Chimwemwe Chithope Mwale HRDA 

Chimwemwe Chithope-Mwale | Malawi

Bachelor of Laws (Honours), University of Malawi, Malawi

Previous experience

Chimwemwe works for the Malawi Legal Aid Bureau where he heads one of the Bureau’s four regional offices in Malawi and offers legal aid to the indigent in diverse civil and criminal matters. Accordingly, he discharges both legal and administrative duties. Regarding criminal matters, he has extensively litigated in capital offences, including in the mass re-sentencing of death-row prisoners who were previously sentenced to the mandatory death penalty prior to its abolition in Malawi. His work around the death penalty resulted in invitations to Kenya and Tanzania to share insights on how the countries could conduct re-sentencing in line with international human rights standards. This followed the abolition of the mandatory death penalty by the Supreme Court in Kenya and an order by the African Court on Human and People’s Rights in Ally Rajabu v United Republic of Tanzania holding that Tanzania’s mandatory death penalty violates the African Charter. In 2019, he represented Malawi Legal Aid Bureau and its partners, that included Cornell University and Reprieve (UK), in the World Justice Challenge competition and emerged one of the five World Justice Challenge winners, out of over two-hundred and fifty competitors world-wide, for ensuring access to justice for all. He is a 2017 Cornell University trained capital defence Makwanyane fellow and an alumnus for the 2022 International Visitor Leadership Program on the United States Judicial System and Rule of Law. He also serves as a member of the national task-force that is responsible for Universal Periodic Review for Malawi, and he has so served for over five years.

Additionally, through internships at various public and private institutions, namely the Attorney General's Office, Director of Public Prosecution's Office, Malawi Judiciary, Malawi Police Service, Malawi Prison Service, Paralegal Advisory Service Institute and Crown and Duke private law firm, he acquired other experience pertaining to investigation, institution and prosecution of criminal matters, representing and defending the Government, adjudication of disputes, management of penitentiary facilities and dispensing justice at grassroots level in a capacity akin to a paralegal, amongst others.

Academic fields of interest

  • Access to justice
  • Good governance
  • Children’s rights
  • Mental health
  • Right to life
  • Death penalty
  • Criminal justice generally

Position prior to the programme

Chief Legal Aid Advocate at Malawi Legal Aid Bureau



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