The ICJ has published Judicial Accountability: An Adaptation of Practitioners Guide No. 13 for Zimbabwe, which analyzes the Zimbabwean legal framework in light of international and regional standards on accountability mechanisms for judicial corruption and judicial involvement in human rights violations.
The Guide reproduces the text of the ICJ’s 2016 global publication, Judicial Accountability: Practitioners’ Guide No.13, supplementing it with detailed information, analysis and recommendations specific to the context of Zimbabwe.
The Guides focus on international and regional standards and best practices on not only the accountability of individual judges, but also the accountability of the judiciary as an institution and State responsibility under international law, particularly in relation to the harm caused to victims of violations by judges.
The adaptation of this Guide to the Zimbabwean context specifically, is meant to assist practitioners in Zimbabwe, including judicial officers and lawyers, to engage with the domestic legal framework from a position informed by international standards and best practices.
This publication should be a particularly useful and relevant resource for the Zimbabwean judiciary whose theme for this calendar year is “Judicial Transparency and Accountability”.
Speaking on this publication and its relevance to the Zimbabwean context, ICJ Senior Legal Adviser, Blessing Gorejena highlighted how topical the issue of judicial independence in Zimbabwe has been:
“Judicial accountability is at the core of a functional and independent judiciary. The independence of a judiciary cannot just be assumed, it must be evidenced by functional and effective accountability mechanisms, systems and processes which leave little to no room for doubts about the judiciary’s ability to dispense justice without fear or favor. As such, like justice, judicial independence must not only be said to exist but must be seen to exist. Accountability is how judicial independence is seen to exist.”
This Guide considers a multitude of topics relating to judicial accountability, including but not limited to an appraisal of Zimbabwe’s duties to ensure an independent, impartial and accountable judiciary under international law and an analysis of the relevant accountability bodies in Zimbabwe.
Recommendations are consequently made in an effort to tackle inconsistencies between the adopted practices in Zimbabwe and its duties under international law.
Blessing Gorejena, Senior Legal Adviser and Team Leader of ICJ Zimbabwe Project, t: +263 77 215 1989, e: blessing.gorejena(a)icj.org
Elizabeth Mangenje, Legal Adviser, t: +263 77 474 2420, e: elizabeth.mangenje(a)icj.org