Diploma in law holders from University of Malawi (Unima) and Mpemba Law School have petitioned the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee expressing their support for the amendment of the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act to allow them practice in subordinate courts.
According to the petition, the Diploma in Law holders do not understand why they are not allowed to defend cases while most police prosecutors who do not have Law qualifications are allowed to prosecute.
The group has since requested the Committee to facilitate the amendment of section 11 of the Legal Education and Practitioners Act (LEPA).
“We request that your Committee should facilitate the amendment of section 11 of the LEPA to allow the Diploma in Law holders from recognized institutions of higher learning have audience in the Subordinates Courts. This will assist the marginalised and less privileged people have legal representation,” reads the letter in part duly signed by 12 individuals.
Legal Affairs Committee chairperson Peter Dimba said the petition will be submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly and there are prospects that it will be read out in the forthcoming sitting of the House.
“This petition is actually similar to the proposal that the Legal Aid Bureau made before our Committee that we should amend the law especially section 11 of the LEPA.
“As a Committee, we will come up with a report and present to parliament this coming November sitting and obviously when parliament adopts the report then we will start processes of making sure that the law is amended,” said Dimba.
Most stakeholders that the Committee solicited view from are in support of the amendment except the Malawi Law Society (MLS) which is against the proposal.