Judge Malcolm Simmons Returns to the Maldives

On 8th January 2022 the Maldives Judicial Academy welcomed Judge Malcolm Simmons upon his return to Malé to conduct further training of senior judges.  The training was led by Judicial trainers Judge Simmons had previously trained as part of a ‘Training of Trainers’ program facilitated by the Maldives Judicial Academy and supported by the UNDP.

The training from 11th to 13th January will be delivered to 29 court presidents and senior judges and will address sexual and gender-based violence, judicial ethics, case management, legal reasoning and judgment writing.

Judge Malcolm Simmons began the three-day training by describing the role of the judge. “The law that the courts are required to apply is becoming technically more complex. Social relations increasingly demand the intervention of justice.  In our democratic and open societies, there are multiple and often conflicting rights and expectations that demand to be recognized and guaranteed.  In addition, there are growing expectations of non-discrimination, equality, social equity and redistribution.  On top of this, Judges must administer justice within the constraints of limited resources.” Simmons stated.

Judge Simmons went on to say “Knowledge of substantive law is no longer sufficient.  In a rapidly evolving world where technologies, social context and law change with extreme regularity, judges must constantly improve and update their professional knowledge, skills and behaviour. Judicial education and training are essential to the development of an efficient, competent and independent judiciary.”

The first day of the training focused on sexual and gender-based violence.

A Criminal Courts Bench Book and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Bench Book drafted by Judge Malcolm Simmons are currently being rolled out by the Maldives judiciary. The bench books provide explanations and examples for judges hearing complex criminal cases and include suggestions on how judges should facilitate giving of evidence by victims of sexual and gender-based violence, vulnerable adults and children. The Bench Books will be available online to all judges and magistrates and will be regularly updated by a committee established by the Department of Judicial Administration.


Judge Malcolm Simmons served as an international judge from 2004 to 2017 hearing war crime and serious and organised crime cases. He presided in some of the most complex war crime and serious organised crime cases in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo during their troubled post-war periods. He served as President of EU International Judges from 2014 to 2017. 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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