A LAW graduate from the University of Zambia has sued the council of ZIALE for rejecting his application on the basis that he does not have a grade 12 certificate with five “O” level credits.

Miza Phiri of Lusaka’s Makeni area in his affidavit indicated that he was a holder of a Bachelor of Laws Degree, who had recently applied for enrolment on the Legal Practitioners Qualifying Exam course for September intake but that his application was rejected.

He stated that he applied to the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education with a General Certificate of Education with four ‘A’ levels based on Rule 5 and Rule 6 of the students Rules under the Legal Practitioners Act.

“The respondent wrote to me by letter dated 22nd September 2017 stating that my application was rejected because there was no evidence of a grade 12 certificate with 5 ‘O’ level credits or better,” he added.

Phiri stated that he responded to the letter and that ZIALE again wrote to him indicating that the council, pursuant to section 4(2) of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education Act, set the minimum educational entry qualifications as a Grade 12 certificate with 5 ‘O’ level credits including English and that it was based on that provision that his application was rejected.

He submitted that he wrote to the Attorney General over the same issue.

Phiri has begged the High Court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction under Order 3 rule 2 of the High Court Rules to hear his appeal out of time.

“In the interest of justice and equity, my opportunity to be heard would be lost if the honourable court does not exercise its jurisdiction in his regard. The applicant humbly seeks the indulgence of this court to hear this application urgently as lectures commenced at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education on the, 30thOctober 2017,” stated Phiri.

Zambian lawyers have differed over the interpretation of the recent Constitutional Court Judgement barring candidates without Grade 12 Certificates to contest in the 12th August 2021 elections.


  1. Mamamamamama! We are in trouble! ZIALE itself does not know how to interpret the law! I have said this for a long time that this Grade 12 certificate requirement in Zambia is outdated and should be scrapped, because very few people understand what the word ‘minimum’ is. Nearly every job advertised, even for doctors, there is this grade 12 certificate requirement. A person who has gone on to acquire a degree surely, should not be denied a job just because there is no grade 12 certificate!


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