16 June 2020
MEDIA STATEMENT BY FREEDOM UNDER LAW
Freedom Under Law (FUL) is alarmed at the developing judicial crisis in Malawi. Malawi’s cabinet is seeking the removal of two of Malawi’s most senior judges, Chief Justice Nyirenda and Supreme Court Judge Twea, by ordering them on leave pending retirement. This is in clear violation of Malawian law safeguarding judicial independence.
The attempt to remove these judges is the most recent in a series of escalating attacks on the independence of the judiciary in Malawi. These attacks are authored by the president and the executive and follow on from judgments of Malawi’s highest courts setting aside the presidential election of 21 May 2019 and ordering new elections.
FUL notes and applauds the role played by the Malawian judiciary, the legal profession and civil society in resisting these attacks, and joins the many Malawian and international organisations calling on the government to respect and uphold the rule of law and judicial independence.