Law Commission commences review of Supreme Court of Appeal Act
The Malawi Law Commission has embarked on the review of the Supreme Court of Appeal Act with a call to all stakeholders actively participate in and contribute to the law reform process.
Chairperson of the special Law Commission on the review of the Supreme Court of Appeal Act, Honorable Justice of Appeal Edward Twea, SC made the call in Blantyre where the Commission held separate preliminary consultation workshops with members of the Malawi Law Society and Judiciary on the 5th and 6th June respectively.
The Supreme Court of Appeal Act was enacted on 1st January, 1964 predating the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, 1994.
According to Justice Twea this state of affairs renders the possibility of inconsistencies, disparities or gaps between the Act and the Constitution.
“There have been debates as to whether the Supreme Court of Appeal has jurisdiction other than the appellate jurisdiction the propriety of appeals on decisions of the Registrar that leapfrog a judge of the High Court and various other issues that have been highlighted by the judgments of courts at various levels of authority,” explains Justice Twea.
He said,for this reason, there is need for thorough interaction with stakeholders to help highlight the various issues and complexities that the Act has brought to the fore in relation to the dynamics at play within the Supreme Court and its relationship with other relevant courts, within and beyond Malawi.
This special Law Commission is composed of members drawn from the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Malawi Law Society, Faculty of Law (Chancellor College) and Civil Society.
In her address Law Commissioner Gertrude Hiwa SC, who is also a member of the special Law Commission,emphasized that the Law Commission continues to adopt an open, participatory and highly consultative approach to law reform.
She said; “This approach will, however, fail to enhance the acceptability and legitimacy of stakeholders and the public if the people that are invited to participate in the law reform process remain quiet or do not take up the invitation.”
The review process which is expected to last a year is being carried out with financial support from the European Union under the Chilungamo Project