LAWASIA heads to Maldives to discern judicial troubles

Former Attorney General Husnu Al-Suood with the copy of the "big" Constitution that was presented to the Attorney General's Office. PHOTO / TWITTER

Former Attorney General Husnu Al-Suood with the copy of the “big” Constitution that was presented to the Attorney General’s Office. PHOTO / TWITTER

The Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA), a regional association of legal representatives, has decided to send a delegation on a fact finding mission to the Maldives.

According to a tweet by former Attorney General Husnu Al Suood on Monday, LAWASIA raised concerns after the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) of the Maldives suspended 54 lawyers last week for submitting a petition to the Supreme Court, outlining their concerns about the judiciary and calling to uphold the rule of law.

His tweet read, “LAWASIA has passed a Resolution on Maldives. Concerned about lawyers. Lawasia also decides to send a fact finding mission to Maldives.”

Speaking to Mihaaru from Japan where he is attending a LAWASIA conference on a special invitation from the association’s president, Husnu Al Suood stated that he brought the obstructions and challenges faced by legal representatives in the Maldives to the attention of LAWASIA.

“While [the lawyers] have been suspended, there is no way to appeal that decision. Hence, LAWASIA has decided to send a delegation to the Maldives to probe the matter,” said the lawyer who is included among those suspended.

LAWASIA is the head of all bar associations in the Asia and Pacific region. Without a bar association, the Maldives is not a member state of LAWASIA.

The suspension of 54 lawyers on September 10 marks the biggest mass suspension of legal advocates to date in the Maldives. Following their petition’s submission, DJA had declared that the lawyers gathered at the Supreme Court unlawfully when they submitted the petition, and that they had obstructed the independence of the whole justice system. Further, it alleged that the lawyers were in violation of the Judicature Act, the lawyers’ pledge, regulations to prevent contempt of court, and the regulations of the Supreme Court, which resulted in their indefinite suspension.

However, the DJA on Monday announced that it has revoked the suspension of 13 lawyers after concluding investigations into their cases.

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