The Judiciary is one of the three arms of Government of Malawi. The other two branches are the Executive and Legislature. The Judiciary has authority over all issues of legal nature as such it has powers to:
Review any law and any action or decision of the Government for conformity with the Constitution
To hear and determine civil cases between individuals and other individuals or groups of persons or
Institutions i.e. labour disputes, land matters, divorce.
To hear and determine civil cases between individuals or group of persons and the State
e.g. unfair dismissal, unlawful imprisonment
To hear and determine criminal cases e.g. theft, defilement, murder.
The Law Commission is an independent institution established under Chapter XII of the Constitution with powers to review and make recommendations relating to the repeal and amendment of laws for conformity with the Constitution and applicable international law and such other powers and functions as are conferred on it by the Constitution and any other Act of Parliament. Matters relating to the functional operation of the Law Commission are provided for
under the enabling Law Commission Act (Cap. 3:09) enacted in 1998
The National Assembly has the following functions and powers as provided by the Constitution:.
Receive, amend, accept or reject bills (both Government and Private bills.
Initiate Private Members bills on the motion of any member and amend, accept or reject all Private Members bills.
Debate and vote on motions in relation to any matter including motions to indict and convict the President or
Vice - President Mace
Confirm certain public appointments made by the Executive.
Take all actions incidental to, and necessary for the proper exercise of its functions.
Exercise such other functions and powers as are conferred on it by the constitution
The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) is established under section 129 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi MHRC is competent to investigate violations of human rights on its own motion or upon complaints received from any person, class of person or body. (Section 12 of HRC Act). The duties, functions and responsibilities of MHRC are outlined in sections 13 and 14 of HRC Act.
The Malawi Police Service is a government department under Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Security. Historically the Service started as an organized Nyasaland Police Force on 5th October, 1921 It had its headquarters in Zomba, situated at the present Police College. Police stations were also established at Zomba, Blantyre, Mulanje and Mangochi The statement of common purpose and values emphasize the objects of the Malawi Police Service. It also clarifies how these objects shall be fulfilled by members of the Malawi Police Service.
The Malawi Prison Service is a department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Security. Its operations are provided for under the Laws of Malawi Chapter 9.02 and the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi Section 17:163. It is regulated by Prisons Act of 1966.
It mandated to house, detain and rehabilitate persons committed to prisons 17:163 and Laws of Malawi Chap 9:02 Control of Prisons and Management of such Institutions and Incidental matters.
In 1995, Parliament passed the Corrupt Practices Act No.18 of 1995. The Act under Section 4(1) establishes the Anti-Corruption Bureau, which is headed by a Director. The Director and the Deputy Director are both appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the Public Appointment Committee of Parliament. The Bureau began its full operations in 1998. The Anti-Corruption Bureau is an autonomous body.
On 16th April 2004 the Corrupt Practices Act was amended giving the ACB increased powers to carry out its work of controlling corruption in Malawi. The definition of corruption was widened to among other things, include offences for abuse of office and possession of unexplained wealth.