Tuesday 16th Apr 2024
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JSC Reform Bill Not Included Among 14 Bills to be Introduced in Parliament

MALE, MALDIVES - The Attorney General's Office has announced that the government will present a total of 14 bills during the third session of this year's Parliament. The list of bills, released by the Attorney General's Office, mainly comprises of amendments to existing laws.
During the 2019 parliamentary elections and leading up to the 2018 presidential elections, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had pledged to reform the composition of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to ensure justice and eliminate political influence within the Commission.
However, the MDP has yet to introduce the promised bill to fulfill this commitment. MP Ahmed "Tom" Tariq has made three attempts to introduce a bill aimed at amending the composition of the JSC. Each time the bill was brought before the MDP-majority Parliament, it was rejected and subsequently dropped.
Apart from the JSC reform, another bill that has yet to be submitted to Parliament is the establishment of the Public Defenders Office, which was one of President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih's campaign promises. The government has not provided a timeline for when this bill will be presented in Parliament.
Tom had asked if the President had successfully fulfilled his pledge regarding the promised legislation, and whether this was the reason why the JSC reform bill was not included in the bills submitted to Parliament.
During the 2018 presidential election campaign, President Solih had voiced his concerns regarding the composition of the JSC at the time, stating, "We do not believe that the current composition of the Judicial Service Commission is ideal. It is a plain and visible fact that the Judicial Service Commission is being abused to exert undue influence over the courts"
President Solih had pledged to grant the JSC a term of three years and to free it from political influence. He had also pledged to not include judges in the Commission.