Phones and laptops to be allowed in Criminal Court hearings

People seen walking past the Criminal Court of the Maldives | Photo: Avas Online

Male’, Maldives – Criminal Court of the Maldives has announced that the court would allow gadgets such as mobiles, laptops and tablets to be brought in to the hearings of the court.

The court said that this decision was taken as a means to lower the risk of Covid-19 virus spreading through the paperwork exchanged during the cases as the health emergency declared in the country is still in effect. The announcement stated that the prosecutor general can now send in the cases to the court electronically and that the documents would be emailed to the defendants. In addition to this the lawyers who go to the hearings can also use the digital copies of documents during the proceedings of the court.

In addition to this the court statement highlighted that a lot of time used to get wasted earlier as lawyers had to request to stop the hearings for them to go out of the court room and check their timetables for hearings as it was done through an online application. With all these aspects being taken in to consideration, the judges committee of criminal court decided that it would be more practical for lawyers from both sides to be allowed to bring in their mobile phones, laptops and tablets in to the proceedings.

However, even though the lawyers are allowed to bring in their mobile phones, laptops and tablets in to the proceedings, they would not be allowed to record any part of the proceedings or take pictures inside the court room. And the judge presiding the case has the authority to take action if any lawyer is found doing so.

The court also stated that this was a step taken to speed up the criminal justice system using modern methodologies. Recently the courts of Maldives including Supreme Court, have started to adopt more modern steps in to the running of the courts such as digitization of the hearings and live broadcasting of the hearings as well.