Any sort of influence or bias in court verdicts is an abuse, says President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
The president made the statement while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Judicial Year 2020 on Tuesday night, where he stressed that his administration gives the highest priority to ensure the establishment of a fair and just judicial system.
Hence, he said that the government “will not and has no intention to attempt to influence the judicial system.”
Noting that much has been accomplished in the judicial reform work since the administration took over in November 2018, including the courts restructuring their administrative workload to cater more convenient and efficient services to the public, President Solih stated that “there is a lot more to be done.”
He also noted the important roles judges and courts play in solving critical societal problems arising in the country, including in establishing justice in a well-timed manner without adjournment.
President Solih urged the judges to “give special consideration” in passing out verdicts especially in child abuse cases, and praised a recent resolution passed by the Department of Judicial Administration; this resolution states that any case regarding sexual abuse in children will be administratively dealt with within 24 hours of the problem being reported and in instances where it takes no longer than 48 hours in between two hearings.
He stressed that this arrangement “will enable the courts to pass out verdicts within six months of reporting the offence in the courts”.
Further noting that relevant laws need to be amended to fully reform the judicial system, Solih elaborated on the steps being taken by the government in evaluating the laws and identifying the necessary modifications that need to be brought to the constitution.
Also at the ceremony, the president revealed future development plans to bring all courts in the capital city -except the Supreme Court- under the same roof; this is to be established in the capital’s reclaimed suburban district, Hulhumalé.