Foreign lawyers to be allowed to practice in Maldives

Photo: Sun

Male’, Maldives – The Bar Council of Maldives has made an announcement, permitting foreign lawyers to practice in the Maldives.

This was announced alongside the conclusion of the formulation of a special regulation under the Legal Profession Act, which permits foreign lawyers to take part in the legal cases of Maldivian courts. According to the regulation, such participation must be through a registered law firm, legal practice or in collaboration with the Prosecutor General’s Office or the Attorney General’s Office.

The regulation made public on Wednesday by the Bar Council, states that information regarding the lawyer and the case to be worked on must be presented to the Council by the foreign lawyers, prior to being granted permission to practice. Relevant documents may also be requested if deemed necessary, which are to be provided to the regulatory body upon request.

The regulation also states that the lawyers who wish to practice in the country must also have a valid license as well as a clean criminal record.

Further, it states that any lawyer working on a case at an appeal court must have a valid license of more than three years, as well as an appeal court license in the original jurisdiction of the lawyer. Similarly, if it is a matter at the Supreme Court, the license shall be of five years.

Reservations by judges regarding language factors are also be taken into account and the preferred language for the applying lawyers would also be clarified prior to being permitted  to practice.

The permit comes with a fee of MVR 2,000 for lower courts, while MVR 5,000 is to be charged to practice at the High Court. The permit fee for practicing at the Supreme Court is set at MVR 10,000.

Permits are expected to take seven days, upon requesting for one with all the necessary requirements met. Any decision by the Bar Council is also eligible for appeal, given that complaints are submitted within 30 days.