The Industrial Relations Court (IRC) is established under Section 110 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi and the jurisdiction, composition and structure of this court is provided for in the Labour Relations Act, 1996 (Cap 54:01). The IRC has original jurisdiction over labour disputes and other issues relating to employment, but has no jurisdiction over any persons employed in the Malawi Prison Services, Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Defence Force. The IRC has three registries: The Principal Registry in Blantyre; Lilongwe Registry and Mzuzu Registry.
The IRC is a tripartite court and as such it has representatives of the most representative organisation or organisations of employers, such as Employers Association of Malawi (ECAM) and representatives of the most representative trade union or trade unions, such as the Malawi Congress of Trade of Unions (MCTU), who sit in court representing the employers and employees respectively. It currently has 20 panellists, 10 of which represent employers, while 10 represent employees.