Zimbabwe - Judicial system

The legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law and has been influenced by the system of South Africa. A four-member Supreme Court, headed by the chief justice, has original jurisdiction over alleged violations of fundamental rights guaranteed in the constitution and appellate jurisdiction over other matters. There is a High Court consisting of general and appellate divisions. Below the High Court are regional magistrate's courts with civil jurisdiction and magistrate's courts with both civil and criminal jurisdiction. Before independence, separate African courts had jurisdiction over cases involving traditional law and custom. Beginning in 1981, these courts were integrated into the national system.

The chief justice of the High Court is appointed by the president upon recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission. The Commission also advises the president on the appointment of the other judges.

In 1990 the Customary Law and Local Courts Act established a unitary court system made up of headmen's courts, chiefs' courts, magisterial courts, the High Court, and the Supreme Court. Under this system, customary law cases can be appealed through all levels to the Supreme Court.

The constitution provides for the right to a fair trial and the judiciary rigorously enforces this right. However, under Mugabe, the judiciary's reputation for independence from the executive branch has been compromised as the executive has refashioned the courts to conform with its dictates. Nevertheless, the High Court ruled in favor in several of the MDC's elections petitions alleging violence and intimidation that obstructed the election process.

User Contributions:

How many judges are in the Supreme Court? I'm working on a project about Zimbabwe and it'll be helpful if you mentioned that. Thanks for your time!
What is the procedure of court in Zimbabwe in a criminal case? Who are involved? Who makes the final decision? I am working on an academic paper that requires this information.

I was living in SA whilst our divorce went through in September 2009. I signed the consent form of which my ex husband had promised me he would sort me out financially (THIS HE DID NOT)it was not stated in the consent.
Since having returned to Zim in Dec 2010 i have found out my legal rights and realised that I had a very unfair settlement.

He stopped all my finances and therefore was unable to have my own lawyer representing me.
having been married to him for 25 years - together operating a business for 15 years. Can I contest this consent or am I legally able to go through with a business settlement or take my issue to the high court. My ex did not pay for the house we had a bond on in SA, therefore had to sell it and lost out on my portion of the settlement. I also discovered bank account figures which I only got last year - he blocked the account (joint) without my knowledge.
Sold many moveables without my knowledge some in my name.

I would appreciate your assistance and look forward to your reply

Yours Sincerely

Denise Birketoft
You can't appeal to the High Court directly except in exceptional cases where you will either be appealing for a Review or Appellate,and yours is not an exceptional case.
Take the case to the Claims Court or to the Magistrate Court,Maintanance Court because your case involves domestic misunderstandings.If the ruling does not satisfy you legally,either because you have evidence that the ruling was not fair or that there was some form of bribing,only then will you be fully able to appeal to the High Court.

I do hope that this has been most helpful.Wish you all the best.
P. Duri
What are the requirements for studying at the Judicial College in Zimbabwe?
mufari ashton
1 who exactly constitutes the supreme court when decidng a criminal case(an appeal)?
2 are the judges always governed by the notions of justice when deciding all matters?
3 can you please explain what exactly the judges tyr to mean when they utter a fomula,'unless the justice of the case otherwise requres in the application of customary law
Chido Chieza
What are the requirements for studying at the Judicial College in Zimbabwe?
Jubilant Dube
What are the requirements for studying at judicial college of Zimbabwe?
Does the judicial college of Zimbabwe offer distance or E learning?
What are the procedures in appeal courts and I am also requesting for the procedures in the criminal law courts in Zimbabwe . who are the parties involved and their roles as court official
What are the requirements and when is the next intake at the Judicial college
is the judicial college still in existence and if so would they accept a student who has acquired 6 points at A-level
This website was not helpful at all. I'm in my HONORS Humanities class and my teacher isn't here so she can't help and i'm sorry that i thought you guys could help me.
This website was not helpful at all. I'm in my HONORS Humanities class and my teacher isn't here so she can't help and i'm sorry that i thought you guys could help me.
there are seven supreme court judges in Zimbabwe headed by the chief justices and his deputy and other five judges appointed by the president
im looking for the specific functions of the zimbabwean courts thus comminity/village court,magistrate ,high and the supreme courts

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