Lawyers license to be suspended for certain offenses

Lawyers taking their oath at a ceremony in 2018. | Photo: Mihaaru.

Male’, Maldives — The Bar Council of Maldives has stated that the license of a lawyer will be temporarily suspended if offenses such as theft, forgery, deception and other similar acts are proven against a lawyer.

Requirements to get a license for lawyers state that the individuals will only receive the license if they are not guilty of any criminal offenses over the past five years or if they are paying back any debts which had been ordered to be paid back by a court accordingly. However, the initial guidelines did not mention what should done if an individual has not completed the required conditions.

The new amendment brought by the Bar Council to the rules state that if a required condition is not fulfilled, the license of the lawyer will be temporarily suspended until the lawyer fills in all the requirements.

Along with this, the Bar Council announced that although all required conditions are filled, the license will also be temporarily suspended if a lawyer is guilty of an offense under section 210 (Theft Offenses) and under section 310 (Forgery and Fraudulent Practices) of the Penal Code of Maldives.

The new amendment states that if a lawyer is guilty of any such offenses, the suspended license will only be given back if the court decides on a verdict on the case or if it is dismissed by a higher court. However, the Bar Council noted that if it is a major criminal offence, the suspended license will only be given back after five years of verdict.