Maldives urged to re-consider removal of two Supreme Court judges

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Gabriela Knaul.UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Authorities in the Maldives have been urged to reconsider their decision to remove two judges of the country's Supreme Court.

The call has come from Gabriela Knaul, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers following the removal of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Judge Muthasim Adnan.

The removal of the two justices was approved on 14 December by the Indian Ocean island nation's legislative body, known as the People's Majlis.

This came three days after the enactment of the First Amendment to the Judicature Act, which brought the number of Supreme Court judges down from seven to five

The UN independent human rights expert has expressed serious concern about the removal of the judges by the Judicial Service Commission which she said "was characterized by lack of transparency and due process."

Ms. Knaul said it "is particularly unacceptable" that the grounds for the removal of the judges were not publicized.

She warned that this decision undermines the independence of the judiciary in the Maldives and would have what she called "a chilling effect on the work of the judiciary at all levels."

Stephanie Castro, United Nations

Duration: 1’16″

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