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Four judges promoted to Supreme Court of Appeal

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ONE OF THE PROMOTED JUDGES—Kalembera

Four High Court judges Dingiswayo Madise, Rowland Mvundula, Dorothy Kamanga and Sylvester Kalembera have been promoted to the Supreme Court of Appeal, where they will be serving as justices.

Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Kondwani Banda confirmed the development, saying this brings the number of justices of appeal to 11.

Banda said this is a step in the right direction, indicating that cases have been failing in the Supreme Court of Appeal whenever one Justice of Appeal is conflicted.

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The Supreme Court of Appeal sits with a minimum of seven justices.

“Hearings were failing to take place where one or more justices of appeal was/were conflicted in one way or another. That’s why, in some cases, we had enough justices but the same justices of appeal were not enough in other cases,” he said.

The Chief Justice’s practice directive of 2018 indicates that all matters in the Supreme Court of Appeal must be heard by at least seven justices since this is the highest court of the land.

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Before appointment of the four, the Supreme Court of Appeal had seven justices of appeal, which meant that a quorum could not be formed in cases where one of the justices was excused.

In the recent past, the appeal case of businessman Thomson Mpinganjira could not be heard as two of the justices of appeal in Ivy Kamanga and Healey Potani were involved in the case.

The appeal of Malawi Law Society and the Registrar of Financial Institutions also failed because Justice Potani heard the case when he was at the High Court of Malawi.

MLS President Patrick Mpaka welcomed the appointment of the four justices of appeal, saying he hoped that outstanding cases in the Supreme Court of Appeal would be resolved.

He, however, asked the authorities to make more appointments at the High Court, where the four have been taken from.

“Promotion of the four means that we now have 38 judges, which is not good enough, considering that much of the donkey work is done at the High Court,” he said.

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