Malawi

English

This section contains a brief description of the legal system in Malawi and lists research and documents relevant to pre-trial justice in Malawi.

Malawi gained independence from Britain on 6 July 1964. Malawi became a multi-party state in 1994, after three decades of one-party rule under President Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Bakili Muluzi of the United Democratic Front (UDF) was elected President in 1994 and 1999.

President Bingu wa Mutharika was elected in May 2004 as the UDF candicate after a failed attempt by the previous president to amend the constitution to permit him another term as President. The UDF however did not win an outright majority and had to form a government of national unity with several opportion parties. In 2005 Mutharika started his own party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and was reelected to a second term in May 2009. In 2011 protests over economic hardships and political issues lead to violence.

In April 2012 Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack, and was succeeded by his Vice-President Joyce Banda. Her succession was uncertain because Banda and Mutharika fell out after a row over the succession in 2010, and she was expelled from the ruling DPP. However she remained Vice-President of the country. The Constitution stipulates that the Vice-President becomes President should the President die or be incapacitated.

On 7 April, Mutharika's cabinet sought a court order to block Banda from becoming president. In turn, she asked for the support of the army commander, General Henry Odillo; he agreed and stationed troops around her house. Banda was subsequently sworn in as President.

Malawi has a mixed legal system of English common law and customary law.

Malawi has a constitution dating from 18 May 1994 which has provisions providing that every detained person has the right to be detained under conditions consistent with human dignity while arrested persons have the right to be released from detention unless the interests of justice require otherwise.

No comprehensive listing of the laws of Malawi is available online.

ACJR has worked in Malawi for number of years, in partnership with a range of paralegal organisations working with the Malawi Ministry of Justice, Malawi Prison Service and Malawi Police.

French

Cette section contient une brève description du système judiciaire du Malawi et dresse une liste de recherches et de documents se rapportant à la justice avant-procès au Malawi.

Le Malawi a acquit son indépendance de la Grande-Bretagne le 6 Juillet 1964 et devint un Etat multipartite en 1994, après trois décennies de règne du parti unique, sous la présidence de Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Bakili Muluzi, du Front Démocratique Uni (UDF), fut élu président en 1994 et en 1999.

En Mai 2004, Bingu wa Mutharika fut élu président entant que candidat de l’UDF après une tentative ratée de son prédécesseur d'amender la Constitution afin de briguer un nouveau mandat présidentiel. Toutefois, n’ayant pas remporté les élections avec une majorité absolue, l'UDF dû former un gouvernement d'union nationale avec plusieurs partis d'opposition. En 2005, M. Mutharika créât son propre parti (le Parti Démocrate-Progressiste -DPP) et fut réélu pour un second mandat présidentiel en Mai 2009. En 2011, les protestations contre les difficultés économiques et des revendications politiques conduisirent à des violences dans le pays.

En Avril 2012, Bingu wa Mutharika décéda des suites d'une crise cardiaque et fut remplacé par la vice-présidente, Joyce Banda. La prise du pouvoir présidentiel par Joyce Banda était incertaine suite aux différends qui l’avaient opposé à M. Mutharika autour de la succession de ce dernier en 2010 ; différends qui avaient conduit à l’expulsion de Banda du DPP, parti au pouvoir. Cependant et malgré cette expulsion, Banda avait continue d’exercer els fonctions de vice-président du pays.

La Constitution Malawite stipule que le vice-président devient président s’il advient que le président meure ou soit frappé d'incapacité. Le 7 Avril 2013, le cabinet de M. Mutharika demanda un arrêt de la Cour afin d’empêcher l’accession de Banda à la présidence. À son tour, Banda demanda et obtint le soutien du commandant de l'armée, le général Henry Odillo, qui cantonna des troupes autour de la maison de Banda et asura sa protection jusqu’à sa prestation de serment en tant que président du Malawi.

Le Malawi est doté d ‘un système judiciaire mixte de common law et de droit coutumier.

La Constitution date du 18 mai 1994 et comporte des dispositions prévoyant que toute personne détenue a le droit d'être détenue dans des conditions respectant la dignité humaine, et que les personnes arrêtées ont le droit d'être remises en liberté à moins que les intérêts de la justice n’exigent leurs détention.

L'ACJR a travaillé au Malawi pendant un certain nombre d'années, en partenariat avec une gamme d'organismes parajuristes travaillant avec le ministère de la Justice du Malawi, le Service pénitentiaire du Malawi et la Police du Malawi.

Portuguese

Esta secção contém uma breve descrição do sistema jurídico do Malawi e elenca pesquisas e documentos pertinentes à justiça preventiva no Malawi.

O Malawi ganhou a independência da Grã-Bretanha em 6 de Julho de 1964. Malawi tornou-se um Estado multi-partidário em 1994, após três décadas de regime de partido único sob a presidência de Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Bakili Muluzi da Frente Democrática Unida (United Democratic Front, UDF) foi eleito presidente em 1994 e 1999.

O Presidente Bingu wa Mutharika foi eleito em Maio de 2004 como candidato do UDF após uma fracassada tentativa do presidente anterior para emendar a Constituição que lhe permitisse mais um mandato como presidente. O UDF no entanto não ganhou uma maioria absoluta e teve de formar um governo de unidade nacional com vários partidos da oposição. Em 2005 Mutharika criou o seu próprio partido, o Partido Democrático Progressista (Democratic Progressive Party, DPP) e foi reeleito para um segundo mandato em Maio de 2009. Em 2011, protestos sobre as dificuldades económicas e questões políticas levaram o pais à violência.

Em Abril de 2012 Bingu wa Mutharika morreu de um ataque cardíaco, e foi sucedido por o seu vice-presidente Joyce Banda. A sua sucessão era incerta porque Banda e Mutharika discutiram sobre a sucessão em 2010, e ela foi expulsa do DPP no poder. No entanto, ela manteve-se Vice-Presidente do país. A Constituição prevê que o Vice-Presidente assume a presidência no caso o presidente morrer ou ficar incapacitado.

Em 7 de Abril, o gabinete de Mutharika tentou uma acção judicial para impedir Banda de se tornar presidente. Por sua vez, ela pediu o apoio do comandante do Exército, general Henry Odillo; ele concordou colocando tropas em torno de sua casa. Banda foi posteriormente empossada como Presidente.

O Malawi tem um sistema jurídico misto de direito comum Inglês e de direito consuetudinário.

O Malawi tem uma Constituição que data de 18 de Maio de 1994, com disposições que preveem que todas as pessoas detidas tem o direito a condições compatíveis com a dignidade humana, enquanto as pessoas presas têm o direito de ser libertadas da prisão, a menos que os interesses da justiça exigir o contrário.

Nenhum elenco detalhado das legislações do Malawi está disponível online.

A ACJR trabalhou no Malawi há vários anos, em parceria com uma série de organizações paralegais que trabalham com o Ministério da Justiça do Malawi, o Serviço Penitenciário do Malawi ea Polícia do Malawi.

Malawi launches new criminal justice case flow system
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 31, 2015

Mobile training unit members were trained in the last week of July 2015 on the new registers, case folders and court diary, designed to ensure pre-trial detainees do not get "lost" and that time limits in the criminal justice system are met.

Time Limits Poster
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 03, 2014

This poster explains the various time limits which apply to arrest and detention in criminal procedure in Malawi.

Release at Court Poster
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 03, 2014

This poster explains how an arrested person can be released at court in Malawi criminal procedure.

Malawi works toward implementing custody time limits
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 30, 2013

Malawi's Constitution and amended Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code provide for time limits applicable to various stages of the criminal justice process, after which an accused person is no longer lawfully detained.

No Justice for the Poor
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 09, 2013

This is a Preliminary Study of the Law and Practice Relating to Arrests for Nuisance-Related Offences in Blantyre, Malawi, by the Southern African Litigation Centre and the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA), funded by the Open Society Foundation for Southern Africa and the United Nations Democracy Fund.

SALC and CHREAA launch study on nuisance-related arrests
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 09, 2013

The Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) and Malawi's Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) launched a report at the Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe on their study of the law and practice relating to arrests for nuisance-related offences in Blantyre, Malawi. Senior judges and magistrates were in attendance at the launch, and Justice Edward Twea gave the keynote address.

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Malawi 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 21, 2013

"Defendants are presumed innocent and have the right to a public trial but not to a trial by jury. The Ministry of Justice continued its indefinite suspension of jury trials in murder cases, since murder suspects sometimes were incarcerated for years awaiting trial by jury. Juries were used in other types of cases. Child Justice Courts in Blantyre, Mzuzu, and Zomba handled cases of child offenders. The law provides for an accused to be informed of charges by a court within 48 hours. Defendants have the right to be present at their trial, are entitled to an attorney, and, if indigent, to have an attorney provided at state expense. Such assistance generally was limited to homicide cases. Defendants have the right to present and challenge evidence and witnesses and have access to government-held evidence relevant to their cases. By law, they are not compelled to testify or confess guilt. The law extends the above rights to all persons. All persons have the right of appeal; however, appeals often were delayed for years and sometimes never addressed by the higher court."

Rule of Law in Malawi: The Road to Recovery
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 31, 2012

Report of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

New Malawi President fires Police Chief
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 10, 2012

Human rights groups welcomed the decision by Joyce Banda, who succeeded Bingu wa Mutharika on Saturday 7 March after his death from a heart attack.

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 06, 2012

The mission of CHRR is to "contribute toward the protection, promotion and consolidation of good governance by empowering rural and urban communities in Malawi to be aware of and exercise their rights through research advocacy and networking in order to realise human development."

Paralegal Advisory Service Institute
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 06, 2012

PASI started in Malawi in May 2000 as a partnership of Penal Reform International (PRI) with four Malawian NGOs, to provide legal assistance to people awaiting trial in prison and defend their legal and constitutional rights.

Malawi Human Rights Commissioner Arrested, Police Crackdown
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 20, 2012

John Kapito, the Chairperson of the Malawi Human Rights Commission, was detained on Friday 16 March by eight policemen who accused him of possessing guns, holding seditious meetings and printing seditious T-shirts, which insulted President Bingu wa Mutharika. On Sunday security forces prevented people from attending an opposition meeting, leading to violence.

Malawi human rights lawyer Kasambara detained
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 21, 2012

Ralph Kasambara, former Attorney-General and lawyer who has brought many of the most recent important human rights or rule of law cases in Malawi to court, has been detained in prison after defending himself from petrol bombers.

Paul v Attorney General [2011] MWHC 10
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 25, 2011

"This matter is about the constitutionality of the applicant's detention whilst awaiting to he tried. Indeed what I am being asked to consider in this case is whether there was a breach of the reasonable time requirement as stipulated in Section 42(2)(f)(i) of the Constitution of Malawi. In this regard, I believe that the test that has to be adopted would be one that was laid down in. Attorney-General's Reference (No 1 of 1990)[1992] QJ3 630, which is that (in the absence of malpractice or misbehaviour by the prosecutor) the attention of the court is directed to the single issue whether, because of the delay which has occurred, a fair trial of the accused or defendant will or may be prejudiced."

Mphembedzu v The Republic, Bail Case No.70 of 2011, High Court of Malawi
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 13, 2011

Chimwemwe Mphembedzu at 15 was arrested on suspicion of homicide. He was remanded in prison for four years when he contracted a life-threatening illness. His application for bail, some four years after arrest, succeeded, and was partly based on custody time limits provided for in section 161F of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code.

Child Care, Protection and Justice Act
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 29, 2010

An Act to consolidate the law relating to children by making provision for child care and protection and for child justice; and for matters of social development of the child and for connected matters

Masangano v Attorney General & Others [2009] MWHC 31
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 11, 2009

"The Applicants’ affidavits show that he is a convicted prisoner serving a 12 year prison term effective 2006. He was first at Chichiri Prison but presently he is at Domasi Prison. He avers that ever since his imprisonment, he and his fellow prisoners have been subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment which is an infringement of his rights which he believes to be non-derogable as per Section 44 of the Constitution."

Access to Justice for the Poor of Malawi? An appraisal of the access to justice provided to the poor of Malawi by the lower subordinate courts and the customary justice forums
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 23, 2004

This report by Wilfried Schärf, Chikosa Banda, Ricky Röntsch, Desmond Kaunda, and Rosemary Shapiro sought to inform Malawi Law Commission deliberations. "In rural areas the study found that customary justice forums handle some of the criminal cases as well as the vast majority of civil disputes occurring throughout the country. Proceedings are guided by locally-based customary rules. This despite the fact that since 1995 chiefs and traditional authorities have been stripped of their formal adjudicative powers by their exclusion from any formal judicial duties."

Constitution of the Republic of Malawi (as amended to 1998)
Author: Jean
Published: May 18, 1994

The people of Malawi, recognizing the sanctity of human life and the unity of all mankind; guided by their private consciences and collective wisdom; seeking to guarantee the welfare and development of all the people of Malawi, national harmony and peaceful international relations; desirous of creating a constitutional order in the Republic of Malawi based on the need for an open, democratic and accountable government: HEREBY adopt the following as the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi:

© 2016 Dullah Omar Institute
CMS Website by Juizi