Hon. Dr. Mumba Malila, SC

Chief Justice of Zambia

Justice Dr. Mumba Malila is the Chief Justice of the Republic of Zambia. He was appointed on 22nd December 2021. Prior to his appointment he served as a Supreme Court Judge since 2014. He was admitted to practice as a lawyer in Zambia in 1989 and took silk as State Counsel (equivalent of Queen’s Counsel) in 2006. He has extensive national, regional and international legal experience having worked in quasi judicial bodies as Chairperson of the Zambian Human Rights Commission, Vice Chairperson and Commissioner on the African Union Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and as a Member of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

He was once Vice Chairperson of the Zambian Human Rights Association; Council Member of the Law Association of Zambia; Honorary Secretary of the Law Association of Zambia and an Executive Committee Member of the SADC Lawyers’ Association. He also served as a Board Member of Women and Law in Southern Africa.

In his African regional human rights work , Dr. Malila formerly served as the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa, as a member of the Working Groups on the Death Penalty in Africa and on Indigenous Peoples and Populations in Africa. He was a founder member of the African Commission’s Committee on the Rights of Persons Living with HIV in Africa. He was also the Chairperson of the Working Group on Extractive Industries and Human Rights Violations in Africa.

Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Dr. Malila served in various private sector positions in the Zambian legal profession including those of a private legal practitioner, corporation counsel and company secretary. He was also a University of Zambia Law Lecturer, Assessor and Lecturer at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) and at the Zambia Centre of Accountancy Studies (ZCAS).

Dr. Malila also served as a government legal advisor and for many years was a member of various public bodies including the Judicial Service Commission, the Law Development Commission, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission, the Public Procurement Authority, the Council of Law Reporting and the Zambia Railways Board.

Justice Dr. Malila twice served as Attorney General of Zambia and ex-officio Member of the Zambian Cabinet under three Presidents. He also served as Chairperson of the ZIALE Council, Chairperson of the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee and Chairperson of the Anti Money Laundering Authority in the Drug Enforcement Commission.

Dr. Malila is also ADR Centre Accredited Mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society. He has taught Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law to post graduate (LLM) students at the University of Lusaka on part time basis since 2017.

In his work Dr. Malila has won multiple awards including the Kwamena Bentsi-Enchill Memorial Prize for the best third year student in Law School at the University of Zambia (1986), the Law Association of Zambia Prize for the best student in Jurisprudence (1987), the Transparency International Zambia Recognition Award (2010) in the fight against corruption, and the Human Rights Commission Award (2019) in recognition of his contribution to human rights work in Zambia and in the African region. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Lions Club of Fairview, District 413.

He has authored numerous books including ‘The Contours of a Developing Jurisprudence of the Zambian Supreme Court (2019); The Law of Business Associations in Zambia (2019); Imperfect Ruminations Rooted in Hope(2016); Contract Law in Zambia (2008);Commercial Law in Zambia: Cases and Materials (2006), and Commercial Law in Zambia: Essential Texts (2005). He has contributed several book chapters and is author of numerous articles in peer reviewed journals.

He has been the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the United Church of Zambia since 2016.