04/20/2009 AT 7:45 AM ET
A three-judge Supreme Court of Appeal panel will convene on May 4 to hear an appeal filed by Madonna against an April 3 Malawi High Court decision to stop her from adopting 3-year-old Malawian girl Chifundo “Mercy” James.
Joseph Chigona, registrar of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal, said Monday, “As with all court cases involving infants, this one will be in chambers, not in an open court.”
Alan Chinula, Madonna’s Malawian lawyer, said he already has presented grounds for his appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal and was hopeful.
“We believe the lower court judge erred by basing her judgment on an archaic law of over 50 years ago,” he said.
According to Chigona and Chinula, the singer is not required to be present during the appeal, which may last for two weeks.
Madonna, 50, adopted her son, David Banda, now 3, from Malawi in 2008; she was granted custody and allowed to take him out of the country two years earlier. That adoption caused controversy, including claims that her application received special status because of her celebrity.