THE Judicial Services Commission will on Friday officially mark the separation of Constitutional and Supreme Courts in a development that has been regarded as a milestone by the legal fraternity.
The ceremony will be beamed live on social media as a COVID-19 prevention measure and in the spirit of upholding the lockdown regulations.
Legal experts who spoke to Zim Morning Post Wednesday, said it was a welcome development that promoted citizens’ access to justice.
“This development draws a line of jurisdiction where the Constitutional Court will be able to focus only on constitutional matters and issues connected with decisions on constitutional matters.
“The Concourt will as well advise on the constitutionality of any proposed legislation in accordance with the Constitution while the Supreme Court will be the final court of appeal except in matters over which the Constitutional Court has jurisdiction which is a plus,” submitted a top lawyer who refused to be named.
The leaders of judicial commissions of Malawi, Zambia and Namibia were meant to attend but due to COVID-19 pandemic, they participate via virtual means as has become the norm globally.
Chief Justice Luke Malaba will deliver the keynote speech while the participating speakers include Andrew Nyirenda, the chairperson of the Southern African chief justice forum and chief justice of Malawi, Justice Peter Shivute, chief justice of Namibia, Ziyambi Ziyambi minister of justice and legal Parliamentary Affairs, Zimbabwe, Justice Irene Mambilima, Zambia’s chief justice and Thandaza Masiye Moyo, president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe
According to the Judicial Services Commission, the development will see speedy resolution of cases as the Courts would not have to share a courtroom or days on which to hear matters
“There will be an increase in efficiency amongst both judicial officers and staff members which will in turn result in a reduction in the backlog of cases and improve the quality of justice available to litigants,” said a Judicial Service Commission official.
The local justice delivery system has lately been rocked with corruption allegations leveled against some officers of law, and the speedy resolution of cases will curb this practice.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday former Zesa chief executive Josh Chifamba was acquitted of fraud charges by the High Court , in a development that some observers have described as symptomatic of ‘catch and release’ mantra.