The Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament says although it concluded hearing views from the public on the issue of legal representation, members of the public were still free to submit written responses up to October 15 2021.
Committee chairperson Peter Dimba, in a statement issued Wednesday, October 6 2021, says the committee would soon meet the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and the Ministry of Finance as key stakeholders on the issues raised by Legal Aid Bureau, but that written submissions were still welcome.
The Legal Aid Bureau brought to the attention of the committee the possibility of allowing legal aid assistants to represent clients in court, popularly known as paralegals, a proposal that ignited controversy and compelling Malawi Law Society (MLS) to go to court.
The committee’s statement was issued just a day before the High Court in Blantyre dismissed an application for judicial review by MLS on the issue.
According to the statement, the committee is expected to prepare a report which will be presented in the National Assembly in accordance with Standing Order 185.