CHAPTER 25
SUPREME COURT OF ZAMBIA ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
CONSTITUTION AND GENERAL POWERS OF THE COURT

   3.   Constitution of the Court

   4.   Powers of single Judge of the Court

   5.   Judge not to sit on appeal from his own decision

   6.   Seal

   7.   Jurisdiction

   8.   Practice and procedure

   9.   Execution of judgment of the Court

   10.   Sittings of the Court

   11.   Right of audience

PART III
CRIMINAL APPEALS

   12.   [Repealed]

   13.   [Repealed]

   14.   [Repealed]

   15.   Determination of appeals

   16.   Supplementary powers of the Court

   17.   Time for appealing

   18.   Stay of execution of sentence of death or corporal punishment

   19.   Right of appellant to be present

   20.   [Repeled]

   21.   Procedure with respect to frivolous or unsubstantial appeals

   22.   Provisions as to bail

PART IV
CIVIL APPEALS FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL

   23.   Right of appeal in civil cases

   24.   Restrictions on civil appeals

   24A.   Appeal in habeas corpus proceedings

   25.   Powers of the Court on an appeal in civil matters

PART V
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   26.   Administration of oaths

   27.   Warrant for production of appellant before the Court

   28.   Rules of Court

   29.   Officers of the Court

   30.   Has had its effect

   31.   Obsolete

AN ACT

to provide for the constitution, jurisdiction and procedure of the Supreme Court of Zambia; to prescribe the powers of the Court; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto

[14th September, 1973]

Act 41 of 1973,

Act 26 of 1974,

Act 17 of 1976,

Act 31 of 1976,

Act 5 of 1979,

Act 15 of 2002,

Act 19 of 2003,

Act 8 of 2011,

Act 24 of 2016.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Supreme Court of Zambia Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“appellant” includes applicant;

“Court of Appeal” means the Court of Appeal established under Article 130 of the Constitution;

[Ins by s 2 of Act 24 of 2016.]

“judgment” includes decree, order, conviction, sentence and decision;

“Master” means the Master of the Court appointed in pursuance of the provisions of section 29;

“practitioner” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Legal Practitioners Act;

“qualified person” has the meaning assigned to it by section 3 of the Legal Practitioners Act;

“rules of court” means rules of court made under section 28;

“sentence” includes any order made on conviction not being—

   (a)   a probation order or an order for conditional discharge;

   (b)   an order under any enactment which enables the Court to order the destruction of an animal; or

   (c)   an order made in pursuance of any enactment under which the Court has no discretion as to the making of the order or its terms;

“the Court” means the Supreme Court;

[S 2 am by Act 31 of 1976.]

PART II
CONSTITUTION AND GENERAL POWERS OF THE COURT

3.   Constitution of the Court

   (1) When the Court is determining any matter, other than an interlocutory matter, it shall be composed of such uneven number of Judges, not being less than three, as the Chief Justice may direct.

   (2) The determination of any question before the Court shall be according to the opinion of the majority of the members of the Court hearing the case.

4.   Powers of single Judge of the Court

A single Judge of the Court may exercise any power vested in the Court not involving the decision of an appeal but—

   (a)   in criminal matters if any Judge of the Court refuses an application for the exercise of any such power, the person making the application shall be entitled to have his application determined by the Court; and

   (b)   in civil matters any order, direction or decision made or given in pursuance of the powers conferred by this section may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Court.

[S 4 am by s 3 of Act 24 of 2016.]

5.   Judge not to sit on appeal from his own decision

A Judge of the Court shall not sit on the hearing of an appeal, nor shall he exercise any power under section 4 in respect of an appeal—

   (a)   from any judgment given by himself or any judgment given by any Court of which he was sitting as a member;

   (b)   against a conviction or sentence if he was the Judge by or before whom the appellant was convicted.

6.   Seal

The Court shall have a seal having a device or impression and bearing an inscription approved by the Chief Justice.

7.   Jurisdiction

The Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals in civil and criminal matters as provided in this Act and such other appellate jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by or under the Constitution or any other law.

[S 7 am by s 4 of Act 24 of 2016.]

8.   Practice and procedure

   (1) Subject to sub-section (2), the jurisdiction vested in the Court shall, as regards practice and procedure, be exercised in the manner provided by this Act and rules of Court.

   (2) Notwithstanding sub-section (1), where this Act or rules of court do not make provision for any particular point of practice and procedure, the practice and procedure of the Court shall be—

   (a)   in relation to criminal matters, as nearly as may be in accordance with the law and practice observed in the Court of Criminal Appeal in England; and

   (b)   subject to sub-section (3), in relation to civil matters, as nearly as may be in accordance with the Supreme Court Practice, 1999 (White Book) of England and the law and practice in the Court of Appeal in England in force up to 31st December, 1999.

   (3) The Civil Court Practice, 1999 (Green Book) of England and any civil court practice rules issued in England after 31st December, 1999, shall not apply to Zambia.

[S 8 subs by s 2 of Act 8 of 2011.]

9.   Execution of judgment of the Court

The process of the Court shall run throughout Zambia and any judgment of the Court shall be executed and enforced in like manner as if it were a judgment of the High Court.

{mprestriction ids ="1,2,3"}

10.   Sittings of the Court

   (1) The sittings of the Court shall usually be held at Lusaka or Ndola but may be held at such other place as the Chief Justice may direct.

   (2) The dates of sittings of the Court shall be determined by the Chief Justice.

   (3) The times of sittings of the Court shall be determined by the Chief Justice or, if he is not a member of the Court hearing a case, the next senior Judge of the Court hearing the case.

   (4) At any sitting, the Court shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be composed of such members as the Chief Justice may direct.

11.   Right of audience

In all proceedings before the Court the parties may appear in person or be represented and appear by a practitioner.

PART III
CRIMINAL APPEALS

12.   ...

[S 12 rep by s 5 of Act 24 of 2016.]

13.   …

[S 13 rep by Act 31 of 1976.]

14.   ...

[S 14 rep by s 6 of Act 24 of 2016.]

15.   Determination of appeals

   (1) The Court shall allow an appeal against conviction on the following grounds—

   (a)       the conviction, in all the circumstances of the case, is unsafe or unsatisfactory;

   (b)       the conviction is based on a wrong decision on a question of law; or

   (c)       there was a material irregularity in the course of the trial.

   (2) Despite sub-section (1), where the Court is of the opinion that the point raised in the appeal might be decided in favour of the appellant, the Court may dismiss the appeal if it considers that no miscarriage of justice has actually occurred.

   (3) The Court shall, if it allows an appeal against conviction, quash the conviction and direct a judgment and verdict of acquittal to be entered or, if the interests of justice so require, order a new trial.

   (4) The Court may, on an appeal, whether against conviction or sentence, substitute a judgment of guilty for such other offence as the trial court could have entered and, in the case of an appeal from a judgment of the Court of Appeal, the Court shall, in addition, have power to restore the conviction of the trial court.

   (5) The Court may, on an appeal, whether against conviction or sentence, increase or reduce the sentence, impose such other sentence or make such other order as the trial court could have imposed or made, except that—

   (a)       in no case shall a sentence be increased by reason or in consideration of evidence that was not given at the trial; and

   (b)       the Court shall not interfere with a sentence just because if it were a trial court it would have imposed a different sentence, unless the sentence is wrong in principle or comes to the Court with a sense of shock.

[S 15 subs by s 7 of Act 24 of 2016.]

16.   Supplementary powers of the Court

The Court may, if it thinks it necessary or expedient in the interests of justice—

   (a)   order the production of any document, exhibit, or other thing connected with the proceedings, the production of which appears to it necessary for the determination of the case;

   (b)   order any witness who would have been a competent and compellable witness at the trial to attend and be examined before the Court, whether he was or was not called at the trial, or order the examination of any such witness to be conducted in manner provided by rules of court before any Judge of the court or other person appointed by the Court for the purpose, and allow the admission of any deposition so taken as evidence before the Court;

   (c)   receive the evidence, if tendered, of any witness (including the appellant) who is a competent but not compellable witness, and, if the appellant makes application for the purpose, of the husband or wife of the appellant in cases where the evidence of the husband or wife could not have been given at the trial except on such application to the trial court;

   (d)   remit the case for further hearing to the court from which the appeal was brought, with such instructions as regards the taking of further evidence or otherwise as appear to it necessary;

   (e)   where any question arising at the appeal involves prolonged examination of documents or accounts or any scientific or local investigation which cannot, in the opinion of the Court, conveniently be conducted before the Court, order the reference of the question in manner provided by rules of court for inquiry and report to a special commissioner appointed by the Court, and act upon the report of any such commissioner so far as it thinks fit to adopt it;

   (f)   appoint any person with special expert knowledge to act as an assessor in an advisory capacity in any case where it appears to the Court that such knowledge is required for the proper determination of the case;

   (g)   issue any warrant necessary for enforcing any order or sentence of the Court; and

   (h)   on the application of an appellant and pending the determination of his appeal or application for leave to appeal to the Court, admit the appellant to bail and, in the event of an appellant having been admitted to bail, give any directions which it may consider necessary concerning the time at which the sentence of the appellant shall be resumed or begin to run:

Provided that—

      (i)   in no case shall any sentence be increased by reason of or in consideration of any evidence that was not given at the trial; and

      (ii)   whenever the Court receives further evidence or gives instructions for the taking of further evidence, it shall make such order as will secure an opportunity to the parties to the proceedings to examine every witness whose evidence is so taken.

17.   Time for appealing

   (1) A person who intends to appeal against a judgment of the Court of Appeal shall give a notice of intention to appeal within 14 days of obtaining leave of the Court of Appeal in the manner and form prescribed by rules of the Court of Appeal.

   (2) If the intending appellant is in prison, the notice of intention to appeal or application, as the case may be, may, within the period of 14 days referred to in sub-section (1) be given to the officer-in-charge of the prison, who shall forward it to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal.

   (3) The Court may extend the time for giving notice of intention to appeal or of submitting an application for leave to appeal despite the time for giving the notice or submitting the application having already expired.

   (4) Where a sentence of death has been passed, an extension of time referred to in sub-section (3) shall not be granted after the sentence has been confirmed by the President.

[S 17 subs by s 8 of Act 24 of 2016.]

18.   Stay of execution of sentence of death or corporal punishment

   (1) In the case of a sentence of death—

   (a)   the sentence shall not be executed until after the expiration of the time within which notice of intention to appeal may be given or, as the case may be, an application for leave to appeal may be submitted;

   (b)   if notice of intention to appeal is so given, the sentence shall not be executed until the appeal has been determined or abandoned;

   (c)   if the application for leave to appeal is so submitted, the application shall be determined as soon as practicable, and the sentence shall not be executed until the application has been refused or the appeal has been determined or abandoned.

[S 18(1) am by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 2003.]

   (2) …

[S 18(2) rep by s 2(b) of Act 19 of 2003.]

19.   Right of appellant to be present

   (1) An appellant shall be entitled to be present, if he so desires, at the hearing of his appeal or any application to the Court.

   (2) An appellant who does not appear at the hearing of his appeal by a practitioner may present his case and argument in writing, and any case or argument so presented shall be considered by the Court.

   (3) The power of the Court to pass any sentence under this Act may be exercised notwithstanding that the appellant is for any reason not present.

20.   ...

[S 20 rep by s 9 of Act 24 of 2016.]

21.   Procedure with respect to frivolous or unsubstantial appeals

   (1) If it appears to any Judge of the Court that any notice of an appeal against a conviction is frivolous or vexatious or does not show any substantial ground of appeal, such Judge may direct the Master to refer the appeal to the Court for summary determination, and, when the appeal is so referred, the Court may, if it considers that the appeal is frivolous or vexatious or does not show any substantial ground of appeal and the appeal can be determined without adjourning the same for a full hearing, dismiss the appeal summarily without calling on any person to attend the hearing or to appear for the people thereon.

   (2) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall not apply in the case of an appeal by a person upon whom a sentence of death is passed.

22.   Provisions as to bail

   (1) Where the Court of Appeal has, in exercise of its powers under section 18 of the Court of Appeal Act, 2016, refused to admit an appellant to bail or to postpone the payment of any fine imposed upon him, the Court may, if it deems fit, on the application of the appellant, and pending the determination of his appeal or application for leave to appeal to the Court in a criminal matter—

[S 22(1) am by s 10(a) of Act 24 of 2016.]

   (a)   admit the appellant to bail, or if it does not so admit him, direct him to be treated as an unconvicted prisoner pending the determination of his appeal or of his application for leave to appeal, as the case may be; and

   (b)   postpone the payment of any fine imposed upon him.

   (2) The time during which an appellant, pending the determination of the appellant’s appeal—

   (a)    is admitted to bail and, subject to any directions which the Court may give to the contrary in an appeal; or

   (b)    if in custody, is treated as an unconvicted prisoner under this section,

[S 22(2) subs by s 10(b) of Act 24 of 2016.]

   (3) The imprisonment of an appellant referred to in sub-section (2) shall, subject to any directions which the Court may give to the contrary, be deemed to be resumed or to begin to run, as the case requires —

   (a)       if the appellant is in custody, from the day on which the appeal is determined; or

   (b)       if the appellant is not in custody, from the day on which the appellant is received into jail under the sentence.

[S 22(3) ins by s 10(b) of Act 24 of 2016.]

PART IV
CIVIL APPEALS FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL

[Am by s 11 of Act 24 of 2016.]

23.   Right of appeal in civil cases

Subject to the exceptions and restrictions contained in section 24, an appeal in any civil case or matter shall lie to the Court from a judgment of the Court of Appeal.

[S 23 subs by s 12 of Act 24 of 2016.]

24.   Restrictions on civil appeals

An appeal shall not lie—

   (a)    from an order allowing an extension of time for appealing from a judgment;

   (b)    from a judgment given by the Court of Appeal without the leave of that court or, if that has been refused, without the leave of a judge of the Court;

   (d)    from an order of the Court of Appeal or any judge of the Court of Appeal made with the consent of the parties or from an order relating to costs only which by law is left to the discretion of the court without the leave of the court or of the judge who made the order or, if that has been refused, without the leave of a judge of the Court;

   (e)    from an order made in chambers by a judge of the Court of Appeal or from an interlocutory order or interlocutory judgment made or given by a judge of the Court of Appeal, without the leave of the judge or, if that has been refused, without the leave of a judge of the Court.

[S 24 am by s 13 of Act 24 of 2016.]

24A.   Appeal in habeas corpus proceedings

An appeal shall lie to the Court in any civil proceedings upon application for habeas corpus against an order for the release of the person restrained as well as against the refusal of such an order.

[S 24A am by Act 5 of 1979.]

25.   Powers of the Court on an appeal in civil matters

   (1) On the hearing of an appeal in a civil matter, the Court—

   (a)   shall have power to confirm, vary, amend, or set aside the judgment appealed from or give such judgment as the case may require;

   (b)   ...

[S 25(1)(b) is rep by s 14 of Act 24 of 2016.]

   (c)   shall, if it appears to the Court that a new trial should be held, have power to set aside the judgment appealed against and order that a new trial be held.

   (2) Whenever the Court gives instructions for the taking of further evidence, it shall make such order as will secure an opportunity to the parties to the proceedings to examine every witness whose evidence is taken.

PART V
GENERAL PROVISIONS

[Heading subs by s 15 of Act 24 of 2016.]

26.   Administration of oaths

   (1) The Court or any judge thereof may require and administer any necessary oath.

   (2) The form of an oath shall be prescribed in the rules of the Court.

[S 26(2) am by s 16 of Act 24 of 2016.]

   (3) Any person who, by law, is entitled to make an affirmation instead of taking an oath, may do so in any cause or matter in the Court, and shall do so in the form prescribed by law.

27.   Warrant for production of appellant before the Court

When the presence of an appellant who is in custody is necessary or desirable at the hearing of his appeal or he exercises the right conferred upon him by section 19 to be present at the hearing of his appeal, a judge of the court may issue a warrant for the production of the appeallant at the appeal

28.   Rules of Court

The Chief Justice may, by statutory instrument, make rules of court for regulating generally the practice and procedure of the Court and with respect to appeals to or reviews by the Court including rules as to the time within which any requirement of the rules is to be complied with, as to the costs of and incidental to any proceedings in the Court and as to the fees to be charged in respect of proceedings therein and generally in regard to any other matter which appears to the Chief Justice to be necessary or desirable.

29.   Officers of the Court

   (1) There shall be a Master and such other officers as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of this Act.

   (2) The Master shall be appointed by the Judicial Service Commission.

   (3) ...

[S 29(3) rep by s 17 of Act 24 of 2016.].

30.   Has had its effect.

31.   Obsolete.

{/mprestriction}

 
 

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