JUDICIARY ADMINISTRATION ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
ADMINISTRATION OF JUDICIARY

   3.   Judicial ranking

   4.   Establishment of committees

   5.   Functions and qualifications of Chief Administrator

   6.   Vacancy in office of Chief Administrator

   7.   Appointment of judicial officers and other staff

   8.   Functions of Chief Registrar

   9.   Suspension or removal of Chief Registrar

   10.   Vacancy in office of Chief Registrar

   11.   Functions of Registrar

   12.   Judicial staff

   13.   Research advocates

   14.   Oath of office

   15.   Exercise by Commission of disciplinary powers

   16.   Emoluments

PART III
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

   17.   Funds of Judiciary

   18.   Financial year

   19.   Accounts and audit

   20.   Annual report

PART IV
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   21.   Allocation of court work

   22.   Capital expenditure on property and buildings

   23.   Regulations

   24.   Repeal of Cap. 24 and transitional arrangements for staff

 

AN ACT

to revise the law relating to the administration of the Judiciary; make provision for the appointment of judicial officers and staff of the Judiciary; repeal and replace the Judicature Administration Act, 1994; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[7th June, 2016]

Act 23 of 2016.

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Judiciary Administration Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Chief Administrator” means the Chief Administrator of the Judiciary appointed pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution;

“Chief Registrar” means the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary appointed under section 7;

“Commission” means the Judicial Service Commission established in Article 220 of the Constitution;

“court” does not include a court martial;

“court fees” means any fees, commissions or charges payable under any law in connection with the lodgement, service, execution or administrative processing of any writ, application or other legal process, and includes sheriff’s fees and any commission, late fees or other charges so payable;

“court martial” has the meaning assigned to it in the Defence Act;

“emoluments” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“Emoluments Commission” means the Emoluments Commission established in Article 232 of the Constitution;

“higher education institution” has the meaning assigned to it in the Higher Education Act, 2013;

“judge” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“judicial authority” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“judicial officer” means a person appointed under section 7;

“Judicial Service” means the Judicial Service established in Article 219 of the Constitution;

“judicial staff” means a person employed in the Judicial Service with power to exercise functions, except judicial authority, as may be conferred by or under this Act, or any other written law;

“Judiciary” means the superior courts, the subordinate courts, small claims courts, local courts and any other courts established under any written law;

“member of the Judiciary” means—

   (a)   a judge;

   (b)   a judicial officer; and

   (c)   an officer with power to hold or exercise, in open court, the judicial powers of a court;

“practitioner” has the meaning assigned to it in the Legal Practitioners Act;

“Registrar” means the Registrar of a superior court appointed under section 7;

“superior court” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution; and

“Zambia Qualifications Authority” means the Zambia Qualifications Authority established under the Zambia Qualifications Authority Act, 2011.

PART II
ADMINISTRATION OF JUDICIARY

3.   Judicial ranking

   (1) Judges of the superior courts, other than the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, President of the Constitutional Court and Deputy President of the Constitutional Court, shall rank according to the date on which they were appointed as judges of a superior court.

   (2) Subject to sub-section (1), judges who hold equal office shall rank according to the date on which their names were entered on the roll of practitioners kept for the purposes of the Legal Practitioners Act.

4.   Establishment of committees

   (1) The Chief Justice may constitute advisory committees, consisting of judges or persons with knowledge of the work of the courts and prevailing social conditions, to advise on matters relating to the Judiciary as the Chief Justice may consider necessary.

   (2) A committee constituted under sub-section (1) may, subject to any directions of the Chief Justice, regulate its own procedure, and its members shall hold office on such terms as the Chief Justice may determine.

5.   Functions and qualifications of Chief Administrator

   (1) The Chief Administrator shall—

   (a)   be the chief executive officer of the Judiciary;

   (b)   be responsible to the Chief Justice for the day to day administration of the Judiciary and for the implementation of resolutions of the Commission in respect of the Judicial Service;

   (c)   in relation to the expenditure of the Judiciary, be the controlling officer within the meaning of the Public Finance Act, 2004; and

   (d)   perform such other powers and functions as may be conferred by or under this Act, or any other written law.

<TS:0.197222,NM,NO,0.4375,NM,NO,0.590278,NM,NO,0.786806,NM,NO,0.984028,NM,NO,1.18125,NM,NO,1.37778,NM,NO,1.575,NM,NO,1.96875,NM,NO>   (2) The functions of the Chief Administrator shall not extend to any matter assigned by law to a judge or judicial officer.

   (3) A person qualifies for appointment as Chief Administrator if the person—

   (a)   has, as a minimum academic qualification, a degree in public administration, law or other social science from a—

      (i)   higher education institution established, declared or registered under the Higher Education Act, 2013; or

      (ii)   foreign higher education institution whose qualifications are recognised by the Zambia Qualifications Authority; and

   (b)   has proven knowledge and experience in public administration; and

   (c)   is of high integrity and good character.

   (4) The Chief Administrator shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Commission may determine.

6.   Vacancy in office of Chief Administrator

   (1) The office of Chief Administrator becomes vacant if the Chief Administrator—

   (a)   dies;

   (b)   resigns;

   (c)   retires;

   (d)   is adjudged bankrupt;

   (e)   is convicted of an offence under any written law and is sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine;

   (f)   is removed from office by the Commission, for good cause; or

   (g)   becomes mentally or physically incapable of performing the functions of Chief Administrator.

   (2) Where the office of the Chief Administrator is vacant or the Chief Administrator is unable to perform the functions under this Act, the Chief Justice shall, if the vacancy—

   (a)   is temporary, appoint any person, from amongst senior persons employed in the Judicial Service, to perform the functions of the Chief Administrator and inform the Commission accordingly; or

   (b)   relates to the absence of the Chief Administrator for a period of more than 30 days, refer the matter to the Commission for appointment of a person to act in that position.

   (3) A person appointed to act in the position of Chief Administrator shall act in that capacity until the Chief Administrator returns to the office or until such time as the Commission appoints a substantive Chief Administrator.

7.   Appointment of judicial officers and other staff

   (1) The Commission shall appoint the following judicial officers—

   (a)   Chief Registrar;

   (b)   Registrar, Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar, District Registrar or other like functionary of any court;

   (c)   Master, Deputy Master or Assistant Master of the Supreme Court;

   (d)   Master, Deputy Master or Assistant Master of the Constitutional Court;

   (e)   Chief Resident Magistrate, Principal Resident Magistrate, Senior Resident Magistrate, Resident Magistrate, Magistrate and Clerk of a subordinate court;

   (f)   Senior Presiding Magistrate and Presiding Magistrate of a local court;

   (g)   Director of Local Courts, Provincial Local Courts Officer and Local Court Officer; and

   (h)   an officer with power to hold or exercise, in open court, the judicial powers of any court.

   (2) A person is qualified for appointment as Chief Registrar if the person—

   (a)   is a practitioner;

   (b)   has proven knowledge and experience in the performance of judicial functions or has served as a research advocate in a superior court; and

   (c)   is of high integrity and good character.

   (3) A person is qualified for appointment as Registrar of a superior court if the person—

   (a)   is a practitioner;

   (b)   has proven knowledge and experience in the performance of judicial functions or has served as a research advocate in a superior court; and

   (c)   is of high integrity and good character.

   (4) A person is qualified for appointment as a magistrate, other than a magistrate or judicial officer of a local court, if the person—

   (a)   has, as a minimum academic qualification, a degree in law from a—

      (i)   higher education institution established, declared or registered under the Higher Education Act, 2013; or

      (ii)   foreign higher education institution whose qualifications are recognised by the Zambia Qualifications Authority;

   (b)   has high integrity and good character;

   (c)   has management skills;

   (d)   has proficiency in computer applications; and

   (e)   does not have pending complaints before the Disciplinary Committee established under the Legal Practitioners Act in the case of a practitioner.

   (5) The Commission shall appoint such other staff as may be necessary to assist the Chief Administrator in the performance of functions of that office.

   (6) A person appointed under this section shall, subject to this Act, hold office on such terms and conditions as the Commission may determine.

8.   Functions of Chief Registrar

   (1) The Chief Registrar shall be assisted by a Registrar of each superior court and such number of Deputy Registrars as the Commission may determine.

   (2) The Chief Registrar shall—

   (a)   facilitate the performance of judicial functions;

   (b)   coordinate judicial matters;

   (c)   synchronise and produce a comprehensive performance report of the judicial functions;

   (d)   provide the link between the Judiciary and the Commission on the appointment, promotion and disciplinary matters of judicial officers;

   (e)   be the Secretary to the Commission; and

   (f)   advise the Government on matters relating to the judicial profession.

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