Court Watch 07/2021 - CJ's Practice Direction 5 of 2021

COURT WATCH 7/2021

[4th March 2021]

Practice Direction 5 of 2021 of 1st March:

Operational Directions for the Courts During the Relaxed National Lockdown Period

On Monday 1st March the President announced that the lockdown would continue but in a considerably relaxed form.  This announcement was implemented by Statutory Instrument 61/2021 [link] which made the necessary amendments to the National Lockdown Order in force under the Public Health Act.  

On the same day the Chief Justice issued Practice Direction 5 of 2021 [link] which contains the rules applicable to court operations during the relaxed national lockdown period from 2nd March onwards.  The complete text of the Practice Direction is set out below – omitting only the Judicial Service Commission crest.   

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE

PRACTICE DIRECTION 5 OF 2021

OPERATIONAL DIRECTIONS FOR THE COURTS DURING THE RELAXED NATIONAL LOCKDOWN PERIOD

  1. This Practice Direction is issued to replace operational instructions announced in Practice Directions 1 to 4 of 2021.
  2. It applies to the Constitutional Court; the Supreme Court; the High Court (including the offices of the Master and the Sheriff); the Labour Court; the Administrative Court; and the Magistrates’ Court (including the Messenger of Court) in Zimbabwe.

Court Operations

  1. Normal court operations, including the offices of the Master and the Sheriff of the High Court, shall resume with effect from 2 March 2021, subject to the requirements of paragraphs 10, 11, 12 and 13 of this Practice Direction.
  2. Court operations shall proceed in the manner set out in this Practice Direction.
  3. The hours during which Registries shall be open for litigants, legal practitioners and the public shall be in terms of the applicable Court Rules.
  4. The filing and processing of new cases, process, documents, pleadings, papers and court orders, including service and execution by the Sheriff and the Messenger of Court,  shall be done in terms of the applicable Court Rules, legislation or court order.
  5. For the avoidance of doubt, accused persons originally remanded between 5 January 2021 and 1 March 2021, remain automatically remanded to the dates stated in Practice Direction 4 of 2021*.
  6. Solemnisation of marriages shall be conducted provided that only the parties to the marriage and their witnesses shall be allowed to attend.

Court Attendance

  1. Admission into court premises and offices shall be subject to paragraphs 10-13 below.
  2. All persons who attend Court shall at all times:-

i. be subjected to temperature checks;

ii. be required to sanitise their hands at entry into court premises;

iii. wear face masks in the manner prescribed by law;

iv. avoid person to person contact; and

v. maintain social distancing as prescribed by law.

  1. Any person who does not comply with the requirements specified in paragraph 10 shall not be allowed entry into court premises/courthouse/ courtroom; or shall be asked to leave the court premises or courtroom or courthouse.
  2. Entry into court premises/courthouses/courtrooms shall be limited to litigants, their legal practitioners, necessary witnesses and identified members of the press.
  3. Entry into court premises/courthouses shall strictly not be permitted to members of the public who have no business at court.

Effective date

  1. This Practice Direction takes effect from 2 March 2021.

Hon. Mr Justice L Malaba

Chief Justice of Zimbabwe

HARARE

1 March 2021

* NOTE BY VERITAS

(not part of the above Practice Note)

To assist readers we set out below the remand dates from Practice Direction 4/2021 referred to in paragraph 7 of the above Practice Note.

Column ‘A’

Column ‘B’

Original Remand Date

New date of remand

5 January 2021

3 March 2021

6 January 2021

4 March 2021

7 January 2021

5 March 2021

8 January 2021

8 March 2021

11 January 2021

9 March 2021

12 January 2021

10 March 2021

13 January 2021

11 March 2021

14 January 2021

12 March 2021

15 January 2021

15 March 2021

18 January 2021

16 March 2021

19 January 2021

17 March 2021

20 January 2021

18 March 2021

21 January 2021

19 March 2021

22 January 2021

22 March 2021

25 January 2021

23 March 2021

26 January 2021

24 March 2021

27 January 2021

25 March 2021

28 January 2021

26 March 2021

29 January 2021

29 March 2021

1 February 2021

30 March 2021

2 February 2021

31 March 2021

3 February 2021

1 April 2021

4 February 2021

6 April 2021

5 February 2021

7 April 2021

8 February 2021

8 April 2021

9 February 2021

9 April 2021

10 February 2021

12 April 2021

11 February 2021

13 April 2021

12 February 2021

14 April 2021

15 February 2021

15 April 2021

16 February 2021

16 April 2021

17 February 2021

20 April 2021

18 February 2021

21 April 2021

19 February 2021

22 April 2021

23 February 2021

23 April 2021

24 February 2021

26 April 2021

25 February 2021

27 April 2021

26 February 2021

28 April 2021

28 February 2021

29 April 2021

1 March 2021

30 April 2021

 

 

 

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