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- Legal System
The Zambian legal system is largely based on English Common Law. Customary laws relating to particular communities around the country are also recognised by the constitution. The judiciary system is independent under the constitution. The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal as well as the constitutional court. The High Court has civil and criminal jurisdiction as well as appellate jurisdiction in relation to appeals from the lower courts. The chief justice presides over the Supreme Court and the High Court. The President of Zambia appoints judges of the Supreme and High Courts according to the advice of the Judicial Service Commission; the appointment is subject to ratification by the National Assembly. Once appointed, judges have tenure of their positions until retirement. Magistrates’ courts, the Industrial Relations Court and small claims courts inter alia make up the rest of the judicial system. Questions of customary law and very minor criminal cases are dealt with in local courts.
Lawyers in Zambia are all classed as advocates and can act as either solicitors or barristers. All practicing lawyers and students enrolled at Law Schools at all major Zambian universities are members of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), the professional body for law. LAZ was established under the Law Association of Zambia Act and is a corporate body run by a council on a day-to-day basis and in accordance with the decisions of the Annual General Meeting. LAZ listed over 900 members in 2012. Prospective lawyers must complete a law degree (LLB) which is recognised by LAZ, one year practical training at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education and must pass a bar examination with the Zambia Institute of Legal Education. Advocates with fewer than three years of experience after qualification are not permitted to appear before the Supreme Court. The Law Association of Zambia is a member of the International Bar Association, the International Law Association, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Pan African Lawyers Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADAC) Lawyers Association and the International Commission of Jurists. Leading law firms in Lusaka include Chibesakunda & Co, Christopher Russell Cook & Co, Corpus Legal Practitioners, Ellis & Co, and Ezugha, Musonda & Co in Lusaka; while Forrest, Price & Co, and MNB Legal Practitioners practice in Kitwe.
Information from the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013
Legal rights index
Efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes
Efficiency of legal framework in challenging regulations
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