Volume: Volume 24 - 2020
Article type: Refereed article
Author/s: Nkhata, Mwiza Jo
Constitutional adjudication in Malawi only became commonplace after the adoption of a new Constitution in 1994. Like many Anglophone countries, Malawi follows the decentralised model of constitutional adjudication. Under this arrangement, the High Court has unlimited original jurisdiction to hear any civil or criminal matters, including constitutional matters. The Courts Act, however, requires the High Court to sit with an enhanced quorum when it is seized of cases that substantively relate to, or concern the interpretation and application of the Constitution. It is when the High Court sits with a reconfigured quorum that it is popularly referred to as the “constitutional court” (the Court). This article analyses constitutional adjudication in Malawi by focusing on the operation of the Court. Specifically, it analyses the scope of the Court’s jurisdiction, the type of constitutional review that it conducts, the regulation of access to the Court, the forms of decisions and remedies that it grants, and the Court’s independence.
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