Justice Dr Mumba Malila, SC 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 from 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 of the Banjul based 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 Association of Human Rights; Council Member of the Law Association of Zambia; Honorary Secretary of the Law Association of Zambia and 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 served as 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 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 with Christopher Russell Cook & Co, Legal Services Manager of Meridien Financial Services and as Group Legal Counsel and Company Secretary of the Emerging Market Group of companies. He was previously a University of Zambia Law Lecturer and served as Assistant Dean (Postgraduate) and Assistant Dean (Research). He was also an Assessor and Lecturer at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) and at the Zambia Centre of Accountancy Studies (ZICAS).
Dr Malila was for many years 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.
He 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.
Justice Malila is the past Chairperson of the Editorial Board of the Zambia Law Reports and the Chief Justice’s Advisory Committee on Court Operations.
Dr Malila holds an LLB degree from the University of Zambia, an LLM from the University of Cambridge and another LLM from the University of Cumbria. He obtained his LLD from the University of Pretoria. He additionally has a post-graduate Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Certificate in Human Rights from Strasbourg, France.
Dr Malila is a qualified Court Annexed Mediator; an ADR Centre Accredited Mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society. He taught Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law to post graduate (LLM) students at the University of Lusaka on part time basis between 2017 and 2021.
In his work Dr Malila has won multiple awards including the Transparency International Zambia Recognition Award (2010) for his contribution 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.