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UN legal expert calls for judicial reforms in Maldives

The UN expert has stressed that an appropriate bill is needed for improving drug prevention.

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A United Nations legal expert has sought an independent judiciary in Maldives and stressed that an appropriate bill was needed in the country for improving drug prevention and rehabilitation programmes.

Outlining eight preliminary recommendations in advance of a full report to the Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteur for the Geneva based Human Rights Council, Leandro Despouy has called for a completely independent judiciary in the Maldives and urged that posts should also be secured for women judges.

"The Constitution puts the judiciary under the control of the President. This seriously affects the independence of the judiciary. There is a serious lack of trained judges and lawyers most of the detainees are tried without the assistance of a lawyer", he said in a statement on his return Thursday from a visit to Maldives.

He specifically sought the prompt adoption of the constitutional reforms and the urgent adoption of legislation which has already been submitted to Parliament, including the criminal code and the criminal procedure code.

The adoption of an appropriate police bill is also of key importance to prevent current drug abuse cases.

Stressing that drug consumption affects almost every family, he urged for strengthening of prevention and rehabilitation programmes

First Published: Mar 06, 2007 17:26 IST