President Lazarus Chakwera Monday appointed seven judges to serve at the High Court.
The seven are Gladys Gondwe, Chimbigzani Kacheche, Dick Sankhulani, Patrick Chirwa, Rosemary Kayira, Bruno Kalemba and Gloria Nomonde
The development comes at a time there is a general perception of delayed case management and judgements, which the Judiciary attributes to case backlog.
Chief Justice Rizine Mzikamanda said the seven judges would help the courts address the problem of case backlog and delays.
“This is a step in the right direction and we intend to use these judges to deal with the issues of case delays and backlogs,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Appeal only has seven justices of appeal, namely Mzikamanda himself, Lovemore Chikopa, Frank Kapanda, John Katsala, Ivy Kamanga and Charles Mkandawire.
The ideal number is nine.
Recently, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) urged the Judicial Service Commission to facilitate the appointment of the Justices of Appeal.
In an earlier interview, MLS President Patrick Mpaka said it is a good development.
“We congratulate the appointees but we are yet to assess the effect of this number of Judges against the required number of Judges within the structures of the judiciary in order to effectively serve the nation,” he said.
This has been the case because a practice direction which the Chief Justice gave on February 6 2018 requires that all matters in the Supreme Court of Appeal must be heard by all the nine justices and, if not, then seven.