Subordinate Courts

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The Constitution of the republic of Zambia provides for the establishment of various courts. With reference to the Subordinate Courts; Chapter 28 of the Laws of Zambia provides for the creation of Subordinate Courts in all the districts in Zambia. These are the lower courts and the courts of the first instance.

 

According to Section 7 of the Criminal Procedure Code Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia, a Subordinate Court of the first, second or third Class may try any offence under any written laws of Zambia and pass any sentence but;

  • A Subordinate Court presided over by the Principle Resident Magistrate and Senior Resident Magistrate cannot pass a sentence of imprisonment of more than 9 years;
  • A Resident Magistrate cannot pass a sentence of imprisonment of more than 7 years;
  • A Magistrate Class 1 cannot pass a sentence of imprisonment of more than 5 years;
  • A Subordinate Court presided over by a Magistrate of second and third Class cannot pass a sentence of imprisonment of more than 3 years.

However, under Section 8 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a Court of any class may promote reconciliation between the parties to facilitate the settlement in an amicable way in less serious offences like assaults and offences of personal or private nature.

Appeals Appeals from Subordinate Courts go to the High Court.