Maula Musings…The Problem with Bail

Today in Maula prison there are 489 people awaiting trial, of those there are approx 200 people being held in unlawful detention as their warrants have expired and the pre-trial detention limits have not been adhered to. 63 of those have been in prison since before 2010 having never been to Court (some since 2005). […]

MoJCA Criminal Registry

As part of its work with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, IRLI identified the need to organise the criminal registry. IRLI found that in order to increase work efficiency a case management system is required in the Ministry. This nationwide wide system is something that the EU Democratic Governance Programme is currently working […]

Training Lilongwe Police Officers (Saturday)

On the 3rd and 4th of February the Irish Rule of Law International, Malawi ran two training sessions at the Lilongwe District Assembly for police officers from Lilongwe Police Station in conjunction with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Police Headquarters, Lilongwe. This training session was made possible through the valued assistance of […]

Prosecution challenges and success

Through its work with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Lilongwe Police Stations IRLI in Malawi has had a number successful results in securing the release of prisoners. In December 2009, a boy aged 16 was arrested for murder. He was moved from custody to Kachere Juvenile Prison in January 2010 […]


PASI are the Paralegal Advisory Service. PASI was created originally in response to life-threatening conditions in Malawi’s prisons as a project of the non-profit Penal Reform International. At the time, the prisons were overcrowded, with high death rates due to starvation, the spread of disease, and police brutality and torture. Prisons lacked meaningful rehabilitative programs, […]

Kachere Christmas Party

Last Thursday we were kindly invited by an Scottish organisation called Venture Trust to the Kachare Juvenile facilities’ Christmas party. The Venture Trust project helps the young men in the facility to change their behaviours, through time, space and intensive support in carefully designed programmes, which gives them the confidence, motivation and life skills they […]

Women in Prison

In the last week I have made my first visit to the Maula prison women’s section. The vast majority of detainees within the Malawian prison system are men between the ages of 20-29 and so there is not a particularly high demand for our services from the women’s section. For example on our last count […]

Kachere Prison Visit

I recently visited Kachere Juvenile Prison for young male offenders. Kachere is a small prison located in Lilongwe City Centre and serves the central region of Malawi. The prison was built in the 1930s. Today Kachere holds approximately 130 prisoners. The prison is incredibly small and visibly overcrowded. A recent report by the Open Society […]

Camp Courts, Malawi

This week the project lawyers attended a Camp Court in prison.   These prison courts only handle matters involving minor offenders.  The courts are supposed to act as a useful way to reduce overcrowding, speed up justice delivery, and restore the ‘hope’ factor in the life of prisoners. As a background to the camp courts, the prisons […]

Professional Practice Course, Kosovo 2011

My familiarity with Kosovo over the years has mainly been confined to history books, legal texts and newspapers.  As most would agree, ‘conflict’ and ‘struggle’ are words that spring to mind.  More recently the number of Irish lawyers working throughout Kosovo, and of course our own volunteers, speak of a country finding its feet. This […]