The Judiciary

The judiciary is one of the three main branches of government, the other two being the Legislature (i.e. Parliament) and the Executive (the President, Ministers, the Public Service, the Police and Defence Forces).  The judiciary consists of all judicial officers, namely, the people such as judges and magistrates who decide civil and criminal cases in courts.


In Zimbabwe the main courts are the Supreme Court and the High Court, which are presided over by judges, and magistrates courts which, as their name suggests, are presided over by magistrates.  There are also local courts which administer customary law; these comprise primary courts (i.e. headmen’s courts) and community courts (i.e. chiefs’ courts).  In addition there are other specialised courts such as the Administrative Court, which deals with applications and appeals under various Acts of Parliament, and the Labour Court which deals with labour matters.  These courts are presided over by their own judicial officers, i.e. by people who are appointed to preside over the courts on a full-time basis.  In addition there are other specialised courts such as the Fiscal Appeal Court, the Special Court for Income Tax Appeals, presided over by judges, and the Maintenance Court, presided over by magistrates.

All members of the judiciary, other than chiefs and headmen, are under the administrative control of the Judicial Service Commission, which is chaired by the Chief Justice.


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