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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Public interest law and litigation in Zimbabwe: objectives, problems and prospects
Author:Goredema, CharlesISNI
Periodical:Lesotho Law Journal: A Journal of Law and Development
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
rule of law
Abstract:In the wake of the 'third wave' of democratization in southern Africa, Zimbabwe is experiencing an awakening of civil society and greater demands by the public to be involved in governance. The legal profession cannot afford to stand aloof. One way in which the profession can perpetuate the relevance of lawyering to the immediate and long-term problems of development is by nurturing the evolution of public interest law. This will involve addressing the conflict between judicial self-restraint, which is embedded in judicial precedent, and juristic activism. The Supreme Court, which is not disabled by the stare decisis doctrine, is in a position to take the lead, but the High Court and the Administrative Court are the primary courts to drive the process forward. In their efforts, they should be able to get much assistance from what has already been achieved in India and South Africa. In the short to medium term public interest law in Zimbabwe can be expected to create a legal environment which is conducive to social justice interpretation, through the drafting of a new Constitution and the reformulation of the Declaration of Rights; to draw attention to diverse areas of public need, including the question of access to judicial institutions, notably the issues of locus standi, class actions, and the affordability of legal services; and to impose on the judiciary the responsibility of actually investigating and mapping out feasible courses of corrective action. Notes, ref.