Commonwealth lawyers call for independent investigations into bribery allegations

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association has demanded a full and independent investigation into allegations of bribery of Constitutional Court judges.

In a statement on Tuesday, the association also emphasisied on the importance of the independence of the judiciary.

“[The association] urges that a full and independent enquiry into the allegations of bribery of Judges takes place and notes the importance to the Rule of Law of the independence of the Judiciary and the legal profession,” the association said.

It also quoted section 4 of the Latimer House Principles which says: “An independent impartial, honest and competent judiciary is integral to upholding the rule of law, engendering public confidence and dispensing justice.”

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association is an international non-profit organisation which exists to promote and maintain the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth by ensuring that an independent and efficient legal profession, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, serves the people of the Commonwealth.

In December last year, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to the Anti-Corruption Bureau about attempts to bribe the five-judge panel of the Constitutional Court which is presiding over the presidential elections case.

ACB boss Reyneck Matemba said on Tuesday that the bureau has so far recorded statement from the judges and is now investigating the issue.

He, however, did not reveal the identity of the suspects in the case in fear of being sued but assured Malawians that the bureau aims to finish the investigations as soon as possible.