The Maldives introduced a new Civil Procedure Code on June 16th, 2022, with the aim of bringing more efficiency to the country’s legal system and speeding up the resolution of cases. The introduction of the new code was expected to bring improvements to the legal system, but according to some lawyers, it cannot be said that the system has improved since the implementation of the new code.
The lawyers have suggested that the new code may have actually caused a delay in resolving cases, as the previous dispute resolution system was abolished, and now all cases are required to complete the document exchange stage before going to dispute resolution. This requirement has led to some cases taking longer to resolve than they did previously. Previous dispute resolution system at the Civil Court was known to solve more than 70% of cases without the need for a trial.
The Civil Procedure Regulations of courts conducting civil cases are due for revision after six months from the effective date of the new code, but so far, no court has made any revisions. This suggests that the new code is still in its teething stage and requires a lot of work to improve the system.
It is important to note that the introduction of a new legal code is not a simple process, and it takes time to implement and see the results of the changes. Therefore, it is expected that the new code may need some adjustments before it can bring the desired efficiency to the legal system in the Maldives.
While the new Civil Procedure Code in the Maldives was expected to bring improvements to the legal system, it is still in its early stages, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done to improve the system. Lawyers have suggested that the new code has caused delays in some cases, and the Civil Procedure Regulations of courts conducting civil cases are due for revision after six months from the effective date of the new code. Therefore, it is important to wait and see how the system develops and whether it brings the desired improvements to the legal system in the Maldives.