Top judge given human rights award in Zambia

Zambian Supreme Court Judge, Mumba Malila, has been honoured for his human rights work. Earlier this week, Justice Malila was the 2019 recipient of the Zambian Human Rights Commission Award, given in recognition of his contribution to the field of human rights both in Zambia and, more broadly, across Africa.

The Zambian judiciary announced this week that one of its members, Supreme Court Justice Mumba Malila, had been given the 2019 Zambian Human Rights Commission Award for his contribution to human rights in Zambia and in Africa.

Citing outdated colonial attitudes, Zambia's Con Court dumps laws on chiefs

Contemporary Zambian laws allowing the President to regulate traditional chiefly appointments have been declared unconstitutional. The laws, based on colonial-era ordinances, were tested when a prominent traditional leader disputed the President’s power to legitimise a chief’s appointment through ‘recognition’. The court found that these presidential powers infringed the amended constitution saying ‘no law’ could allow anyone the right to ‘recognise or withdraw the recognition of a chief’.

Read judgment on ZambiaLII

Is it possible for the institution of chieftaincy and its associated traditions to fit comfortably under a system of democratic constitutionalism? Many African countries are working out how the two can coexist. One of the most recent examples comes from Zambia where three judges of the constitutional court have just had to resolve something of a conundrum.

Zambia's human rights defender, Laura Miti, awarded Scottish university fellowship

Long-time Zambian human rights defender, Laura Miti, has joined a Russian human rights activist, Konstantin Baranov, for a three-month fellowship at the University of Dundee. It's intended to give fellows a break from constant work at the forefront of human rights struggles. Instead, they take time-out for research, reflection on what they have been doing and interaction with students and staff of the university as well as government officials and members of Scottish civil society.

Photo left to right, Konstantin Baranov, Scottish Minister Christina McKelvie, Laura Miti


The fellowships awarded to Laura Miti and Konstantin Baranov are the result of a partnership between the Scottish government and the University of Dundee. They are also supported by Front Line Defenders and Amnesty International.


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