to judges and staff of the Maldives Judiciary, and also conduct orientation for newly admitted members of the Bar and provide additional training opportunities for lawyers.