Abstract

Judicial review is a judicial action that involves the review of an inferior legislative or executive act for conformity with a higher legal norm, with the possibility that the inferior norm may be invalidated or suspended if necessary. Although judicial review has been explicitly provided for in some written post-independence African constitutions, such review has not developed into a significant principle of African juridical democracy. This lack of development can be attributed to the emergence of dictatorships in the post-colonial era. However, Malawi’s weak judiciary system was remedied by the 1994 Constitution which gave the Malawian judiciary a central position, similar to the U.S. constitutional system. This paper examines judicial review in the United States and weighs its viability in the new Malawi system. Historical, socio-economic, and political perspectives are considered in this analysis, along with the fact that Malawi has been exposed to almost three decades of executive omnipotence.