Two workshops on providing legal assistance to accused persons and persons in detention were held in Malé.
In collaboration with the Bar Council of the Maldives, the Foundation hosted two workshops focusing on legal skills necessary for effective criminal practice. The workshops took place from 20 – 22 October and 23 – 25 October 2022, and were attended by legal officers from state institutions, such as the Maldives Police Services and Prosecutor General’s Office, private lawyers, Bar Examinees and recent law graduates.
The workshops followed chronologically the processes that individuals go through when coming into contact with the criminal justice system – from investigation stage all the way to sentencing and appeal. At each stage, practical skills required by legal professionals to ensure compliance with legal procedures, due process and human rights were highlighted. On the final day of both workshops, participants engaged in mock trial exercises which asked them to present legal arguments in the context of remand, preliminary and main hearings.
The workshops were implemented by Foundation Research Fellows in close collaboration with local experts. Each session started with an introduction to the international and domestic legal framework protecting the rights of persons in contact with the criminal justice system, then explored the implementation of due process protections in the Maldives and finally applied lessons learnt to a practical case study. The support of local experts was critical to the success oof these workshops. Local experts included Inspector Looth and Sub-Inspector Lirar from the Maldives Police Service, Ahmed Naufal from the Prosecutor General’s Office, and Hamza Latheef and Ibrahim Shameel from private criminal defence practice.
These workshops were developed to complement earlier activities which focused on access to justice for vulnerable groups and were the Foundation’s final activities with the Bar Council of the Maldives in its current project.