Uza. Mariyam Shunana
Mariyam Shunana is the founder and President of Public Interest Law Centre (PILC). Her passion and desire to help the underprivileged community comes from having first hand experiences of legal issues faced by the marginalized community. Prior to founding PILC, Shunana worked on many civil rights movements, litigated and advocated in numerous public interest legal causes and provided pro bono legal help to many people with regard to civil rights related matters. In 2018, Shunana invited some of her colleague lawyers and law students to form Public Interest Law Centre and in February 2019, Public Interest Law Centre became a registered NGO.
Shunana graduated with a Master’s Degree in Corporate Law from the New York University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of the West of England (Bristol). She has also acquired a First-Class Bachelor (Hons) of Laws Degree from the Maldives National University.
Shunana was the first woman to receive an award in the field of Law in Maldives. She was awarded with "Leadership Excellence in the Field of Law, Gold Category" in the Maldives Professional and Career Women Awards in 2019. In 2020, Shunana was awarded National Award “Rehendhi Award” for outstanding social work (in the field of law).
Shunana has secured numerous precedent-setting victories and has successfully secured a settlement in the largest class action lawsuit to have ever been tried in Maldivian Courts (housing issue). She also litigated and won one of the largest commercial claims to have been submitted against the government of Maldives. She has litigated as lead counsel in the most notable public interest lawsuits submitted at the Maldivian courts to date, which includes the first gerrymandering lawsuit, largest class action employment dispute submitted at employment tribunal and many other notable cases.
Shunana is the Managing Partner of Shunana and Co.LLP and founder of legal research database Shuna.Law. Prior to starting Shunana and Co. LLP, Shunana worked as a Senior State Attorney at the Attorney General’s office. At the Attorney General’s office, she has litigated on behalf of the Government in numerous constitutional and civil cases lodged by and against Government Ministries and Departments at various courts of the Maldives including the Supreme Court of the Maldives. She was also involved in international arbitration proceedings against the Government of Maldives. Her work at the Attorney General’s Office also included providing legal opinion to the Government Ministries and Departments on contracts, international conventions and bilateral and multilateral agreements signed by the Government. She also provided legal opinions on bills passed by the Parliament before ratification by the President and reviewed the drafts of laws and regulations.