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JSC calls for nomination of High Court judges

by Staff reporter
15 Mar 2024 at 07:12hrs | Views
THE Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has called on members of the public to nominate suitable candidates for 10 vacancies on the High Court bench and one for the Administrative Court judge.

The vacancies came about through dismissal or voluntary resignation of judges who had been accused of misconduct.

Judges removed from the JSC by President Mnangagwa following recommendations by tribunals set up to investigate them include former Supreme Court judge, Justice Francis Bere, High Court judges, Justices Erica Ndewere, Edith Mushore and Thompson James Mabhikwa.

Former High Court judges, Justices Martin Makonese and Webster Nicholas Chinamora resigned when President Mnangagwa constituted tribunals to investigate their suitability to hold office.

The vacancy at the Administrative Court arose following the retirement of Justice Herbert Mandeya.

The call for nominations is part of the commission's effort to offer a world-class justice delivery system in the country by replenishing the pool of judicial talent and maintaining an adequate number of judges to handle the workload.

The country currently has 36 High Court judges stationed in Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare.

According to a JSC statement, members of the public can nominate qualified lawyers to be shortlisted for public interviews in terms of Section 180 (4)(b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

People intending to nominate candidates can obtain forms from the office of the JSC secretary in Harare, and offices of provincial magistrates in Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Chinhoyi, Bindura, Mutare, Gwanda, Hwange, Marondera and Gweru.

Forms can also be downloaded on the JSC website www.jsc.org.zw.

"All completed nomination forms, with the nominee's curriculum vitae, proof of professional qualifications, medical report and certificate of registration as a legal practitioner attached, must be submitted to the office of the secretary, Judicial Service Commission, JSC House, No. 161 Josiah Chinamano Avenue, corner Josiah Chinamano Avenue and Seventh Street, Harare or the office of any provincial magistrate in charge of a province as specified above by no later than close of business on 2 April 2024," read the statement.

In terms of Section 179 of the Constitution, a person qualified for appointment as a judge of the High Court must be at least 40 years old.

The person must have been a judge of a court with unlimited jurisdiction in civil or criminal matters in a country in which the common law is Roman-Dutch or English, and English is an officially recognised language or have been qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Zimbabwe or in a country in which Roman-Dutch law or English and English is an officially recognised language for at least seven years and is still so qualified, and is a Zimbabwean citizen.

After meeting those basic requirements, the prospective judge then has to show they are a proper person to hold office as a judge of the High Court, which is where their personal attributes, their standing in society and the legal profession, legal experience and background and other factors not spelled out in the Constitution come into reckoning.

Source - The Chronicle
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