GOVERNMENT will soon take action on the low passing rate at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Law Education (ZIALE) and will not allow a situation were only 16 out of 360 students were being admitted to the bar, Justice Minister Given Lubinda has revealed.
Mr Lubinda said he has since challenged Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, who is ZIALE board chairman, to submit a report on the matter.
Mr Lubinda, who is Kabwata Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament, said the pass rate at ZIALE was unacceptable and Government would not allow it.
Speaking when he featured on a Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) programme dubbed “Government Forum”, Mr Lubinda said after receiving findings and recommendations from the board of directors of ZIALE, Government would take action.
“The Attorny General is the chair of the board, I challenge them to look at what is it that is causing this? And pretty soon they should be coming back with their findings,” Mr Lubinda said.
He said he would not close his eyes on the matter, adding that after receiving a report from the Attorney General he would engage other people to look into it and advise on the course of action to take to ensure that the pass rate was improved.
Mr Lubinda said 16 people only passing out of 360 was totally unacceptable.
“Yes, we do not want ZIALE to churn out lawyers who are less than qualified. We do not want quacks in the profession in Zambia because if you do have that then again you would be providing people poor quality legal services which is the same as denying them justice.
“However, I don’t think we can continue with that kind of low pass rate. There are certainly things that can be done – one of them has already been implemented. It is to expand the campus; there is a new campus that is being built for ZIALE to try and increase the learning space for students,” he said.
Mr Lubinda said he would give the ZIALE board some time to come up with their findings and recommendations and also borrow from the report of Parliament and find ways of ensuring that the record was better because there was need for many more qualified lawyers out on the market.
He said once there were many qualified lawyers on the market the cost of legal services would be expected to reduce.
Mr Lubinda, who also outlined new developments in the ministry, revealed that under the civil litigation department each advocate had about 400 pending cases to attend to.