Ustaz Justice Abdulla Saeed Chief Justice of the Maldives.
Born on the island of Meedhoo (Seenu Atoll) on 25 September 1964, Mr. Abdullah Saeed is a descendant of the Dhiyamigili Dynasty of the Maldives. He also belonged to the illustrious family of scholars, jurists and educators in the Maldives which includes Chief Justice Mohamed Shamsudhdhin El-Kabeeru, Chief Justice Ibrahim Majududhdhin, Chief Justice Moosa Badhurudhdhin, Chief Justice Ismail Bahaaudhdhin, Chief Justice Shaikh Ali Didi and Chief Justice Hussain Afeefudhdhin (Bodufenvalhugey Seedi). The distinguished scholar El-Sheikh El-Hafiz Ibrahim Dhonbeyyaa of Aisaabeegedharu, S. Meedhoo was his great grandfather. According to Mr. HCP Bell, the famous historian and archeologist, his ancestors were “erudite scholars and jurists and judges, Meedhoo has produced for generations past.” Since the Sixteenth century, more than eight of his ancestors have filled the high office of Chief Justice of the Maldives. He is the first son of Mr. Mohamed Saeed and Maumoona Mohammed Didi of Alivaage, S. Meedhoo. His father, Mohamed Saeed, served as a Khatib of Meedhoo for nearly a decade.
Saeed's education includes:
- An L.L.B (Combined Honours Degree in Shari’ah and Law) from Al-Azhar University, Cairo, 1994.
- An L.L.M from IMO International Maritime Law Institute, Malta, 1999.
- A Parliamentary Studies and Legal Drafting course at the Lok Sabha, India, 1997.
- Coursework, national and international seminars and conferences including judicial studies and training programs at Judiciaries in Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia, 2001.
- Effective Dispute Management in a Changing World and An Executive Programme in Negotiation and Mediation, conducted by the Singapore Mediation Centre, Singapore, 2001.
- Seminar on Customer-Oriented Service, organized by the Civil Service College (Singapore) in cooperation with the Public Service Division at The President’s Office, Male’, 2000.
- Workshop on Aviation Accident Investigation conducted by the Singapore Aviation Academy, Singapore, 16 – 22 February 2000.
- WIPO National Workshop on Intellectual Property and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Male’, 1999.
- A special course on International Maritime Labour Law in conjunction with ISF, ITF and MMA, Malta, 15 – 19 February 1999
- Seminar on the FIDIC forms of contract (MASIONS) Male’, 1996.
- Workshop on EEZ Management and Maritime Legislation organized by the Economic and Legal Advisory Services Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Male’, 1995.
He is also undertaking his L.L.D Program, in Public International Law.
Saeed was admitted as an advocate of the Maldives in 1995 and began his legal carrier with the Attorney General’s office. He served as a State Attorney in the Attorney General’s Office from 27 June 1995 to 12 September 1998, and from 8 June 1999 to 1 August 2000. As a State Attorney, he represented the state in the courts, and advised government departments on numerous legal matters presented for opinion at the Attorney General’s Office. He was appointed as Director of Institute of Shari’ah and Law of the Maldives College of Higher Education from 2 August 2000 to 31 January 2001. He was also appointed as the first Dean of Faculty of Sharia and Law (the Maldives National University) from 1 February 2001 to 24 April 2001, and entrusted with the responsibility of laying the foundation for legal education in the Maldives. He also continued to teach law at certificate, diploma and degree level programmes conducted at the Faculty of Sharia’h and law, the Faculty of Management and Computing of the Maldives College of Higher Education, and at the college of Islamic Studies.
From 25 April 2001 to 15 June 2005, Saeed served as a Director in Attorney General’s Office and as Assistant Director General of Public Prosecutions, from 16 June 2005 to 11 September 2005. As head of the prosecutions in the AGO, he directed prosecutions to the Courts of the Republic of Maldives.
His appointments included being:
- Member of the Maritime Training Advisory Board, 2003 – 2005.
- Member of the Advisory Council to Narcotics Control Board, 2003 – 2005.
- Member of the Committee established under Clause 11 (b) of Act Number 77/7 (Act on Narcotics and Psychotropic Substance Use: 3rd Amendment), 2002 – 2005.
- Member of Tender Evaluation Board, 2001 – 2004.
- Member of the Law Commission of the Republic of Maldives, 1997 – 2002.
- Member of the Council for the Protection of the Rights of Children, Maldives, 1996 – 1998 and 2002 – 2005.
- Legal Officer, at the Unit of the Rights of Children in the Maldives.
- Member of the legal office of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy from 17 September to 17 November 2006.
- Deputy Attorney General from 11 September 2008 to 18 September 2008.
Saeed was also appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Maldives on 18 September 2008, and assumed office as Chief Justice of the Maldives, from 18 September 2008 to 10 August 2010. At the helm of the judiciary he inspired and guided efforts to reform and re-organize the judiciary with the aim of building a responsive and efficient judiciary system without compromising the function of dispensing justice. He introduced reforms and innovative measures to improve the administration of justice and the service provided to the public by the judiciary. He is well-versed in Common Law, Civil Law and Shari’ah. He is also well-versed in several languages: Dhivehi, English, Arabic, Persian and Urdu.