Country Listing

Maldives Table of Contents


Penal System

Maldivians follow the sharia or Islamic law. Occasionally, the courts order convicted criminals to be flogged. Usually, however, punishment is limited to fines, compensatory payment, house arrest, imprisonment, or banishment to a remote island. The country's judicial system includes a High Court and eight lesser courts in Malé. The High Court handles politically sensitive cases and acts as a court of appeal. Each of the lesser courts deals with cases that involve debt, theft, or property claims. On other islands there are all-purpose courts. Maldives has no jury trials; Islamic law judges conduct trials, which are open to the public. The president appoints all judges and has the final word in all legal cases.

Data as of August 1994