PRACTICE DIRECTION NO. 1 OF 2010

PRACTICE DIRECTION NO. 1 OF 2010

(Skeleton Arguments in the Supreme Court of Appeal)

            IT IS HEREBY NOTIFIED for general information and guidance to all legal practitioners that with effect from the date of this Practice Direction, parties in any appeal or other matter in the Supreme Court of Appeal be required to present skeleton arguments in accordance to this Practice Direction-

1.     Filing of skeleton arguments

When presenting skeleton arguments in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal-

(a)  In all substantive appeals-

(i)                the appellant shall file with the Court skeleton arguments within fourteen (14) days after filing the appeal in this court and shall during the same period serve a copy of the skeleton arguments on the respondent;

(ii)              the respondent shall file his skeleton arguments with the Court within fourteen (14) days after the date the appellants skeleton arguments were served on him and shall at the same time serve a copy of the skeleton arguments on the appellant;

(iii)            if the appellant fails to comply with subparagraph (a) (i) of this paragraph, the appeal shall not be set down for hearing and may at the courts instance be dismissed;

(b) with regard to interim orders and related matters-

(i)                the applicant shall file skeleton arguments with the Court within seven (7) days from the date of filing the application and, except in the case of ex-parte applications, shall during the same period serve a copy of the skeleton arguments on the respondent;

(ii)              the respondent shall file his skeleton arguments with the Court within seven (7) days after being served with the applicants skeleton arguments and shall at the same time serve a copy of his skeleton arguments on the applicant;

(iii)            If the applicant fails to comply with subparagraph (b) (i) of this paragraph, the application shall not be set down for hearing and may at the courts instance be dismissed.

2.     Content of skeleton arguments

Skeleton arguments shall briefly set out the facts of the matter and the legal arguments, including the name and citation of any case, which counsel intend to rely on in the appeal or application.

3.     Failure by the respondent to comply

If the respondent fails to comply with this Practice Direction the Court shall proceed to hear and determine the appeal of application, as the case may be, without hearing the respondent.

4.     Discretion of Court to wave or abridge prescribed periods

Upon a formal application by any party, the Court may, in its discretion, waive or abridge the periods prescribed under paragraph 1 of this Practice Direction.

5.     Time Allowed the Hearing of the Appeal or Application

(a)  During the hearing of the appeal Counsel for the appellant and the respondent shall each be allowed time not exceeding one hour to address the court and present oral arguments; thereafter counsel for the appellant shall be given 15 minutes within which to make his reply.

(b) In the case of an interim application counsel for the applicant and the respondent shall each be given time not exceeding thirty minutes to address the court and present their oral arguments; thereafter counsel for the applicant shall be given 15 minutes within which to make his reply.

             

                This Practice Direction supersedes the Practice Direction

(Arguments in The Supreme Court of Appeal) dated 2nd January, 1996

MADE this 25th day of March, 2010

L.G. MUNLO, SC

CHIEF JUSTICE

(FILE NUMBER: HC/CJ/180)

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