LAZ loses Public Order Act petition

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lusaka_high_court

THE Lusaka High Court has dismissed a petition in which the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) asked the court to determine the constitutionality of the Public Order Act.

High Court judge Evans Hamaundu said in a judgement delivered in Lusaka yesterday that the petition lacked merit and was wrongly taken to court.

This is a case in which LAZ is challenging the constitutionality of the Public Order Act, alleging that it is discriminatory to opposition political parties.

The association stated in its petition that Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Public Order Act are in contravention of Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution.

LAZ was prompted to petition the High Court following the police’s alleged denial to allow the United Party for National Development to hold public rallies despite notifying the police.

“In my view, I do not find the Public Order Act to be in contravention of Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution. Therefore, the petition fails and since the matter was in public interest, I order that each party bears its own costs,” Justice Hamaundu said.

He said LAZ was supposed to commence the legal actions not as a petition or judicial review but as an appeal.

Mr Justice Hamaundu said LAZ, as an aggrieved party, should have taken the matter to court as a grievance and not as a petition.

He said the association had the option of appealing to the Minister of Home Affairs if it was aggrieved with the way the police were applying the Public Order Act.

Mr Justice Hamaundu said the matter was supposed to be taken to court as an appeal if the association or the aggrieved party was not happy with the Minister of Home Affairs’ decision.

He said when such a matter is taken to court as a grievance, it gives the court enough jurisdiction to determine the case because the court will be part of the grievance.

In its petition, LAZ stated that certain provisions of the Public Order Act are unconstitutional as they are contrary to the provisions of Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution.

The association stated further that the Public Order Act does not give the full measure of enjoyment of the freedom of association, assembly and speech.

14 COMMENTS

  1. +9
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    Lawyers always work under client instructions, now they are becoming clients to themselves. No wonder they are failing and this shows confusion in LAZ. Already they are suing AG and CJ whilst other LAZ members are joining the state to defend AG and CJ it’s like they cant agree even as lawyers they need to be guided by the courts on everything whilst wasting time and money (Judges are overwhelmed by cases). LAZ should learn to come out with one voice after their special general meetings otherwise dissolve the current executive.

  2. +1
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    Now this is serious, how can LAZ lose public order act petition butch of lawyers who obviously should strongly challenge a single judge or lawyer presiding over these issue in court of law? If LAZ lose petition, do you expect UPND to win over this issue of POA? Of course not. lawyers in Zambia kaya.

  3. +7
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    Thats what happens when an organization loses its focus. LAZ has become an opposition political organization…… or else how do you explain their lack of understanding of the law they are supposed to help ordinary citizen grasp?
    LAZ is supposed to be an advisory body where every body, including government, should be free to run to for legal opinions, but what do we see, LAZ takes the state to court, LAZ takes on the CJ…… what? LAZ is like a church where different people from diverse political parties meet and we don’t expect the church to take partisan stances on important national issues.
    Today we know the LAZ is in court over the position of CJ, the same organization through its members is defending her in the courts…whats happening?

    • +3
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      My senior learned colleagues, what due diligence did the senior counsels take before commencing action? This is an embarrassment to our esteemed mother body, LAZ. I request State Counsel and Senior Lawyers such as ba Mutale, Nkonde, Silwamba, etc to step in and offer guidance. Dont think the failure of LAZ wont affect all of us. The executive just lead us but what they do affects our reputation and standing in the eyes of our fellow citizens. Lord of mercy…….!!

  4. +1
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    So it means they have already even lost the case against the acting chief justice. Even from a communal toilet as in Wusakile and Chamboli, their grievance applies to an incumbent and appointed Chief Justice, not acting. What would LAZ its president was suddenly appointed acting chief justice. LAZ failed to challenge the appointmnet of Mutembo Nachito even with the DBZ issue hanging over him, AG Mumba Malila and SG Musa Mwenya. Now you have 18 lawyers prepared to defend the Acting Chief Justice pro bono. Stay out of politics fellas because you open yourself to scrutiny too. Especially for those with so many concubines and under hand companies defending jerabos on the Coperbelt.

  5. +1
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    Ladies and gentlemen, take heart. LAZ has not lost on the main issue or argument. The judge in question focused on the procedure issues and not the substantive arguments. so LAZ can still pursue this matter as guided by the court. We call this a technicality.

    • +2
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      You mean the entire lot of these expensive lawyers and their state counsels failed to follow the right procedure.Is this not the case led by State Counsel and former Attorney General[now called Attomba General on account of having grabbed someone’s wife]Shonga

    • vote

      Looks like the LAZ are becoming like one dull individual who has never won a case. How surely can LAZ fail to do what the compromised Judge advised them? Dull Lawyers indeed, can we now allow those who can afford to be represented by expatriate layers,

  6. +1
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    I guess trying to get attention…the act has been there all along why challenge it now… leaves a lot to mind about our proud LAZ stance taken don’t embarrass us again

  7. vote

    i thot the jugde is also a member of LAZ, they should have done their ground work properly before taking the matter to court. they shud have consulted among themselves before any action. surely u guys are very divided. us engineers speak one word, for example ‘ Great Eat road was poorly designed, that was the cheapest option of designs.’ we all speak that. now u lawyers, you can agree on simple matters, nowonder Scott says some of you are trained to be arrogant. lol
    But we still need you

  8. vote

    i thot the jugde is also a member of LAZ, they should have done their ground work properly before taking the matter to court. they shud have consulted among themselves before any action. surely u guys are very divided. us engineers speak one word, for example ‘ Great Eat road was poorly designed, that was the cheapest option of designs.’ we all speak that. now u lawyers, you cannot agree on simple matters, nowonder Scott says some of you are trained to be arrogant. lol
    But we still need you

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