Judicial Service Commission (JSC) member and Attorney General Aishath Azima Shakoor has said that the current composition of the JSC does not allow to maintain the independence of the judiciary.
Speaking at the Parliament Committee on Independent Institutions regarding the manner in which the bench of judges for the Hulhumale’ Court was established, Azima said that even though the JSC has been composed according to the Constitution, she does not believe that the current composition of the commission is the most effective.
“I believe that, even though JSC has been composed according to constitution, it does not allow to maintain the independence of the judiciary. I do not believe that JSC's configuration is based on the most effective model. But JSC is how the Constitution says it should be, so we have to function like that,” Azima said.
She however said that the current composition will not enable the members to obstruct or prioritize a certain issue.
Referring to the purpose she was summoned to the committee, Azima said that the Parliament committee’s probe into the manner in which JSC appointed the Hulhumale’ bench of judges is bound to have its effects on the trail of former President Nasheed.
“I believe that the Parliament Committee on Independent Institutions’ review or investigation of the manner in which Hulhumale’ Court bench of judges was established will affect the trail that is currently proceeding in that court,” said Azima.
Azima’s words were directed towards the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs who had initiated the review, as former President Mohamed Nasheed’s trial is currently being contested in Hulhumale’ Court .
Azima said that she would not support the review of the case or get involved in its meetings if she was to sit in the parliament committee.
Regarding the vote by Parliament’s member to the JSC Gasim Ibrahim, in favour of the establishment of the Hulhumale’ Court bench, Azima said that Gasim sits in the JSC as a member representing the parliament and that it is his right, also granted by the constitution, to vote as he pleases. She however said that if she was in Gasim’s place when the vote for the establishment of the JSC was taken, she would not have participated in the vote.
Azima’s reasoning behind her statement lies in the facts that the trial involves the trail of former President Nasheed and because Gasim himself has declared that he will compete in the upcoming presidential elections.
Azima also noted that the Hulhumale’ Court was bench was established after following all necessary legal procedures and well within the boundaries of the law.