Court Watch 4-2014


[25th February 2014]

2014 Court Calendars for Supreme Court, High Court and Labour Court

Practice Directions by Chief Justice

Court Calendars for 2014

This paragraph summarises the General Notices that gazetted the detailed 2014 court calendars for the Supreme Court and High Court [GN 609/2013] and Labour Court [GN 608/2013] [both GNs available from addresses at end of bulletin].

Court terms

Court terms for all these courts are as follows:

First term:             Monday 13th January to Friday 4th April

Second term:       Monday 5th May to Friday 1st August

Third term:            Monday 1st September to Friday 28th November.

The First Term of 2015 will start on Monday 12th January 2015.

Court vacations

The three court vacations – Easter Vacation, Mid-year Vacation and Christmas Vacation – come between terms.  The Christmas vacation starting on Saturday 29th November will end on Sunday 11th January 2015. 

Constitutional Court Sittings

On Wednesdays during court term the Supreme Court judges sit as the Constitutional Court to hear constitutional cases. 

Supreme Court Sittings in Bulawayo

The Supreme Court also sits in Bulawayo from time to time.  The dates of these sittings have not been listed in the gazetted court calendar.

High Court Circuits 2014

Each term there will be one circuit in each of the four circuit centres.  The starting dates, all Mondays, are as follows:

Gweru                   27th January          19th May       15th September

Masvingo             10th February        2nd June       29th October

Mutare                  24th February        16th June      30th October

Hwange                10th March             30th June      3rd November

Labour Court Circuits 2014

Each term there will be one circuit in each of the three circuit centres, as follows:

First Circuit

Mutare                  27th January                    to 7th February

Hwange                17th February        to 28th February

Masvingo             10th March             to 21st March

Second Circuit

Mutare                  12th May                to 23rd May

Hwange                2nd June                to 13th June

Masvingo             7th July                             to 18th July

Third Circuit

Mutare                  15th September     to 26th September

Hwange                13th October          to 24th October

Masvingo             10th November      to 21st November.

Practice Directions by Chief Justice

Practice Direction 2/2013: Bringing matters to Constitutional Court

Effective date:  19th June 2013

This Practice Direction gives directions applicable to matters for the Constitutional Court, in the absence of formally enacted rules of court for that court:

  • applications in terms of section 85(1) of the Constitution
  • urgent applications – the Registrar must place every urgent application before the Chief Justice, who “may give directions for the matter to be dealt with at such time and in such manner as he deems fit”
  • appeals from other courts on constitutional issues – must be dealt with in accordance with part IV of the Rules of the Supreme Court, provided that no appeal shall be dismissed for non-compliance with the rules without first seeking directions from the Chief Justice.

Practice Direction 3/2013: Use of the terms “struck off the roll”, “postponed sine die” and “removed from the roll”

Effective date:  1st January 2014

This Practice Direction, dated 29th November 2013, is intended to ensure uniform use of the terms concerned by making certain changes to current practice regarding their use. 

  • “struck off the roll”:  If a Court issues an order that a matter is “struck off the roll”, the effect is that such a matter is no longer before the Court.  If the striking-off was for failure to abide by rules of court, the erring party will have thirty (30) days within which to rectify the defect, failing which the matter will be deemed to have been abandoned. 
  •  “postponed sine die” and “removed from the roll”  These terms have the same meaning – that a matter is adjourned indefinitely without the Court specifying the date when the matter will be heard again.  Where this happens, the Court must direct what a party must do and specify a time-frame for doing it.  The Practice Direction also spells out the consequences of a party’s failure to comply with the Court’s directions, and what will happen where the Court has not given directions. 

Inactive matters  Finally, the Practice Direction provides for the disposal of matters that were previously either “postponed sine die” or “struck off the roll” and have been in that state for long periods of time.  Heads of Courts are requested to direct Registrars to set those matters down and have them finalised.

[Both practice directions available from addresses at end of bulletin]

Documents Available from Veritas in Soft Copy

[see addresses at end of bulletin]

2014 Court Calendar for Supreme Court and High Court [GN 609/2013]

2014 Court Calendar for Labour Court [GN 608/2013]

Chief Justice’s Practice Direction 2/2013

Chief Justice’s Practice Direction 3/2013


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