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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction to hear on proposed bills, State argues

General News The Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction to hear on proposed bills,...

The state says the Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction to hear a petition on allegations of the contravention of the Republican Constitution on proposed laws or bills.

The Attorney General Chamber has therefore asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss the petition by the Law Association of Zambia to halt parliamentary proceedings on the 2019 Constitutional Amendment Bill.

The Attorney General Chamber has submitted that article 128 sub-article three of the constitution only empowers the Constitutional Court to hear petitions on allegations that an Act of Parliament or Statutory instrument violates the Republican Constitution.

This is according to Skeleton Arguments filed in the Constitutional Court.

The Skeleton Arguments are in response to the Petition filed by the Law Association of Zambia -LAZ where the Legal Body has also challenged Speaker of National Assembly Patrick Matibini to halt parliamentary proceedings on the 2019 Constitutional Amendment ill.

LAZ is being represented by Simeza and Sangwa Associates.

However, the Attorney General’s Chamber has also submitted that LAZ has failed to demonstrate how the 2019 Constitutional Amendment Bill violates the Republican Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General ‘s Chamber has also submitted that President Edgar Lungu was within his Constitutional Mandate to initiate the 2019 Constitutional Amendment Bill.

The Attorney General’s Chamber has further observed that Attorney General Likando Kaluka, as a Chief Government Legal Advisor, has also constitutional mandate to sign Constitutional Bill for presentation to parliament.

LAZ filed the petition in the Constitutional Court to halt parliamentary proceedings on the 2019 Constitutional Amendment Bill.


  1. The ConCourt and Judiciary in Zambia is fully under the control of the Executive.
    Expect a PF friendly interpretation of the law just like ECL’s eligibility to stand in 2021.

    • In other Countries Parliaments have Parliamentary Legal Committees (PLC) whose Role is to vet all Bills Tabled in Parliament and ensure that the Bills are Legal and Constitutional in terms of that Country’s Constitution. In Zambia which Parliamentary Committee undertakes this Role?

    • Yes the court may not have jurisdiction to hear on proposed bills, but it can hear on whether due process was followed legally

    • LAZ is the dullest operative in this issue. One wonders where their sanity lay.
      If LAZ was that effective we would never have had lacunas in the Constitution.

  2. The AG’ s argument that the Concourt doesn’t look at the Legality and Constitutionlaity of a Bill is flawed and questionable. If Concourt can’t do this then who does? In other Countries b4 a Bill is Tabled for Debate on the Floor of Parliament it is referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee(PLC). PLC is manned by MPs who are Lawyers. The Role of PLC is to comment on the Legality and Constitutionality of a Bill. If a Bill receives an adverse Report from PLC then it has to be amended b4 it’s Tabled for Debate and Voting. In the Zambian Parliament who does the work of PLC? There is a missing link here. The legal vetting of a Bill should be assigned to PLC instead of leaving Speaker Matibini to use his discretion on whether the Bill is consistent with the Supreme Constitution.

    • @Chanda, I think you are arguing something totally different from what the issues are in this case. Yes, a PLC can be set up if a particular Legislative Body/Parliament thinks that such a committee is necessary and material to it’s robust functioning as an Elected Body. But this is not mandatory. One country’s Parliament can decide to have such a committee and the next can decide the “Environmental” Committee is more important than the PLC. That’s up to each Parliament to decide. It is NOT the role of the Court, any Court, to tell or dictate to Parliament the rules and Procedures they ought to follow.

      The only time Courts come into play is when a Bill finally becomes an ACT OF PARLIAMENT (in other words, LAW) and someone brings a law suit against that particular Law (NOT Bill)…

    • Continue….

      that Courts can have a say about it. And that is the main reason why certain Parliaments elect to have a PLC to exam Bills before enacted into Law so that they don’t get strake down by the Courts later on if found to be out of sink with the Constitution. But what LAZ and people like HH are doing is asking the Court to be, in effect, a quasi PLC. Which is WRONG!

  3. If Concourt can’t hear proposed Bills and Laws then who does? Doesn’t Parliament have a Legal Committee to vet the Legality and Constitutionality proposed Bills and Laws? The Speaker is either confused or has Double Standards in handling Bills b4 the House. Why then did the Speaker suspend the Proposed Lungu Impeachment Bill? Speaker Matibini has shown that he is biased and partisan in processing Bills in Parliament. The Speaker should not be allowed to use his Personal Discretion but follow Parliamentary and Constitutional Procedures in Law Making in Parliament.

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