Ministry of Justice (MoJ), just like all other ministries and Government departments, exists by virtue of the general powers vested in the President of Malawi under sections 93 and 94 of the Constitution to appoint Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are responsible for running Government Departments.
The Ministry is an integral part of the Executive branch of the Government. Courts are an integral part of the judicial branch of the Government (the Judiciary) whereas Parliament forms the legislative branch of the Government.
In terms of sections 7, 8 and 9 of the Constitution, the three branches of the Government are separate from, and operate independently of, each ther. However, all three branches are subject to the principle of checks and balances also enshrined in the Constitution to ensure that none of them exceeds its powers in the performance of its functions.
As an agent of the Executive, MoJ contributes to the promotion of constitutional principles relating to integrity, transparency and accountability that underpin achievement of national development goals. Secondly, it provides services that facilitate progressive social and economic transformation of the people of Malawi through implementation of programmes that promote access to justice and upholding rule of law. Thirdly, the Ministry also derives its mandate from statutes and subordinate legislation that establishes some of the departments that are under its direct supervision.
The Ministry of Justice provides legal advice and services to the Government Ministries and Departments and also the general public. It represents the Government in civil litigation cases, prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the State, drafts legislation, and vets agreements and treaties on behalf of the Government. The Departments of the Ministry such as Administrator General and the Registrar General provide legal services to the general public. These functions are aimed at promoting the rule of law, transparency and accountability in the operations of the Government.
The Ministry of Justice is one of the important actors in the democratic governance fiber of the country. The Ministry is comprised of the following departments with specific mandates:
The Attorney General’s Chambers
Solicitor General's Chambers
Directorate of Public Prosecutions
Department of Registrar General
Department of Administrator General
The Ministry is under the supervision of the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice but under the direction of the Minister. The Ministry’s five important departments are discussed in detail below.