THE RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE IN THE MAGISTRATES COURTS OF ZIMBABWE: WHEN RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE BECOME AN ENEMY OF JUSTICE TO SELF-ACTORS
Access to justice is central to justice delivery in any democratic society. Most initiatives in Zimbabwe on access to justice are focused on the substantive law. Recently an attempt was made to reform rules of civil procedure but it appeared the exercise was more of gap filling than a real reform. There was no specific goal and the method was not inclusive particularly of the most affected litigant-the self- actor. This paper proposes a number of approaches that can be utilised to ensure that access to the court is enhanced. The main approach being advanced is simplification of rules of civil procedure. Once litigants are able to bring their matters to the courts then delivery of justice is enhanced.
Key Words: Access to justice; Rules of civil procedure; Self-actor; Simplification
1. Rodgers Matsikidze is a PhD student with the University of Witswatersrand University of Johannesburg, Director-Legal Aid and Attachment Office & Lecturer- Civil Procedure and Labour Law, University of Zimbabwe and a
practising legal practitioner at Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners: www.mmlawchambers.co.zw. He is also a Trustee of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Councillor, Council for Legal Education in Zimbabwe, and board
member for several organisations including Community Working Group on Health (CWGH).