The ICJ today welcomed the decision of the Government of Zimbabwe to grant permission to visit the country later this year in order to carry out a fact finding mission with regard to recent developments on the rule of law.
In a meeting yesterday at ICJ headquarters in Geneva with ICJ Secretary-General, Louise Doswald-Beck, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Justice, the Hon. Patrick Chinamasa agreed to a mission by an ICJ delegation some time between July and September. The Government of Zimbabwe has pledged to provide the mission with all assistance.
It is expected that the mission will meet with President Mugabe, senior ministers, members of the Judiciary (past and present) and representatives of the legal fraternity and civil society. The composition of the mission is yet to be confirmed but will comprise of three eminent jurists drawn for the ICJ’s global network.
The mission will examine questions relating to the administration of justice especially as they relate to principles on the independence of the judiciary and will take into account the historical root causes of recent events including demands for greater judicial activism in ensuring social justice. A report of the mission’s findings and recommendations will be submitted to the Government of Zimbabwe. It was understood that a later follow-up visit will be arranged to assess the implementation of the recommendations.
For some time, the ICJ has closely followed events in Zimbabwe. In statements dated 7 February and 2 March, the ICJ expressed serious concern over allegations of executive intervention in judicial appointments and tenure. The mission will afford a first hand opportunity to assess developments and engage the Government of Zimbabwe in a constructive dialogue.