13 October 2012

Zambia: Acting Chief Justice Issues Practice Direction for Advocates

ACTING Chief Justice, Lombe Chibesakunda has issued a Practice Direction for advocates which will see the banning of adjourning appeal cases sine die.

Ms Justice Chibesakundasaid the Practice Direction number 1 of 2012 which would come into effect soon would require any appeal or cross-appeal which was adjourned sine die to be restored within 60 days, failure to which such appeal would automatically stand dismissed.

She made the announcement yesterday at the admission to the bar of 20 legal practitioners at the Supreme Court attended by among others, Attorney General Mumba Malila.

She directed that appeal cases currently adjourned sine die should be restored within 60 days from the date the Practice Direction would come into effect.

"May I take this opportunity to announce to all the advocates, litigants and the general public that I have issued a Practice Direction No. 1 of 2012 that will come into effect soon.

The gist of the Practice Direction is that any appeal or cross appeal which is adjourned sine die need to be restored within 60 days, failure to which such appeal or cross-appeal shall automatically stand dismissed," Ms Justice Chibesakunda said.

She said the Supreme Court had over 100 records in its registry dating as far back as 2004 and yet remained dormant which situation caused distortion in the court's records as the files continue to be categorised as active.

She said all lawyers should have a date in mind whenever they were applying for adjournment of a case.

She also announced that the judiciary in its quest to improve its delivery of justice

would soon be recruiting over 40 research advocates who would be assisting judges in their chambers.

"This is a huge milestone in our quest to improve the time it takes to deliver judgments.

I therefore urge all the newly-admitted advocates to aspire for these positions," she said.

She urged the new advocates to not only have ability and strong determination but to have a character, integrity and discipline adding that they should rise to the demands of their noble profession.

Ms Justice Chibesakunda said the advocates had joined the system at a time when it was undergoing transformation and that the justice system had to undergo changes in order for it to offer the best to the citizens.

Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president James Banda welcomed the announcement of the Practice Direction and urged the new advocates to exercise maximum respect to the bench no matter the outcome of their cases.

Mr Banda urged the lawyers to be resourceful saying a good lawyer was one who knew where to find the law.

LAZ Legal Practitioner Committee Convener Mulilo Kabesha urged the newly-admitted legal practitioners to observe the rule of law and not to fear to represent clients' interests.

Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) Director Palani Mulonda said 210 candidates attempted the examination but only 20 candidates passed the examination.

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