ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
3. Establishment of National Archives
5. Government Archivist
6. Powers and duties of the Government Archivist
7. Prescribed bodies
NATIONAL ARCHIVES ADVISORY COUNCIL
8. Establishment of National Archives Advisory Council
HISTORICAL, PUBLIC AND GENERAL RECORDS
9. Historical records
10. Deposit of historical records and rights of owner thereof
11. Selection and conservation of public records
12. Destruction of public records
13. General records
14. Public and judicial records declared public archives by the Minister
15. Historical records declared public archives by the Minister
16. Publication or reproduction of public archives
INSPECTION, COPYING AND REMOVAL OF RECORDS
17. Inspection and copying of National Archives
18. Restrictions on removal and export of National Archives
19. Government Archivist’s right of access to documents restricted by Act, Order of Court, etc.
20. Authenticated copies
21. Failure to comply with Notices to produce documents
22. Failure to comply with conditions
12 of 1975
20 of 1987
4 of 1989
An Act to provide for the classification, conservation, custody, control, acquisition and disposal of certain public, judicial, historical and general records; for the establishment of a collection of such records, to be known as the National Archives of Malawi, which shall be the official repository thereof; for the setting-up of the National Archives Advisory Council, with power to advise the Minister on certain stated matters of policy and administration; for the repeal of the National Archives Act of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in its operation to Malawi; and for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing
[14TH NOVEMBER 1975]
This Act may be cited as the National Archives Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“Council” means the National Archives Advisory Council established pursuant to section 8;
“document” includes any manuscript, newspaper, picture, painting, record, register, printed material, book, map, plan, drawing, photograph (positive or negative), photocopy, microfilm, cinematograph film, video tape, gramophone record or other transcription of language, picture or music, recorded by any means capable of reproduction;
“Government Archivist” means the person designated as such under section 5;
“historical records” means any documents (other than public or judicial records) which are declared to be of historical importance pursuant to section 9 (3);
“judicial records” means any documents constituting the official records of any proceedings before any court, commission, board of inquiry or other judicial or quasi-judicial body or person, which are in the custody of such court, or of any Ministry, Department or agency of Government, or of any person lawfully committed with such custody or which have been deposited in the National Archives as judicial records;
“National Archives” means a place where there is kept the official collection of public archives and public, judicial, historical and general records established pursuant to section 3;
“prescribed body” bears the meaning ascribed to that term by section 7 (1);
“public archives” means all such public and judicial records and all such historical records as are classified and conserved in the National Archives as public archives pursuant to sections 14 and 15, respectively;
“public records” means—
(a) any documents of the Government, or of any Ministry, Department or agency thereof (other than judicial records), which relate to the general or specific functions of the Government, or of the said Ministry, Department or agency, as the case may be, or to the performance of such functions, and which are in the custody of the said Ministry, Department or agency, or are on deposit in the National Archives as public records;
(b) any documents of any prescribed body, being public records pursuant to section 7 (2), which are in the custody of such prescribed body, or are on deposit in the National Archives as public records,
but does not include any such records as are classified and conserved in the National Archives as public archives pursuant to this Act;
“Seal” means the seal of the National Archives, as provided for in section 4 (1).
(1) There is hereby established, for the purposes of this Act, an official collection of public archives, and other public, judicial, historical and general records of, or relating to, Malawi; which collection shall be known as the National Archives of Malawi.
(2) All public archives and all such other public, judicial and historical records as are, at the date of commencement, deposited in the National Archives of Malawi established under section 4 of the National Archives Act of the former Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, shall be transferred to and deposited in the National Archives established under this Act, and shall, upon such transfer, be classified and conserved in such National Archives under the classifications appropriate thereto under this Act.
(3) The National Archives shall be kept in such place or places within Malawi, or elsewhere, as the Minister may, from time to time, designate in writing for such purpose. Notice of each such designation shall be published in the Gazette.
(4) The National Archives may, from time to time, in accordance with this Act, be extended by the inclusion therein of further public archives or further public, judicial, historical or general records or may be abridged by the removal therefrom, of any such archives or records.
(1) There shall be an official seal of the National Archives which shall be an embossed seal of a design approved by the Minister.
(2) The Seal shall be kept in such custody as the Government Archivist with the approval of the Minister, directs, and shall be used solely for the certification or authentication of copies of, or copy extracts from, the National Archives.
(3) All courts, Judges and other persons acting judicially shall take judicial notice of the Seal of the National Archives affixed to any document, and shall presume that it was duly affixed.
(4) The Seal shall be authenticated by the signature of the Government Archivist, or of any officer of the National Archives duly authorized by the Government Archivist in that behalf.
(1) There shall be a Government Archivist who shall be a public officer designated as such by the Minister.
(2) The Government Archivist shall be the controlling officer and custodian of the National Archives and shall be assisted by such other public officers as shall be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
The Government Archivist shall, subject to this Act and to the general or special directions of the Minister—
(a) direct, manage and control the National Archives;
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