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UK Chief Justice tells Malawi to lay hands off Judiciary

The visiting Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett of Maldon says there is need for government to leave the judiciary alone in its decision making to ensure its independence.

Lord Burnet made the remarks during the 5th Matembo Nzunda Public Lecture at the University of Malawi under the topic ‘’Judicial Independence and Accountability in the 21st Century; Challenges and Opportunities.

‘’The judiciary is not supposed to be accountable to government or parlimanet but it only answerable to the people in order to gain their trust, “Lord Burnet said.

In his remarks Justice of the Supreme Court of Lovemore Chikopa, said Malawians are better judges on whether or not the judiciary is independent and accountable.

However, Chikopa underscored the need for the public to take interest on how judges do their work and do an informed assessment on the judge’s performance.

‘’ the best way to look at how the judges perform is to take an interest not just a casual interest or jump on a bandwagon just because everybody is saying this or that, but an interest on what the judges are doing and what are they expected to do , am sure you be able to say we have a good one or we don’t have a one.

Meanwhile, Patrick Mpaka, President of the Malawi Law Society said there is need for awareness and involvement of the public on how the judiciary works in order for people to hold it accountable.

Mpaka said the society is also proposing for the formulation of a Judicial Service Commission Act which will among others regulate the conduct of judicial officers.

‘’To have proper accountability, it must be known that a judge will act in this way, hence proposing g for the formulation of the Act,” he said.-MIJ ONLINE

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