ECZ Chairperson Ireen Mambilima
ECZ Chairperson Ireen Mambilima

CHIEF Justice Ireen Mambilima says the judiciary should be given full independence because it is the third arm of Government.

Justice Mambilima said the judiciary needs both operational and financial independence to discharge its functions, not as a department, but an arm of Government

The Chief Justice was speaking at the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) annual fourth conference at Sun hotel in Livingstone under the theme “Zambia at 50 – Independence of the judiciary and challenges to the regulation of the legal profession.”

She said that operational and financial independence has continued to elude the judiciary.

“Up to now, the judiciary cannot even decide its own budget. The realistic budget that the judiciary presents to the executive is drastically reduced,” she said.

Justice Mambilima said the institution is given a ceiling within which to fit all its needs, and to compound their financial woes, not all of the approved funds are released.

“The scenario as to how the budget for the judiciary is settled, is exactly the same as for any Government department. What we have failed to realise in the last 50 year of independence is that, the judiciary is not [like] any Government department, it is an arm of Government,” she said.

Justice Mambilima said the judiciary needs power to draw its own budget and this should not be reduced.

“Ideally, it should in fact be a percentage of the total Government budget,” she said.

Justice Mambilima said the judiciary can only be as independent as the men and women who comprise the institution.

“It is expected that these men and women will not succumb to pressure from any quarter, political or otherwise, and that they will not inflict self-censorship on themselves in fear of the unknown,” she said.

She said there is need for those in authority to create a conducive atmosphere in which judges can freely discharge their functions.

LAZ president, George Chisanga said it has been long since the gathering of lawyers has been graced by a sitting substantive Chief Justice.

He said the conference would address issues that need urgent attention by LAZ to enable them raise standards of professionalism.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Somehow, I find it very easy to trust this woman. She makes sense and has the ability to bring integrity to the electoral process.

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  2. Why is the chief justice appointed by the president? When that should be done independently as well. I suggest the chief justice and any judicial office be appointed by LAZ in conjunction with a Judicial committee that are not funded by government and have no political ties. It should also include a select group of legal representatives from each province. Either way, good point Madam. Next time do not succumb to pressure to give the presidency to a Kaponya like Lungu. You now preside over the Zambia’s future as the final person that makes the decision of the presidency. We need a better Zambia. Enough is enough we have suffered too much.

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    • You started well but lost it towards the end. Anyway that’s expected of perennial UPND losers.

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  3. That is what i said some time back. I thank you Madam Chief Justice. Please dont even wait for long. Just appoint Mediators to deal with the back log of cases. Your Judges are the ones who create that. Look at the Local courts and Magistrate are very fast to conclude the cases. Supreme and High Courts are the problem. I wish you had powers to fire some of them. Hope your ideas will work. Cases that are more than 1year should be concluded. They just want files to be lost. Well am not happy with some the judges.

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  4. Spot on CJ. We all yearn for a fully independent judiciary. But the executive arm of Govt know what that means & so will never allow for it. The onus lies on us the people to demand for what will create a better society for ourselves.
    Parley which is a bit more independent let’s us down because most of the people we elect are dull & uneducated.

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  5. It seems no matter how hard one tries to manipulate the judiciary,this lady seems not to fall for it.the only one lady no mare mortal can compromise.what a strong lady this is.so courageous. How i wish the inspector general of police can one day stand to emulate this gallant woman. In her mind lies the chance & hope much needed by the millions of masses to forster a much long awaited change & overhaul to the judiciary.great appointment Mr.lungs but you missed it because this one,no man can manipulate! Trust me.

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  6. I must say I’m also impressed by what I’ve seen and heard from our Justice Mambilima.

    Chief Justice is really “big shoes” to fill but she has filled them well so far. We need more men and women of similar substance along her side to shape the judiciary in our country.

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  7. What she says is correct but independence does NOT mean to fight a democratically President simply because Judiciary has gone to bed with opposition. That is not independence but accomplice to usurp power of a country elected President.

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  8. What she says is correct but independence does NOT mean to fight a democratically ELECTED President simply because Judiciary has gone to bed with opposition. That is not independence but accomplice to usurp power of a country elected President.

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  9. She mustn’t only talk about it, but take action. That is what will bring about change. Take the bull by the horn, madam. The people you are talking about who slush your submissions are aware of what you are talking about, but they pretend to be st00pid. Use the law to bring sanity to this corrupt system of our. It is sickening to say the least.

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