The dialogue focused on fair trial rights in criminal trials.
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On 6 and 7 December 2021, the Max Planck Foundation convened the second in a series of Specialised Dialogues for judges in the Maldives, in collaboration with the Department of Judicial Administration and the Judicial Academy. The dialogues aim to provide a platform for experience and knowledge-sharing and collaborative discussion between judges in the Maldives, as well as to consider international and regional best practices.
The Dialogue was attended by Magistrates and Judges from the Criminal Court, Drug Court, Family Court and Juvenile Court. It focused on fair trial guarantees applicable in all proceedings such as the right to a public hearing, and then considered rights applicable within criminal trials such as the presumption of innocence and equality of arms. Cross-cutting themes such as the protection of vulnerable persons and criminal trials during times of emergency were also explored.
Foundation Research Fellows made presentations to introduce applicable international standards on several topics. Judges Uz. Safath Habeeb and Uza. Dheebanaz Fahmy, both of the Criminal Court, also made excellent presentations to ground these international standards within the Maldivian legal framework and to discuss issues that arise within the Maldivian context. To provide a comparative perspective, Justice Gita Mittal, former Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and former Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir participated as an international expert. She made several insightful presentations, drawing from her experiences, and these were followed by lively discussions with the judges.
The dialogue was opened by the Chief Judicial Administrator of the Maldives, Aishath Rizna and closed by Johannes Krusemark-Camin, Managing Director of the Foundation. This was the second dialogue in the series, with a third dialogue to be held on the creation of a child-friendly juvenile justice system. This forms part of the project ‘Stabilising the Rule of Law by Supporting the Reform Agenda of the Republic of Maldives’ funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.