Judicial employees to be allowed to engage in politics

Members of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) of Maldives. | Photo: JSC

The chapter prohibiting participation in political activities has been removed from the ‘Judicial Staff Regulations’ and included in the ‘Code of Conduct’ of the judicial staff to enable them to become members of political parties and politically active associations.

The judicial staff regulations, which had been in force since 2011, prohibited the staff from participating in political activities in any way, with a special chapter so far.

According to the rules, judicial employees must refrain from anything that hinders the success and progress of a political party or candidate.

Judicial employees were also prohibited from holding any position in a political party, holding any job, being a member of a party organ or signing petitions prepared by parties.

Participation in any campaign activity, assistance to candidates on polling day and running for any elected political office were also prohibited under the rules.

The Code of Conduct includes that section under the article “Maintaining the Independence and Trust of the Judiciary”

The new code of conduct requires the judiciary to avoid activities that could undermine its credibility, including political activities.

Notwithstanding the provision, the new Code of Conduct does not now prohibit judicial personnel from being a member of a political party or an association or group of political activities or from voting in a party internal election.