Organised in partnership with the Department of Judicial Administration and the Judicial Academy
A panel discussion on “The Role of Judges in Ensuring Access to Justice for Women” was held on 17 August 2021 via Zoom. The panel discussion was well attended by Maldivian judges as well as research staff who support judges. The main issues discussed were the barriers that women face in attempting to access justice; practical steps that judges might take to address these barriers; the need for gender-sensitive judicial reasoning; and the relationship between gender-mainstreaming within the judiciary and women’s ability to access justice.
The expert panellists for this discussion were Justice Matilda Twomey, former Chief Justice of the Seychelles and presently, sitting judge of the Court of Appeal; and Rt Justice Deepak Gupta, former Justice of the Supreme Court of India and former Chief Justice of the Tripura and Chhattisgarh High Courts. The experts made perceptive and insightful remarks, combining a discussion of normative standards with practical advice. Following this, the experts responded to the questions that were raised by the participants. The active engagement of the participants evidenced the importance and relevance of the issues discussed for judges in the Maldives.
A video recorded by Rt Justice Margarita Beatriz Luna Ramos, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Mexico, was also shown to provide an example of how the matters considered during the panel discussion could be practically implemented. The panel discussion concluded with closing remarks by Azhath Rushdy, Director of the Judicial Academy of the Maldives.
This was the first in a series of four panel discussions that aim to focus on the role played by judges in ensuring access to justice for vulnerable groups in the Maldives and formed part of the project entitled Stabilising the Rule of Law by Supporting the Reform Agenda of the Republic of the Maldives funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. The next three events are scheduled to be held in 2022.