President ratifies first amendment to Juvenile Justice Act

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohame Solih speaks to press on July 5, 2020 | Photo: SunMv

Male’, Maldives – President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the First Amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act (Act No. 18/2019) on Thursday.

The Amendment Bill was passed by Parliament on 7th December 2020, at the 28th sitting of the third session of the People’s Majlis. The amendment brings several key changes to the Act, including jurisdiction and duties during the investigative and probatory periods for juvenile offenders.

It also stipulates that the Juvenile Court will maintain jurisdiction during the initial investigative stage for children involved in criminal offences and delegates the duty of monitoring convicted juvenile offenders, during their probatory period, to Probation Officers of the Juvenile Court.

As per the Act, Probation Officers are required to compile and present information concerning juvenile offenders to the Juvenile Court, and relevant implementing agencies are mandated to provide their full assistance and support to Probation Officers during this process.

The amendment further sanctions the Prosecutor General to draft legislation to follow while pressing charges against juvenile offenders. Upon ratification, the first Amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act has now been published in the Government Gazette.