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Judge Malcolm Simmons presents the Criminal Courts Bench Book to the Maldives Judiciary

Judge Malcolm Simmons presents new Criminal Courts Bench Book”
— Edward Montague Associates
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM, November 28, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Judge Malcolm Simmons meets with legal advisers of the Maldives Department of Judicial Administration to discuss the draft Criminal Courts Bench Book.

The Bench Book was drafted by Judge Simmons with contributions from law students of the University of Exeter, United Kingdom who undertook research and provided examples from international case law giving context to various, innovative, provisions of the Maldives Criminal Procedure Code.

During the briefing, Judge Simmons explained how the Bench Book will assist judges and magistrates in the Maldives criminal courts to interpret and apply the criminal procedural rules. The bench book provides explanations and examples for judges hearing complex criminal cases and includes, for example, suggestions on how judges should facilitate children and vulnerable adults and victims of sexual and gender-based violence when giving evidence; the process to be adopted when exercising judicial discretion; admissibility of evidence; legal reasoning and judgment writing. The Bench Book is the most comprehensive tool available to judges to assist them in the exercise of their judicial function. The Bench Book will be available online to all judges and magistrates and will be regularly updated by a committee established by the Department of Judicial Administration. Superior courts judges will be invited to contribute to the Bench Book that will contain decisions of Maldives appellate courts, practice directions, etc.

Judge Malcolm Simmons: “The bench can be a lonely place for judges. Judges are often required to make quick decisions in often complex situations. Judges sitting in small island communities do not often have the opportunity to meet regularly with judicial colleagues. The Bench Book will provide judges with an invaluable resource that will assist them in understanding and applying often complex legal provisions. The Bench Book is a ‘living tool’ that will evolve on a daily basis. It is critical that it is regularly updated.”

The Criminal Courts Bench Book will be accompanied by a Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Bench Book and a Handbook for Judges on Legal Reasoning and Judgment Writing that have also been drafted by Judge Malcolm Simmons.

Asked about the contribution from students at the University of Exeter, Judge Simmons stated “They were an extremely talented group of individuals who made an invaluable contribution to this project.”

Malcolm Simmons served as an international judge from 2004 to 2017 hearing war crime and serious and organised crime cases including murder, serious sexual offences, drug trafficking and complex financial crime. He served as President of EU International Judges from 2014 to 2017. He is particularly well-known for his judicial reform work.

Edward Montague
Edward Montague Associates
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