Hon. Justice Dr Mumba Malila, SC is the Chief Justice of the Republic of Zambia. He was appointed Chief Justice on 22nd December , 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Zambia, a Master of Laws degree from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Laws degree in International Business Law from the University of Cumbria and a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Pretoria. He also holds a post-graduate Certificate in Human Rights from the Rene Casin Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. He was admitted to the Zambian Bar as an Advocate in 1989 and took silk as State Counsel in December 2006.
Prior to his current appointment, he served as Supreme Court Judge from 2014 to 2021. Justice Malila possesses vast legal experience, having served in various positions in the Zambian legal profession. He was a University of Zambia Law Lecturer between 1989 and 1993, 2002 and 2006, and 2010 and 2011. During his tenure as a Lecturer at the University of Zambia, he served as Assistant Dean (Research) and Assistant Dean (Post-Graduate).
Justice Malila also practiced as a legal practitioner with Christopher Russell Cook & Co and was an Honorary Assessor and Lecturer at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE). He was appointed Legal Manager of Meridien Financial Services in 1993 and worked as Group Legal Counsel and Company Secretary of the Emerging Markets Investments Zambia Group of companies. He is the founder and was Managing Partner of the law firm, Phoenix Partners, which was later renamed Mumba Malila & Partners.
As a private legal practitioner, Justice Malila once served as the Honorary Secretary of the Law Association of Zambia and as the nominee of the Association on the Judicial Service Commission, the Law Development Commission and the SADC Lawyers’ Association’s Executive Council. He was the Vice President of the Zambia Association of Human Rights. He also sat as a Board Member of Zambia Railways Limited, Sams Medical Products Limited and the NGO, Women and Law in Southern Africa.
Justice Malila twice served as Attorney General of the Republic Zambia and ex-officio Member of the Zambian Cabinet under three Presidents. During his tenure as Attorney General, Justice Malila served as a member of various public institutions such as the Judicial Service Commission, the Council of Law Reporting, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission and the Public Procurement Authority. He chaired various other public bodies including the ZIALE Council, the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee and the Anti-Money Laundering Authority in the Drug Enforcement Commission.
Prior to his appointment as Attorney General of Zambia, Justice Malila served as Chairperson of the Zambian Human Rights Commission. He was elected as a member of the Banjul based African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and was eventually chosen the Commission’s Vice Chairperson in the last two of his six year term as a Commissioner.
Justice Malila is the past Chairperson of the Zambia Law Reports and currently chairs the Chief Justice’s Advisory Committee on Court Operations.
He is the recipient of various awards including the Transparency International Zambia Recognition Award (2009) for his work in the fight against corruption in Zambia and the Zambian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Award (2019) in recognition of his human rights work in Zambia and on the continent of Africa.
He has authored six books, namely: Commercial Law in Zambia: Essential Texts (2005), Commercial Law in Zambia: Cases and Materials (2006), Contract Law in Zambia (2008) (co-authored), Imperfect Ruminations Rooted in Hope (2016) and The Law of Business Associations in Zambia: An Introduction (2019) (co-authored) and The Contours of a Developing Jurisprudence of the Zambian Supreme Court (2019). He has contributed several book chapters and is author of numerous articles in peer reviewed journals.