Malawi Law Society (MLS) has embarked on a series of training for its members on ethical, professional and integrity issues following enactment of the country’s new law regulating the profession.
In the training sessions, the society is targeting every legal practitioner and it has already conducted one in Blantyre, which attracted more than 200 lawyers. Other sessions will be held in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
MLS president Burton Mhango said, in an interview, they identified a number of areas in the new law that direct the manner in which the profession must be regulated.
He said under the new regulatory regime, which came into effect in January this year, it is mandatory that before lawyers renew their licences they must have attended a number of continuous professional development courses.
“We want to entrench the principles of professionalism and ethical issues among lawyers because they are the ones who come out clear as the main objective of the new law,” said Mhango.
He said unlike the old Act, which focused on protecting the interests of lawyers, under the new Act, the focus is on advancing professionalism among the lawyers.
“The expectation is that lawyers will grasp the requirement under the new law and improve in terms of integrity. Lawyers may know issues they may not understand them because there are different issues,” said Mhango.the law but in terms of ethical
The society has brought together law lecturers from the University of Malawi (Unima) and some senior counsels (SCs) to mentor both public and private practising legal practitioners.
On his part, dean at faculty of law at Chancellor College, Sunduzwayo Madise, said such trainings need to be conducted regularly so that, besides being a requirement for lawyers to attend, they will give opportunity to lawyers to upgrade by learning new things.
Commenting on his paper titled ‘Legal practitioner and social media,’ which focuses on how lawyers could navigate the intricacies of social media, Madise said lawyers needed to be cautious with their use of the tool.
“It has its own pros and cons. It can be positive but also negative so legal practitioners must always ensure they stick to ethics that are promulgated by MLS.
“When you are dealing with the society, whatever you say on social media, the society always connects with your profession,” he said.
Another presenter Shabir Latif, SC, who is managing partner for Sacraine Gow and Company, said the trainings were vital to up-and-coming lawyers to get updated with the requirements of the new law administration.