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Chief Justice gets tough on judges

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Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda has ordered all judges in the country to clear out outstanding judgements by September this year.

The order was delivered during an internal judiciary meeting in Mangochi last week.

The order comes at a time court users continue complaining about delayed court judgements in the country.

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Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court Registrar, Agnes Patemba, said Nyirenda has warned that judges who fail to comply will be punished.

“The Chief Justice has made the order during the meeting with the judges. Those who will not adhere to the order will appear before the Judicial Service Commission,” Patemba said.

She said the Chief Justice has taken concerns raised by the litigants seriously.

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Regarding corruption within the Judiciary, Nyirenda has said that, once there is evidence, court officers will face disciplinary action.

The Chief Justice has, however, asked court users to report once any court official demands money from them to facilitate judgement.

Malawi Law Society President, Khumbo Soko, has welcomed the Chief Justice’s directive, describing it as a step in the right direction.

He said, although the society has no data on the number of delayed judgements, it is refreshing to hear about the intervention.

Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament Chairperson, Maxwell Thyolera, said his committee is concerned about the delayed judgements.

Thyolera said the committee has a lot of letters of complaints on delayed judgements.

“I remember my committee heavily criticised the Chief Justice on the matter and he assured the committee that he would work on that. So, I am happy with the step the Chief Justice has taken,” Thyolera said.

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