As chief law reform officer at the Malawi Law Commission, Dr Janet Chikaya-Banda oversaw a two-year constitutional review programme in 2004-6. In her timely account, she explains the importance of continuous, systematic law reform in young democracies and the role that it can play in upholding the credibility and effectiveness of the judiciary. She highlights impediments to the pursuit of democratic ideals articulated in the Malawi Constitution, the consequences of weak institutional commitment to law reform, and the vulnerability of the law in the face of a very powerful presidency. In her foremost recommendation, Dr Chikaya-Banda calls on the new government in Malawi to “move things on” by implementing – or at least debating openly – the recommendations of the constitutional review.
Author – Dr Janet Chikaya-Banda
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