Local Consultant to Revise the Family Law (Only for Maldivian Nationals)
The democratic transition provides an opportunity to strengthen governance and institutions in the Maldives. Judicial reform is key to strengthen the justice sector and the government’s legislative agenda will contribute towards enhanced access to justice for the most vulnerable parts of the community. While key milestones have been achieved in strengthening governance, however, important challenges remain in strengthening the legislative framework. The Family Law (Act Number 4/2000) was enacted in 2000 and deals primarily with solemnization and registration of marriages, divorce proceedings, child custody, inheritance and parental guardianship in the Maldives. In the nearly 20 years that have passed since then, there has not been a comprehensive review of the law despite the profound changes that have occurred in the family law system and society. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive review of the family law system to address the needs of modern society and improve the system’s responses to children and families impacted by family violence and negligence, the government is initiating work on reviewing the law.
UNDP has been supporting the government on its legislative agenda for a number of years to ensure critical reforms to the legal and justice sector are in place. In this regard, it has supported the government on the drafting of the Penal Code, Criminal Procedure and Civil Procedure Code as well as its roll out and implementation aspects. As part of this support UNDP in partnership with the Attorney General’s Office is seeking the support of a local consultant to conduct a comprehensive review and revision of the Family Law (Act number 4/2000).
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the guidance of the AGO and UNDP, the consultant will lead the process of reviewing the current Family Law and draft a new Bill, which will replace the current legal regime governing aspects related to families in the Maldives. The tasks to be undertaken by the consultant under the Terms of Reference include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following;
- Conduct a desk review of existing legal framework and relevant legislation and regulations, including but not limited to the Family Law, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act the Child Rights Act and the regulations made thereunder, and submit an inception report outlining recommendations in line with international norms, standards and best practices;
- Review existing policy papers, consultation reports, and follow up on their recommendations;
- Organize and conduct consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders including but not limited to relevant Government institutions, judiciary, lawyers, academics and civil society organizations;
- Conduct Focus Group Discussions in three geographical locations to ensure the new Family Law encompasses the needs of members of the community;
- Based on the review of suggested policy recommendations and policy directives from the AGO and based on the inception report, draft a new Family Bill;
- In collaboration with AGO, conduct a validation workshop for the draft Bill with relevant stakeholders;
- In collaboration with AGO, conduct advocacy/lobbying meetings with relevant stakeholders following the final validation of the Bill;
- In collaboration with AGO, identify implication of the legislation on key institutions, sectors and community stakeholders once enacted and recommend ways forward by proposing a roadmap for implementing the new Family Law.
Expected Outputs and Deliverables
All reports shall be submitted as stipulated below and all reports will be submitted as drafts and upon review by the UNDP and the AGO, the consultant shall revise the draft report. Once, the revised reports are accepted by the AGO and the UNDP, they will be termed as final reports by the consultancy.
The consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables;
- Inception Report: The inception report shall include a summary of regulations and reviews undertaken, proposed policy options for the new Family Law, constraints with regard to delivery of services and proposed actions to overcome the constraints identified, and clear timeline for activities undertaken by this consultancy.
- Draft Family Bill: The drafts of the new Family Bill shall be completed as per the timeline identified in the inception report. The consultant should conduct relevant consultations during the drafting stage with stakeholders identified in the inception report and with others if required. The drafts will be written in a format and style determined by the AGO. Final draft should be thoroughly vetted by obtaining feedback from stakeholders, including public opinion.
- Validation Workshop and the final draft of the bill: The consultant shall facilitate a validation workshop for relevant stakeholders on the draft legislation, incorporate any necessary changes and reviews identified in the validation workshop. The final draft of the bill should be submitted to AGO and UNDP once it is approved by all relevant stakeholders following validation.
- Rollout Plan: A report recommending the rollout of the Family Law should be submitted to AGO and UNDP. The rollout plan should outline preparatory activities necessary for Government and State agencies for implementation, relevant trainings to familiarize and enhance Government and State agencies, and general awareness raising activities for the public. Relevant impact on stakeholders and recommendations to manage these impacts should also be included in the plan.
The following table shows an indication of the duration for the deliverables;
Estimated Duration to Complete
Final inception report
Draft Family Law (including consultations)
Validation workshop and final draft of the bill
The consultancy is expected to start in last-week of February 2020.
The consultant is expected to work with the AGO. The consultant will be accountable to the Programme Officer of Result Area 2, IGP, for each deliverable as stipulated in the proposal. Fortnightly meetings will be held with ARR and Programme Analyst of IGP and AGO focal point. A briefing and debriefing meeting will be organized with UNDP senior management at the beginning and end of assignment.
Duty Station: Male’
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards and acts in accordance with the Standards of Conduct for international civil servants;
- Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favouritism.
- Knowledge about the UNDP programmes would be an advantage;
- Proven strong analytical abilities;
- Ability to work under pressure with several tasks and various deadlines;
- Ability to actively generate creative, practical approaches and solutions to overcome challenging situations;
- Excellent writing, presentation/public speaking skills;
- A pro-active approach to problem-solving;
- General IT Literacy
Required Skills and Experience
- A minimum of a master’s degree in Law
- A minimum of 6 years of professional experience in the justice sector or as a litigator.
- A minimum of 5 years’ experience in drafting laws and regulations
- Experience in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Child Rights is an added asset
- Fluency in written and spoken English and Dhivehi is required
Interested individuals must submit the following as proposals in order to demonstrate their qualifications:
- A letter indicating why the candidate considers himself/herself suitable for the required consultancy
- Submission of an updated detailed Personal CV or P11 form which can be downloaded from http://sas.undp.org/documents/p11_personal_history_form.doc. The CV must capture all past experience from similar projects.
- Previous similar works undertaken by the consultant
- At least two references from recent previous jobs and three references contact details including phone number and email
- Financial proposal indicating Daily consultancy fee in Maldivian Rufiyaa.
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