Judiciary to Encourage Non-custodial Sentences

According to Nyasa Times at a court users meeting in Ntchisi last week members of the judiciary made comments encouraging the use of non-custodial sentences. Given the overcrowded nature of Malawi’s prisons a change in attitude of this type would be greatly welcomed. The scarcity of legal personnel coupled with infrastructural deficiencies on one hand […]

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). […]

Positive Media for Malawi

For the first time since our project has been based in Malawi the country is getting some much needed positive international media. This week the Economist has run an article entitled “Rejoice, it’s Joyce” and the Guardian ran an article entitled “Malawi’s Joyce Banda puts women’s rights at centre of new presidency”. I particularly liked […]

“Mwai Wosinthika”- An alternative to custody for young people

Irish Rule of Law International and Venture Trust held a stakeholder meeting yesterday for the launch of a new pilot initiative they are starting called Mwai Wosinthika –  An alternative to custody for young people. This is an extension of a project currently being undertaken in Kachere Juvenile Reformatory Centre by Venture Trust and the […]

Joyce Banda New President of Malawi

A very easy (and constitutional) transition to a new President and a new political party in Malawi over the last week. The Guardian have a good review of Joyce Banda here The mood of the country seems uplifted and there is great hope for the future. Let’s hope JB lives up to her reputation! Recommend […]

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 […]

Former Malawian Attorney General Held in Police Custody

On Monday 13th February outspoken lawyer Ralph Kasambara was arrested in Blantyre for allegedly assaulting a number of men. He in turn claims that men arrived at his  legal office, Ralph & Arnold, with the intent to kill him by burning down the office and that he was merely acting in self defence.  Mr Kasambara […]

PASI and IRLI

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, […]

Malawi Courts Closed for a Second Day

Courts across the country remain closed for the second day in a strike by junior members of court staff. The staff members are striking on the grounds that their pay grades have not been reviewed since 2006 when it is supposed to happen every three years. They are looking for a 50% hike on their […]