Malawi Law Society adoption of Rome Statute

As Malawi becomes the new Chair of the African Union, the Malawi Law Society expresses its commitment to the adoption of Rome Statute implementation legislation

The IBA ICC Programme, in partnership with the Malawi Law Society and the SADC Lawyers Association, conducted a workshop in Malawi on the International Criminal Court (ICC) focussing on a Rome Statute’s implementing legislation for the country. Prominent members of the government and the judiciary participated in the event, including the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Hon Augustine Gracewell Mtendere, the Chief Justice of Malawi, Justice Lovemore Munlo, and the Solicitor General.

The workshop, which was attended by over 40 members of the Malawi Law Society and government representatives, gave participants an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the work of the Court and moved on to discuss implementing legislation. ICC Deputy Prosecutor Ms Fatou Bensouda presented an overview of current cases before the Court, while Mr Akhbar Khan, Director, Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat, recalled the importance for States Parties to respect their obligations under the Rome Statute. Speakers also discussed the South African ICC Act and addressed the challenges to the adoption of an ICC implementing legislation in Malawi.

At the close of the workshop, participants agreed that Malawi had to meet its international obligations with regard to the Rome Statute. The Malawi Law Society recommended that its members engage with members of the government, civil society and the media to disseminate information about the ICC and work towards the adoption of implementing legislation. M. John Gift Mwakhwawa, the recently elected President of the Malawi Law Society expressed its commitment to follow up on ICC issues and the work of his predecessor, Mr Samuel Tembenu who was instrumental in holding the workshop in Malawi.

The workshop was made possible thanks to the financial support of Open Society Initiative Southern Africa (OSISA).