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MALAWI



 
Legal departments
 
1. Attorney Generalís Chambers

The Attorney General heads this department. The President appoints him for a term of five years which may be renewed for further terms of five years.  By virtue of section 98 (1) of the Constitution, the Attorney General is the principal legal adviser to the Government.  In terms of section 98 (1) of the Constitution, the office of Attorney General may either be held by a Cabinet Minister or by a public officer.  In practice, the person appointed as Minister of Justice doubles up as Attorney General.  In that case the office of the Attorney General becomes a political office.  The Attorney General is responsible for advising the Government on all legal matters and conducts civil litigation for and on behalf of the Government.  He may be removed from office by the President only on the grounds of incompetence, incapacity or being compromised in the performance of his duties to the extent that he is no longer able to give impartial legal advice.

 

2. Solicitor Generalís Chambers

The Solicitor General supervises and monitors  the conduct of civil litigation, the drafting of legislation and the negotiation of loan agreements and other legal instruments for and on behalf of the Government.  He is responsible for the operations of the Ministry in the performance of its legal functions and coordinates the various activities of the sections and departments of the Ministry. By virtue of section 50 of the General Interpretation Act, Chapter 1:01 of the Laws of Malawi, the Attorney General and Solicitor General are the Law Officers of the Government and any power conferred or duty imposed by any written law on the Attorney General may, unless a contrary intention appears, be exercised or performed by the Solicitor General if (a) the Attorney General is unable to act owing to illness or absence or (b) the Attorney General authorizes the Solicitor General to act in any particular matter or class of matters.  The Solicitor General is also an ex officio member of the Boards of various statutory bodies e.g., the Medical Council of Malawi, the Privatization Commission, the Nurses and Midwives Council, the Medicines, Pharmacies and Poisons Board, the National Council on Environment, etc.  In practice, the Solicitor General doubles up as the Secretary for Justice.  The office of the Solicitor General is a public office and, therefore, can only be held by a public officer.  The Solicitor General is appointed by the President.  His term of office is not limited.

Contact address:
Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice
Ministry of Justice Headquarters
Capital Hill
Private Bag 333
Lilongwe 3
Malawi

Telephone:

(265) 788 411

Facsimile:

(265) 788 332

E-mail:

sg-justice@sndp.org.mw

 

3. The Director of Public Prosecutions

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appointed by the President under section 99 of the Constitution.  The DPPís office is a public office and is responsible for all public prosecutions.  The Directorate is based at Ministry Headquarters in Lilongwe.  However, the State Advocate Chambers in Blantyre serve as the branch office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.  Plans are underway to open another branch in Mzuzu. By virtue of the Constitution, the DPP is subject only to the general or special direction of the Attorney General but otherwise acts independently of the directions and control of any other authority or person. The DPP may be removed from office for incompetence, incapacity, on attainment of the mandatory retirement age or for being partial in the performance of his or her duties.

Contact address: Lilongwe
The Director of Public Prosecutions
Ministry of Justice Headquarters
Capital Hill
Private Bag 333
Lilongwe 3
Malawi.

Telephone:

(265) 788 411

Facsimile:

(265) 788 332

E-mail:

dpp@sdnp.org.mw


Contact address: Blantyre
Chief State Advocate
Fatima Arcade
Haile Sellaisie Road
Private Bag 312
Chichiri,Blantyre 3
Malawi

Telephone:

(265) 620 966

Facsimile:

(265) 620 547

E-mail:

 

 

4. Drafting Section

This section is headed by the Chief Parliamentary Draftsman and is responsible for the drafting of principal and subsidiary legislation on behalf of the Government.  The Chief Parliamentary Draftsman is appointed by the President.  The section also assists in the negotiation  and drafting of loan agreements and other legal instruments on behalf of the Government.  The Drafting Section is based at Ministry of Justice Headquarters in Lilongwe.

Contact address:
Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice
Capital Hill
Private Bag 333
Lilongwe 3
Malawi
(mail may, however, be addressed for the attention of the Chief Parliamentary Draftsman)

Telephone:

(265) 788 411

Facsimile:

(265) 788 413

E-mail:

sg-justice@sdnp.org.mw or justice@sdnp.org.mw

 

5. Legal Aid Department

This department is headed by the Chief Legal Aid Advocate and is responsible for the provision of legal aid to eligible and deserving persons who cannot afford the cost of private legal representation.  However, depending on circumstances of each case, such persons  may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of legal aid. This is intended to meet administrative costs and in the majority of cases it is insufficient to meet the cost of those cases.  The department derives its powers and responsibilities from the Legal Aid Act, Chapter 4:01 of the Laws of Malawi, under which the Chief Legal Aid Advocate is appointed.  The department is based in Blantyre and has a branch office in Lilongwe.   Plans are underway to establish another branch in Mzuzu.  Many successful actions have been conducted by the Department in respect of personal injuries suffered mainly in road accidents by members of the public whose claims might otherwise have gone unsatisfied. The Department has also since 1994 successfully defended many persons accused of murder or manslaughter.

Contact address:
Chief Legal Aid Advocate
Adams Court
P.O. Box 569
Blantyre
Malawi

Telephone:

(265) 620 911

Facsimile:

(265) 622 301

E-mail:

 


Contact address:
Deputy Chief Legal Aid Advocate
Shire Building
P.O. Box 675
Lilongwe
Malawi

Telephone:

(265) 743 995

Facsimile:

(265) 740 765

E-mail:

 

 

6. Administrator General's Department

This department is headed by the Administrator General and is responsible for the administration of deceased estates and collection of estate duty.  The department derives its powers and responsibilities from the Administrator General Act, Chapter 10:01 of the Laws of Malawi, under which the Administrator General is appointed.  The department is based in Blantyre.  The Ministry is planning to carry out in the 2001/2002 financial year, a comprehensive review of the Department with a view to enhancing the administration of deceased estates and, in future, decentralizing some of its responsibilities to the local government assemblies in line with the Governmentís decentralization policy.  The review is a direct response to complaints by members of the public regarding the administration of deceased estates.  The Ministry has also requested the Law Commission to review the Wills and Inheritance Act with a view to improving the inheritance laws and, therefore, the administration of deceased estates. It is, therefore, expected that the review of the Ministry and the revision of the Wills and Inheritance Act will assist to streamline the Department and address effectively the concerns of the public.

Contact address:
Administrator General
Vanmali Building
Lower Sclatter Road
Private Bag 202
Blantyre
Malawi

Telephone:

(265) 620 732

Facsimile:

(265) 621 592

E-mail:

 

 

7. Registrar General department

This department is headed by the Registrar General and is responsible for the registration of companies, business names, births, and deaths, political parties, trusts, patents, industrial designs and trade marks, and the collection of stamp duties, etc.  A large number of applications for the registration of patents, industrial designs and trademarks are received from all over the world.  The department is also responsible for the officiation of marriages under the Marriage Act, Chapter 25:01 of the Laws of Malawi (i.e. marriages other than customary or asiatic marriages).  It works closely with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva and the African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO) in Harare.  The currrent Director General of ARIPO is Mr Mzondi Chirambo, the former Registrar General of Malawi.  The current Registrar General, Mr. Vincent Mzumara, is on study leave in Australia.  He is expected back in August 2001.  The department is based in Blantyre largely because of the location of various businesses there.  

Contact address:
Registrar General
Fatima Arcade
Haile Sellaisie Road
P.O. Box 100
Blantyre
Malawi

Telephone:

(265) 624 355

Facsimile:

(265) 621 686

E-mail:

 

Copyright © 2001 
Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affaires
Private Bag 333, Capital Hill
Lilongwe 3
MALAWI
Tel: (265) 788 411
Fax: (265) 788 332

justice@sdnp.org.mw