Two-week series of workshops held in cooperation with the Bar Council of the Maldives comes to an end
In cooperation with the Bar Council of the Maldives, the Max Planck Foundation has developed an ensemble of three courses entitled, “Professional Ethics”, “Fair Trial Rights” and “Strategic Litigation”. Initially planned to take place in Malé, the workshop series took place on the Foundation’s online LEARN platform in response to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. With live engagement of fifty Maldivian lawyers from 28 June to 9 July, expertise was shared from the Foundation’s Research Fellows and Maldivian lawyers, Ms Dheebanaz Fahmy and Mr Mohamed Aseel Hassan, throughout the series.
During a promising period of development for the legal profession and legal system of the country, including the adoption of the Legal Professions Act, the cooperation between the Foundation and Bar Council of the Maldives is timely. The courses on Professional Ethics and Fair Trial Rights aimed to introduce the participants to ethical standards for lawyers and fair trial rights in both domestic and international law, and encouraged reflection of the participants in the context their legal practice in the Maldives.
The final course on “Strategic Litigation” aimed to introduce participants to the definition, objectives and goals of strategic litigation, highlighting the components of a strategy with an awareness of the risks that may be incurred and best practices to manage them. In particular, discussion centred on case, forum and client selection, as well as formulating media and funding strategies. The participants engaged in forum discussions and research exercise, exchanging examples and best practices.
On 9 July 2020, the course was concluded with an engaging live exercise conducted via video conference. Participants were assigned a strategic litigation case study to review and in breakout groups had lively discussed on the in-depth components of the strategy, before reporting their findings to the cohort and answering questions. Closing remarks for the workshop series were given by Ms Marium Jabyn, the Secretary-General of the Bar Council of the Maldives, who commended the participants for their engagement in the workshop series and encouraged the participants to implement the knowledge gained in their legal practice. The participants were awarded certificates for the successful completion of the programme.
The Foundation and Bar Council of the Maldives plan to hold further activities for lawyers in 2020. This series of workshops is implemented through the partnership with the Bar Council of the Maldives as part of the German Federal Foreign Office funded project, “Strengthening the Rule of Law in the Maldives”.