Madam Justice Irene Chirwa Mambilima is Zambia’s first female Chief Justice. She was appointed in February 2015. Justice Mambilima holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Zambia, a Post Graduate Diploma in Law Practice from the Law Practice Institute in Lusaka now known as the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), and a Masters of Laws Degree from the University of London.
She is a member of a number of professional associations, including the International Association of Women Judges, the Council of Law Reporting, Child Fund Zambia and the Advisory Board for Women in Law Southern Africa (WILSA). Since being admitted to the bar in1977, Justice Mambilima has worked in various capacities in Government including as a State Advocate under the Attorney General’s Chambers and as the Director of Legal Aid in Zambia. She has also previously served as Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Court Judge and High Court Judge.
As the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, she presided over the 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections and the 2015 presidential by-election.
Justice Mambilima has participated in various election observer missions in Mozambique, Kenya, Seychelles and she led the EISA Election Observation Mission to the presidential elections in Liberia. She has also attended various seminars, conferences and trainings in election management, alternative dispute resolution, gender and democracy and Judges Seminars.