Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) which offer or intend to offer legal education in Malawi, have been urged to follow set minimum standards and guidelines in offering the same.
The call was made by Chief Executive Officer for the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Dr. Ignasio Malizani Jimu, at a one-day workshop for the validation of minimum standards and requirements for law schools in Malawi.
The workshop held recently in Salima, was organized jointly by NCHE and the Malawi Council of Legal Education (MCLE).
Participants included those from Mzuzu University (MZUNI); the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Blantyre International University (BIU), the Catholic University (CUNIMA), Chancellor College (CHANCO), the Polytechnic, Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRDC), Staff Development Institute, NCHE and MCLE.
Discussions centred on the contents of the Standards and Guidelines including qualifications needed for one’s admittance into a legal programme; well qualified staff needed for an institution to offer legal education; academic resources needed including well stocked and up to date libraries among others.
“This is an important meeting to regulate the offering of legal education in Malawi. Legal education is a regulated profession and it needed the standards also to be validated by the stakeholders including the institutions offering legal education. The workshop will operationalize the standards,” Dr. Jimu said.
The provision of legal education in Malawi was opened to all higher education institutions following the enactment of the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act, 2017.
Using the Act, the Malawi Council of Legal Education developed Minimum Standards for Universities offering legal education to follow, in order to be accredited by the National Council for Higher Education.
NCHE will accredit the institutions offering legal education, with advice from the MCLE.