Consent judgments should be obtained in a proper manner – LAZ

LAZ says consent judgments should be obtained from courts of law in a proper manner.

And the LAZ Legal Practitioners’ Committee has adjourned John Sangwa’s hearing to a later date.

In an interview, Law Association of Zambia president Eddie Mwitwa said lawyers should maintain the dignity the profession was associated with.

Asked if LAZ was aware of public concerns that some lawyers were colluding with judicial officers to obtain fraudulent consent judgments, Mwitwa appealed to affected parties to report such to the association’s Legal Practitioners’ Committee.

“We can’t say we’ve received complaints of that nature. I mean, I have come across judgments where a consent judgment has been set aside. It’s absolutely important that we maintain the dignity that our profession is associated with. And, also, it’s important for the administration of justice that if consent judgments are obtained, they must be obtained in a proper manner,” he said. “So, if there are any people who’ve been affected by such judgments, we would urge them to come forward. There are certain things that happen without the knowledge of LAZ and the Legal Practitioners’ Committee. So, we would be helped if people came forward. I personally do not recall encountering a situation where an interested party has reported to LAZ, regarding a consent judgment that was fraudulently obtained. But if those things are happening our appeal would be that interested parties or members of the public who are able to present evidence to our Legal Practitioners’ Committee should come forward and do that.”

Meanwhile, LAZ has adjourned Sangwa’s hearing to a date yet to be confirmed.

State Counsel Sangwa appeared before the committee on Friday last week, following a complaint of professional misconduct filed against him by the Judiciary in March this year.

And following that complaint, the acting chief registrar issued a circular on March 13, announcing that at the direction of the Judiciary, Sangwa would no longer be allowed to appear before any court in Zambia until further notice.

Sangwa has been a critic of the Judiciary and the infamous Constitution (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, which government has been pushing down people’s throats.

Mwitwa said Sangwa applied for an adjournment.
“Well it did [take place], but only to the extent that State Counsel [Sangwa] requested for an adjournment. He needed to enable his lawyer who had just returned to prepare for the matter and also to be in attendance at the next sitting,” said Mwitwa. “The lawyer was not available on Friday, so the matter was adjourned to a date to be advised in due course.”

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