Malawi Law Society (MLS) out-going president John Suzo-Banda says the existing disciplinary process restricts the regulatory body from acting on errant lawyers.
He said the “cumbersome” Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act need to be amended to empower the society to discipline its members.
He said this in an interview ahead of an annual general meeting slated for Mangochi tomorrow.
“The hands of the president of the society, even the disciplinary committee chairperson are tied. There are too many players in the process, which makes it difficult for matters to be concluded with speed,” he said yesterday.
In another interview, South Africa-based professor of law Danwood Chirwa faulted MLS for failing to uphold minimum ethical standards and integrity in the legal profession by letting lawyers answering criminal charges to continue representing clients in court.
In 2015, MLS revealed that it was handling about 400 cases, mostly involving overpricing of legal services and embezzlement of clients’ funds. It has so far handled about 368 cases—“some dating back many years ago”, he said.
“Of these, 235 have been resolved, 60 were referred to the disciplinary committee while 136 are still active,” he explained. in school.