Zambia - Judicial system



The judicial system is based on English common law and customary law. Common law is administered by several High Courts, which have authority to hear criminal and civil cases and appeals from lower courts. Resident magistrate's courts are also established at various centers. Local courts mainly administer customary law, especially cases relating to marriage, property, and inheritance.

Under the constitution of 1997, the Supreme Court is the highest court in Zambia and serves as the final court of appeal. The chief justice and other eight judges are appointed by the president. In consultation with the prime minister, the president also appoints the director of public prosecution and the attorney general, the latter being the principal legal adviser to the government. The independence of the judiciary has been respected by the government. Trials in magistrate courts are public.

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Apr 11, 2010 @ 3:03 am
Why did Zambia adopt most of the english ligal system.Why should we be refering to cases which happened in england when deciding cases here in our courts?
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May 19, 2010 @ 7:07 am
This is an excellent article. It is brief and straight to the point. I do beleive that you can make more detailed by adding the structure of the Zambian Judicial System table showing all the courts and types of judges responsible.
Shawn T. Tao
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Oct 21, 2011 @ 4:04 am
I'll try to answer your questions, Andrew. This is a simplified statement of a complicated but very interesting topic (colonial history and legal systems).

1. Why did Zambia adopt the English legal system?

Zambia is a former British colony, and as with many countries that are former British colonies, its legal system is an inheritance and continuation of the English COMMON LAW system (one of the two legal systems that trace back to ancient western civilization; the other being Civil Law). All Common Law countries share a fundamentally similar legal system. These countries include the United States, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Australia, Pakistan, Canada (except for one province), and others.

2. Why should we be referring to cases which happened in England when deciding cases here in our own courts.

One of the major features of the Common Law is that the court is required to follow PRECEDENCE. Very simply speaking, past court decisions can be binding law. Each time a current dispute or charge reaches the court and there is a judgment, the judgment is required to be based on past court decisions/opinions (as long as the old and new cases have facts that are similar enough). Compare this to Civil Law systems where the courts do not have to follow prior decisions.

Since a major feature of the Common Law system is to follow prior court decisions, legal systems of countries that gained independence from the British Empire will still occasionally cite and follow British court decisions as binding law. Here in the U.S. today, our courts rarely cite British opinions since the U.S. has not been a colony for over 200 years (however, old British court decisions are still frequently studied in American law schools). Countries that gained independence more recently (such as African countries of the 1960s Decolonization period), are likely to cite British court decisions somewhat regularly today due to the recentness of their independence.

This a great topic indeed and I plan on and encourage others to research / look into further this crossover of colonialism and the history of a western civilization legal system.
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Nov 15, 2011 @ 3:03 am
what are the judicial terms used in zambia?e.g primafus.
Darren Tembo
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Jun 6, 2012 @ 11:11 am
Question; To what extent are the English doctrine of Common Law and Equity applied in Zambia legal system?
mwamba roy
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Jun 11, 2012 @ 7:07 am
discuss the extent to which the english doctrines of common law and equity play a role in zambia legal system
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Jun 13, 2012 @ 9:09 am
What are the major reasons why the 'Judge made Law' is not coded in the Zambian constitution? And what are the benefits of judge made law in Zambia?
Zingani
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Jun 17, 2012 @ 7:07 am
What extent to which the english doctrines of common law and equity play a role in the zambian legal system?
Stanley Yang
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Jun 17, 2012 @ 8:08 am
please help me with an outline of English doctrines of common law..
Bee
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Jun 18, 2012 @ 4:04 am
TO WHAT EXTENT HAS THE DOCTRINES OF COMMON LAW AND EQUITY PLAYED IN THE ZAMBIAN LEGAL SYSTEM
Chisoni
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Jun 19, 2012 @ 5:05 am
Extent application of common law and equity in zambia ni asignment help
anonymous
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Jun 21, 2012 @ 9:09 am
I love your explanations.To what extent do the english doctrines of common law and equity play a role in the zambian legal system?
WISDOM MANGANGO.
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Jun 21, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
TO WHAT EXTENT DO THE ENGLISH DOCTRINE OF COMMON LAW AND EQUITY PLAY A ROLE IN THE ZAMBIAN LEGAL SYSTEM? AM AT CBU, NA FIPENA IFINTU NABA DOCTOR BA LAW PLEASE HELP.
donald k. mwenya
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Jun 29, 2012 @ 8:08 am
to what extent does the english doctrine of common law and equity play a role in the zambian legal system
Donself
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Jul 1, 2012 @ 9:09 am
I am vry much interested in seeing the answer of question 13 & 14
Brendan
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Jul 1, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
The extent to which the doctrines of common law and equity apply in the zambian legal system is clearly stated in the books found in the cbu lib don't be lazy Zingani research

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