FROM : THE HOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
TO : JUSTICES OF APPEAL
: JUDGES OF THE HIGH COURT
: THE HONOURABLE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
: THE HONOURABLE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
: THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
: THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
: THE ANTI CORRUPTION BUREAU
: THE LAW COMMISSION
: THE OMBUDSMAN
: THE MALAWI LAW SOCIETY
: ALL LEGAL HOUSES
: THE REGISTRAR, SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL
: THE REGISTRAR, HIGH COURT OF MALAWI
DATE : 6TH FEBRUARY 2018
SUBJECT : PRACTICE DIRECTION NO. 1 OF 2018
I hereby bring to your attention and forward to you the attached Practice Direction No. 1 of 2018 regarding the constitution of the Supreme Court of Appeal for the conduct and disposal of appeals before the Court effective immediately.
Andrew K. C. Nyirenda, S.C.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL
PRACTICE DIRECTION NO. 1 OF 2018
CONSTITUTION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL ON THE CONDUCT OF DISPOSAL OF APPEALS
WHEREAS section 105 (2) of the Constitution provides that when the Supreme Court of Appeal is determining any matter, other than an interlocutory matter, it shall be composed of an uneven number of Justices of Appeal not being less than Three; and
WHILE the current composition of the Supreme Court of Appeal is Nine Justices of Appeal;
IT IS HEREBY NOTIFIED and DIRECTED for the general information and guidance to all Legal Practitioners and the public that with effect from the date of this Practice Direction, the constitution of the Supreme Court of Appeal on the conduct and disposal of appeals shall be as follows:-
1. Constitution of the Supreme Court of Appeal:
a) WHEN the Supreme Court of Appeal is determining any matter, other than an interlocutory matter, it shall be constituted by the Chief Justice presiding and Eight other Justices of Appeal.
b) PROVIDED that in the event where for any reason it is not possible or practicable to secure the presence of Nine Justices of Appeal, it shall be constituted by the Chief Justice presiding or other member as may, by prior practice, be designated and Six other Justices of Appeal.
2. Filing of appellate briefs, court records, responses and skeletal arguments:
All rules of practice in force relating to the filing of appellate briefs, grounds of appeal, court records, responses and replies and skeletal arguments, as the case may be, shall remain in force.
3. Filing of case authorities to be relied on and other relevant authorities:
Each appellant and respondent before the Supreme Court of Appeal shall, in addition to any document, appellate briefs and skeletal arguments required under the appropriate rules, file copies in electronic format, of all case authorities and any other relevant authorities they intend to rely on at the oral hearing of the appeal, with the appropriate passages properly highlighted and marked.
4. Allocation of time for oral argument:
a) Each appellant and respondent shall be allocated One Hour to argue their appeal or reply, inclusive of any and all questions that the Justices of Appeal may put to them for clarification or otherwise.
b) It shall be in the discretion of the appellant or respondent, whoever shall be given the right of audience to argue first, to reserve part of their allocated One Hour of rebuttal.
c) No further extension of time shall be allowed any appellant or respondent other than the equal One Hour to each of them.
d) Where the Court grants leave to any other party in addition to the appellant or the respondent to be heard in the appeal, it shall be in the discretion of the Court to allocate time within which such party is to present their oral arguments as the case may require.
This Practice Direction supersedes any Practice Direction previously issued that relates to the same subject matter as covered herein to the extent that any such Practice Direction conflicts or be at variance with this Practice Direction.