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An Assessment of Maldives’ Practice of International Law Employing the Domestic Law-International Law Relationship

The Maldives grapples with the intricate balance of integrating international law within its domestic legal framework, reflected in its adherence to Lord Bingham's eight-point list on the rule of law. Firstly, the Maldivian legal system is influenced by Islamic Sharia and for legal certainty. Yet, harmonizing this with international standards sometimes creates ambiguities due to the nation's distinct cultural and geographical landscape. Secondly, the Maldivian Constitution under Article 68, prioritizes the application of law over discretion. However, the infusion of international norms often sees local politics creating tensions in its uniform application. Third (and fourth), while the Constitution affirms equality before the law, the interplay of domestic norms influenced by Sharia Law with international human rights standards occasionally leads to discrepancies. Maldives' ratification of global human rights treaties indicates a drive to align local practices with international expectations. However, challenges, especially concerning freedom of expression, remain. Fifth, while ensuring access to justice, adapting international legal procedures to the nation's unique geography is an ongoing challenge, though decentralization efforts aim to bridge this. While checks and balances exist domestically, integrating international governance standards calls for heightened transparency and anti-corruption mechanisms. Seventh, the domestic judiciary's commitment to fair adjudication sometimes clashes with international perceptions, especially when political interferences arise. Crucially, as a nation susceptible to climate change, the Maldives actively incorporates international environmental standards, evident in their dedication to international accords such as the Paris Agreement. In conclusion, the Maldives' journey in assimilating international law into its domestic landscape reveals both commendable progress and areas for reflection, illustrating the dynamic dance between local traditions, international expectations, and legal evolution.


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