Parliament passes legislature to form and empower bar council

Parliamentarians pictured during a sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament has passed the legal profession bill which is designed to form and empower a bar council in Maldives.

Legal profession bill was submitted to the Parliament by North Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahmy.

The bill passed this Tuesday afternoon with the majority vote of 69 parliamentarians.

The bill establishes that the bar council comes into existence the moment the bill is enacted into law.

An election needs to be held within 21 days the bar council is formed to elect members to its steering committee. The first election must be organized by the Elections Commission (EC).

The composition of the bar council’s steering committee is made up of; the person elected as president of the bar council, the person elected as vice president of the bar council from among lawyers, the attorney general, and six additional persons who are elected from among lawyers.

Once the bill is enacted into law, all decisions regarding lawyers, including issuance of licenses, will fall within the mandate of the bar council.

It also authorizes the bar council to impose penalties on lawyers who are in the private practice, as well as state prosecutors and attorneys for violations.

As per article 68 (b) of the bill, the current representative of lawyers at Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Latheef Qasim will lose her position at the commission the moment the bill is enacted into law.