Evolution of Judiciary since 1964
Published On November 13, 2014 » 2844 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Features
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. Silungwe

. Silungwe

BEFORE and at independence, there were few Zambian lawyers because the legal profession was a closed shop open only to expatriates mainly from the United Kingdom (UK) and the Republic of Ireland.
This was, largely, because indigenous Zambians were not allowed to specialise by the colonial administration. Consequently, a young Zambian graduate had no hope to qualify as a medical practitioner, a legal practitioner, an architect, a land surveyor, a civil engineer and so on.
The only qualified lawyers then were FitzPatrick Chuula SC, Daniel Lisulo SC, Mainza Chona, SC and Edward J. Shamwana SC, now all deceased.
The rest, according to former minister of Justice State Counsel Mr Sebastian Zulu, were late Mr Justice G.B. Muwo who later became the first Zambian High Court Judge in 1969, late Andrew Kasonde, Africa Bruce Munyama and C. F. Kamalondo (former Lusaka City Council Town Clerk).
Mr Zulu, one of the first Zambians to have been called to the Bar by the Society of Grey’s Inn in 1966, has compiled a historical record of the Judiciary of Zambia since the country gained independence in 1964.
He says that at Independence, there were no Zambian Judges or magistrates, so the Colonial District Commissioners or District officers performed the functions of a magistrate.
Although there was an African government in 1962 leading up to independence on October 24 1964, it was realized that independent Northern Rhodesia would require indigenous judges and magistrates.
The colonial administration decided in 1963 that it was necessary that some Zambians who were working in the Government should be given an opportunity to undergo training in England to become barristers.
“A few individuals in the lower ranks of administration were requested to accept such training and I remember seven of did so,” he says.
These included former Chief Justice Annel M. Silungwe, the late Deputy Chief Justice Bonaventure K Bweupe, retired Supreme Court Judge Frederick M. Chomba, SC and himself Mr Zulu, SC.
He explains that they had to pass a preliminary examination set by the Council of Legal Education in London before they could be admitted to join one of the Honourable of Societies of Grey’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple and Inner Temple.
“At that time, there was no University of Zambia (UNZA) so we were being taught at the Supreme Court building by a Mr Barrington-Jones. The present High Court building was non-existent,” he recalls.
However, only five of them qualified to go to England in December, 1963 and four of them became Barristers at law. These were Justices Silungwe, Bweupe and Chomba, SC, and Mr Zulu SC.
Mr Zulu explains that very few Zambians would train to become lawyers, under this arrangement, because it was a very expensive exercise.
Subsequently, in 1973 Parliament passed the Legal Practitioners Act, Cap 30 under which a person could qualify to be enrolled as a Legal Practitioner by the Chief Justice pursuant to Sections 11 and 12 of the Act.
Under the new Act, a law student was required to obtain an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) Degree at UNZA after a four-year study and thereafter undergo a Post Graduate course set by the Council of Legal Education. On passing the required bar examination, the person may be enrolled as an Advocate of the High Court.
As a result, there are now hundreds of lawyers, some of whom have become magistrates and Judges.
The Zambian Judiciary
As indicated earlier, there were no Zambian High Court judges or Judge of Appeal, at independence in 1964.
The following information, based on Mr Zulu’s research using the Zambian Law Reports, is an illustration of how the Judiciary (i.e. the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the High Court) has developed and grown since independence.
1963-1964
Chief Justice – Sir Diarmaid Conroy
Judge of Appeal – Mr. Justice J. R. Blagden
Seven Puisne Judges, all expatriates
1965
Same as above
1966
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice J. R. Blagden
Judge of Appeal – Mr. Justice B. A. Doyle
Seven Puisne Judges, all expatriates
1967
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice J. R. Blagden
Judge of Appeal – Mr. Justice B. A. Doyle
Five Puisne Judges, all expatriates.
1968
Chief Justice- Mr. Justice J. R. Blagden
Judge of Appeal – Mr. Justice B. A. Doyle
Six Puisne Judges, all expatriates
1969
Chief Justice- Mr. Justice J. R. Blagden and briefly Mr. Justice James J. Skinner
Judge of Appeal – Mr. Justice B. A. Doyle
Eight Puisne Judges including the first Zambian, Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo
1970
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B.A. Doyle,
Judge of Appeal – Mr. Justice T. Pickett
Four Puisne Judges including one Zambian, Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo
1971
Chief Justice- Mr. Justice B. A. Doyle
Six Puisne Judges including three indigenous Zambians: Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo, Mr. Justice F. M Chomba and Acting Justice A. M. Silungwe.
1972
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. A. Doyle
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice L. Baron
Supreme Court Judges – Mr. Justice B. T Gardner and Mr. Justice J. J Hughes (both expatriates)
Five Puisne Judges including two Zambians: Mr. Justice G. B Muwo, and Mr. Justice F.M Chomba and Ghanaian, Mr. Justice W. S. Bruce-Lyle
1973
Same as above
1974
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B.A Doyle
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice L. Baron
Supreme Court Judges – Mr. Justice B. T Gardner and Mr. Justice J.J Hughes (both expatriates).
Eight Puisne Judges including four Zambians, Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo, Mr. Justice B. A. Bweupe, Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe and Mr. Justice Mr. F.M Chomba, and Ghanaian Mr. Justice W. S. Bruce-Lyle.
1975
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. A. Doyle until May 30 when Mr. Justice A.M Silungwe took over
Deputy Chief Justice- Mr. Justice L.S. Baron
Six Puisne Judges including two Zambians, Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo and Mr. Justice B. A. Bweupe
1976
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A.M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice L. S. Baron
Supreme Court Judges – Mr. Justice B. T. Gardner, Mr. Justice J. J. Hughes who retired in May and Mr. Justice W. S Bruce-Lyle (all expatriates)
Five Puisne Judges: Mr. Justice G. B Muwo, Mr. Justice B. A. Bweupe, Mr. Justice B.P. Cullinan, Mr. Justice M.M. Moodley and Mr. Justice R.K. Care
1977
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A.M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice L. S. Baron
Supreme Court Judges – Mr. Justice F.M. Choomba, Mr. Justice B.T. Gardner, and Mr. Justice W.S. Bruce Lyle
Five Puisne Judges- Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo, Mr. Justice B. P. Cullinan, Mr. Justice J. A. Hadden, Mr. Justice V.V. Desai and Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
1978
The Chief Justice – Mr. Justice Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice Leo S Baron
Supreme Court Judges – Mr. Justice B.T. Gardner, Mr. Justice F.M. Chomba and Mr. Justice W. S. Bruce Lyle.
Six Puisne Judges – Mr. Justice G.B. Muwo, Mr. Justice B.A. Bweupe, Mr. Justice B. P. Cullinan, Mr. Justice M. M. Moodley, Mr. Justice J. A. Hadden and Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
1979
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. T. Gardner
Supreme Court Judge – including Mr. Justice R.M. Kapembwa
Eight Puisne Judge – including Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo, Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe, Mr. Justice M. S. Chaila, Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala, and Mr. Justice D. K. Chirwa
1980
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. T. Gardner
Supreme Court Judges – Mr Justice R .M. Kapembwa, Mr. Justice W. S. Bruce Lyle and Mr. Justice B. P. Cullinan (Acting)
Nine Puisne Judges – including Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo, Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe, Mr. Justice M. S. Chaila, Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala, Mr. Justice D. K. Chirwa, Mr. Justice M. M. Moodley, Mr. Justice Lt Col W. Mainga, Mr. Justice J.N. Kakad and Mr. Justice A. Sivanandan.
1981
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. T. Gardner
Supreme Court Judges – three Judges including Mr. Justice R. M. Kapembwa, a Zambian
1982
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. S. W. Ngulube
Supreme Court Judges – including Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo and Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe (Acting)
Eight Puisne Judges – including five Zambians Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala, Mr. Justice D. K. Chirwa, Mr. Justice M. S Chaila, Mr. Justice Lt Col W. Mainga and Madam Justice Florence N. Mumba, the first female Judge. She is the first Zambian judge to be appointed as a Judge of the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
1983
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A.M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Supreme Court Judges – Mr. Justice B. T. Gardner, Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo and Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe (Acting)
Nine Puisne Judges – Two were expatriates
High Court Commissioners – Two Zambians
1984
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube.
Nine Puisne Judges – Seven Zambian Judges
High Court Commissioners- Four Zambians
1985
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S.W Ngulube
Eighteen Puisne Judges – All Zambians
1986
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Five Supreme Court Judges – three Zambians namely, Mr. Justice G. B. Muwo, Mr. Justice F. M. Chomba, and Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
Twelve Puisne Judges – Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe, Mr. Justice D. K Chirwa, Mr. Justice M. S. Chaila, Mr. Justice Lt. Col W Mainga, Madam Justice F. N. Mumba, Lady Justice L. P. Chibesakunda, Mr. Justice A. R. Lawrence, Mr. Justice D. W. Lewanika, Mr. Justice W. M. Muzyamba, Mr. Justice J.A. Simuziya, Mr. Justice C. M. Musumali and Mr. Justice K. A. Chishala.
Six High Court Commissioners – E. J. Chisengalumbwe, N. N Kabamba, V.H Chileshe, T. A. Kabalata, I. M. Mambilima and J.M. Phiri.
1987
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Five Supreme Court Judges
Twelve Puisne Judges – all Zambians
Four High Court Commissioners – all Zambians
1988/1989
The Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Five Supreme Court Judges
Nineteen Puisne Judges
One High Court Commissioner
1990/1992
The Chief Justice – Mr. Justice A. M. Silungwe
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Five Supreme Court Judges
Twenty-one Puisne Judges
Three High Court Commissioners including Madam Justice F. Lengalenga
1993
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe
Five Supreme Court Judges
Twenty-one Puisne Judges
Three High Court Commissioners
1994
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe
Five Supreme Court Judges
Twenty- one High Puisne Judges
Two High Court Commissioners
1995/1997
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe
Five Supreme Court Judges
Eighteen Puisne Judges
Two High Court Commissioners
1998
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe
Six Supreme Court Judges – all Zambians
Twenty-five Puisne Judges all Zambians
1999
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice B. K. Bweupe
Six Supreme Court judges
25 Puisne Judges all Zambians
2000
Same as above
2001
Same as above but twenty-four Puisne Judges
2002
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. M. S. W. Ngulube
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice D. M. Lewanika
Seven Supreme Court Judges
Twenty-two High Court Judges.
2003
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice D. M. Lewanika
Seven Supreme Court Judges
Twenty-one High Court Judges
2004
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice D. M. Lewanika
Six Supreme Court judges
Twenty-three High Court Judges
2005
Same as in 2004 above
2006
Same as in 2005 above
2007
Same as in 2006 except but twenty-one (21) High Court Judges
2008
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
Deputy Chief Justice – Mrs Justice I. Mambilima (first female DCJ)
Six Supreme Court Judges
Twenty-three High Court Judges
2009
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
Deputy Chief Justice – Mrs Justice I. Mambilima
Six Supreme Court Judges
34 High Court Judges
2010
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
Deputy Chief Justice – Mrs Justice I. Mambilima
Eight Supreme Court Judges
34 High Court Judges
2011
Chief Justice – Mr. Justice E. L. Sakala
Deputy Chief Justice – Mrs Justice I. Mambilima
11 Supreme Court Judges
30 High Court Judges
2012
Acting Chief Justice – Lady Justice L. P. Chibesakunda (first female CJ)
Acting Deputy Chief Justice – Lady Justice F. N Mumba
Seven Supreme Court Judges and four Acting
37 Puisne Judges
2013
Acting Chief Justice – Lady Justice L. P. Chibesakunda
Acting Deputy Chief Justice – Lady Justice F. N Mumba
Seven Supreme Court Judges and four acting 37 Puisne Judges
2014 (As at October, 24 2014)
Acting Chief Justice – Lady Justice L. P. Chibesakunda (first female CJ)
Acting Deputy Chief Justice – Mr. Justice M. S. Mwanamwambwa
10 Supreme Court Judges and one acting
40 Puisne Judges-JUDICIARY NEWSLETTER

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