Malawi

Magistrate stages obscene event as part of rape case; high court orders a retrial

A magistrate in Malawi, who presided over a sordid sexual scene in his office, has been taken to task by a high court judge. Judge Zione Ntaba ordered that the rape trial being heard by the magistrate, and of which the office scene had ostensibly formed part, should start again under a different presiding officer. The behaviour of the initial magistrate has also been reported to the judicial service commission.

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When the parent of a girl who alleged she had been raped by 22-year-old Yusuf Willy went to the high court in Malawi to complain about what had happened in the magistrate’s court trial, it prompted a high court review of events at the earlier hearing.

Judge Zione Ntaba examined the file on the matter, and what she found makes for alarming reading.

Claiming potential conflict, Malawi Law Society wants its members barred from joining specialist law bodies

Malawi’s legal community is braced for a major court battle between the Malawi Law Society (MLS) – it bills itself as ‘the voice of the legal profession in Malawi’ – and two other professional legal bodies, the Corporate Lawyers Association (CLA) and the Commercial Bar Association (CBA). This follows an attempt by the MLS to have the court prevent MLS members from joining the ‘objects and business’ of the CLA and the CBA.

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The Malawi Law Society has tried to persuade the high court to declare that members of the society are not legally allowed to participate in the ‘objects and business’ of the CLA and the CBA.

Circumcised without their parents’ consent: now two young boys win judgment for damages

Two young boys, circumcised without their parents’ knowledge or consent, and who later developed complications, have won their high court action against Population Services International (PSI) Malawi, and will now be entitled to damages. The two boys claimed for assault and battery as well as pain and suffering, and they want damages for ‘deformity’ and violation of their right to personal security as well as bodily integrity.

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There was no dispute that the two under-age boys involved in this case were circumcised by Population Services International (PSI). The legal question was whether there was consent for the procedure, since their parents were neither consulted nor had the faintest idea of what was going on.

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