ConCourt sets Sept 27 for ruling on preliminary issues in LAZ Bill 10 case

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The Constitutional Court has reserved judgement on the Law Association of Zambia’s (LAZ) request to dismiss a notice of motion by the State to have the petition where LAZ is challenging the Amendment of Bill No 10, thrown out for irregularity.

This was after a panel of five Constitutional Court judges led by its president, justice Hildah Chibomba, heard submissions from the lawyer representing LAZ John Sangwa and the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka.

The Attorney General had pleaded with the Court not to reserve judgement but justice Chibomba refused to entertain Kalaluka’s application saying it was not tenable as the court had already taken a position.

The court has since reserved judgement for September 27 on the preliminary issues raised by the parties.

This is the matter in which LAZ has dragged President Edgar Lungu, the Attorney General and the National Assembly to the Constitutional Court for attempting to alter the Constitution of Zambia through Bill 10, 2019.

When the matter came up for hearing before Constitutional Court justices Chibomba, Enock Mulembe, Annie Sitali, Mungeni Mulenga and professor Margaret Munalula, Tuesday, LAZ through its lawyer John Sangwa raised preliminary issues asking the court to dismiss the State’s notice of motion for being incompetent.

Sangwa argued that the court should dismiss the State’s motion because Orders 14A and 33 did not apply to proceedings before the Constitutional Court and also did not apply to matters brought by petition.

He said it was illegal and unconstitutional to rely upon the said order because matters of practice and procedure must be prescribed by an act of parliament.

Sangwa further argued that Orders 14A and 33 also did not apply to proceedings against the State or by the State.

He however, requested the court to direct the State to file an answer and affidavit in opposition to its petition against the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 in line with its rules.

But the State argued that Orders 14A and 33 were applicable to proceedings before the Constitutional Court and that the court had requisite jurisdiction to entertain its application.

The State therefore, prayed that the court finds that it complied with the provisions of Order 14A and sustain its application.

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