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President ratifies Transitional Justice Act, establishes Ombudsperson office

18 December 2020, MVT 16:48
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has on Thursday ratified the Transitional Justice Act (Act number: 28/2020). PHOTO: PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
18 December 2020, MVT 16:48

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Thursday, ratified the Transitional Justice Act (No 28/2020). The Act was passed by the Parliament on 29 November, during its 23rd sitting of the third session.

The president also moved to establish the Office of Ombudsperson for Transitional Justice, as mandated under section 4A of this Act.

Key goals laid out in the Transitional Justice Act include to end the culture of impunity and solidify the rule of law, in order to strengthen overall democratic governance.

It sanctions investigations into past wrongdoings by state authorities, heads of agencies, or individuals in power, which resulted in human rights violations.

Further, the Act seeks to improve accountability mechanisms, provide a framework for redress and also reparations for victims of the abuse of power, by outlining measures to avoid such abuses of authority in the future.

Cases eligible for investigation under this Act runs from 1st January 1953 to 17th November 2018.

In addition to being tasked with overseeing various mechanisms of transitional justice, the Ombudsperson's Office is required to function as an autonomous legal identity.

It is granted powers to communicate, file a lawsuit or receive court charges.

The Transitional Justice Act specifies powers and functions delegated to the Ombudsperson's office, including a provision that states the office's function must be carried out in complete autonomy under the purposes stipulated in the law “without any prejudice or influence”.

The Act, in its entirety, was published in the Government Gazette upon ratification.

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