Sessions were held by the Bar Council of the Maldives in cooperation with the Foundation
The Special Licensing Training Program (SLTP) has come to a successful end with the Maldivian candidates who participated taking the SLTP exam on 27 September 2020. The Max Planck Foundation supported the Bar Council in developing the course on Professional Ethics as part of the program. This was the first out of the six modules covered by the training
The modules covered wide-ranging topics that aimed at supporting the candidates both in taking the final test and in initiating their practice as lawyers, afterwards. These included Professional Ethics, the Maldivian Legal System, Legal Drafting, Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure and the Dhivehi language.
The entire training program has been ongoing for a month, during which time the candidates had to engage with the material on the Foundation’s LEARN platform; an open-source teaching environment that allows participants to watch videos, do exercises, including reviewing other participant’s work, critically assess fact patterns and legal problems and attend conferences and seminars with prominent Maldivian lawyers. Whilst assisting the implementation of the module on Professional Ethics, the Foundation addressed the international, regional and domestic ethics standards, the relevant good practices in respect to the resolution of conflict of interests, challenges in respect to lawyers’ independence, mitigation of the clients’ interests with the interests of the legal profession and other pertinent topics.
After completing the material contained in the Professional Ethics module, the Foundation held a webinar, where the candidates had the possibility to address difficult ethical questions which were answered by Mr Mohamed Aseel, who is an experienced lawyer and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Maldives, as well as a founding member and Board Member of the Public Interest Law Centre in the Maldives. Ms Dheebanaz Fahmy, who represented the State on behalf of both the Attorney General’s Office and the Prosecutor General’s Office and who practices law extensively in the Maldives, also answered questions.
The SLTP is the first one to take place in the Maldives, after the creation of the Bar Council in 2019 and the establishment of the requirement to take the bar exam in order to qualify to practice law in the Maldives. Over 200 participants took the SLTP exam online on 27 September. The formal bar exam will take place next year. The Foundation is looking forward to following the results of this endeavour together with the Bar Council. The contribution made by the Foundation to this programme comes from the German Federal Foreign Office funded project, “Strengthening the Rule of Law in the Maldives”.