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CONSTITUTIONAL COURT BILL (H.B. 11A, 2019)

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT BILL, 2019
Memorandum
Constitutional Court is a creature of the Constitution established interms of section
166 of the Constitution. Courts are generally created by the Constitution. Section 167
of the Constitution provides for the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court. An Act of
Parliament provides for other issues not provided for by the Constitution which are
necessary to facilitate the proper functioning of the Court. In light of this, the main
purpose of this Bill is to enhance the operation of the Constitutional Court. The Bill
confers additional jurisdiction upon the Constitutional Court. In particular the Bill
provides for the following—
Clause 1 provides for the short title of this Bill.
Clause 2 provides for interpretation of terms used in the Bill.
Clause 3 provides that the Constitutional Court must be a court of record. It further
provides for the seal of the Constitutional Court which must be in the custody of the
Registrar.
Clause 4 reiterates the provisions of section 166 of the Constitution in relation to
the composition of the Constitutional Court.
Clause5providesforthemannerinwhichdecisionsaremadebytheConstitutional
Court. Decisions are made by the majority of Judges sitting at any particular time. This
Clause also gives power to the Chief Justice to appoint an Acting Judge where one
of the Judges is no longer able to continue sitting as the Judge due to death, physical
incapacity or retirement.Generally,the decisions of the Constitutional Court are final.In
the handing down of judgments, the Court shall not be bound by its previous decisions.
Clause 6 provides for an exception to the appeal procedure. Generally, the effect
of the appeal in civil proceedings is that the decision made by the inferior court is
suspended until the appeal is finalised. An appeal from the Supreme Court shall not
suspend the decisionmade by the SupremeCourt exceptwhere theConstitutionalCourt
has ruled otherwise.
Clause 7 provides for the conflict of interest situation for Judges. No Judge may
be permitted to sit in a matter where he or she has formally participated in the making
of the previous decision concerning the same matter.
Clause 8 provides for the scope and execution of processes for the Constitutional
Court. The judgments of the Constitutional Court shall be executable throughout
Zimbabwe. A copy of the certified judgment handed to the Registrar of the High Court
or Clerk of the Magistrates Court shall empower the Registrar or Clerk to execute the
judgment of the Constitutional Court.
Clause 9 provides for the admissibility of the certified copies of judgments and
records.
Clause 10 provides for the power of Chief Justice to, before the beginning of the
year, publish a calendar for the sitting of theCourt.
Clause 11 creates an offence of contempt of court committed by any person who
demonstrates any dishonourable conduct to the Court.

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