Judge Malcolm Simmons and the United Nations Development Programme in Maldives concluded a three-day training for senior court judges on the implementation of the new judicial performance evaluation process.

At a press conference in Malé, Maldives on 22nd October 2022, Judge Malcolm Simmons said “Judicial performance evaluation programmes identify gaps in judicial skills and knowledge, increase transparency, consistency and accountability of the judicial system, improve case and court management, and promote greater public understanding of the courts. They are an essential tool in improving the quality of the judiciary and the effectiveness and efficiency of the justice system.”

The judicial performance evaluation policy was drafted by Judge Malcolm Simmons. Following the successful conclusion of a pilot project earlier this year, all judges and magistrates in the Maldives will now be subject to a performance review every two years.  The evaluation process will identify gaps in knowledge and skills and assist the Judicial Academy in delivering training courses to meet identified training needs.  The new evaluation policy will focus on legal reasoning, impartiality and integrity, professionalism, communication and case management. Judges will be assessed against a judicial competency framework. Judges who consistently fail to meet acceptable standards may be removed from office.

“Judicial performance evaluation will serve to enhance public confidence in the administration of the justice system” said Judge Simmons.

Since 2017 Judge Malcolm Simmons has advised senior judiciary and those responsible for the administration of justice.  Judge Simmons has significant experience in major justice and rule of law projects in the Maldives and Asia.  He conducted an assessment of the provision of judicial training; drafted the current training curriculum for judges; developed the policy to evaluate judges and magistrates; conducted training of trainer’s programs in, amongst other programs, criminal practice and procedure, judicial case management, ethics and conduct, legal reasoning and judgment writing, sexual and gender-based violence and civil procedure.  He also drafted the Criminal Courts Bench Book.

His Honour Judge Malcolm Simmons is the resident judge in the Falkland Islands, Acting Supreme Court Judge and His Majesty’s Coroner for the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and British Antarctica.  He previously served as an international judge hearing war crime and serious and organised crime cases. He is particularly well-known for his judicial reform work and has more that 20 years of experience training judges, prosecutors and lawyers. He has worked in judicial reform projects in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Pakistan and Maldives.

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