Supreme Court Act
- Commenced on 28 August 1981
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2016 and includes any amendments published up to 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Supreme Court Act [Chapter 7:13].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“Chief Justice” means the Chief Justice of Zimbabwe;“civil case” means any case or matter which is not a criminal case or matter;“judge” includes an acting judge of the Supreme Court;“judgment” includes a decision or order;“Minister” means the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;“rules of court” means the rules of court made in terms of section thirty-four.
Part II – Composition and procedure
3. Composition of Supreme CourtFor the purpose of exercising its jurisdiction in any matter, the Supreme Court shall be duly constituted if it consists of not less than three judges of whom one shall be—
4. Decisions of Supreme Court
5. Judge not to sit on appeal from his own decisionA judge of the Supreme Court shall not sit as a judge on the hearing of an appeal to the Supreme Court from any judgment given by himself or in which he has concurred or from which he has dissented or in respect of which he has been formally consulted.
6. Practice and procedureIn any matter relating to records, practice and procedure for which no special provision is contained in this Act or in rules of court, the matter shall be dealt with by the Supreme Court or a judge thereof as nearly as may be in conformity with the law and practice for the time being observed in England by the Court of Appeal.
7. Process of Supreme CourtThe process of the Supreme Court shall run throughout Zimbabwe and any judgment of the Supreme Court shall have effect in Zimbabwe and shall be executed and enforced by the High Court in like manner as if it were an original judgment of the High Court.
8. Warrant for production of appellant before Supreme CourtWhen the presence of an appellant who is in custody is necessary or desirable at the hearing of his appeal or he has been given leave to be present at the hearing of his appeal in terms of section twenty-nine, a judge of the Supreme Court may issue a warrant for the production of the appellant at the appeal.
Part III – Criminal appeals
9. Jurisdiction in appeals in criminal cases
10. Concession of appeal by Prosecutor-GeneralWhen an appeal against conviction in a criminal case, other than an appeal from the judgment of the High Court, has been noted to the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor-General may, at any time before the hearing of the appeal, give notice to the registrar of the Supreme Court that he does not for reasons stated by him support the conviction, whereupon a judge of the Supreme Court in chambers may allow the appeal and quash the conviction without hearing argument from the parties or their legal representatives and without their appearing before him.
11. Prosecution of appeals in person
12. Determination of appeals in ordinary cases
13. Special powers of Supreme Court in respect of appeals by Prosecutor-General on points of law or against acquittals
14. Powers of Supreme Court in special cases
15. Determination by Supreme Court of questions reserved by High Court
16. Powers of Supreme Court in relation to order ancillary to conviction
17. Supplementary powers of Supreme CourtFor the purposes of this Part, the Supreme Court may, if it thinks it necessary or expedient in the interests of justice—
18. Statement of case or question of law arising on appealIn the case of an appeal in a criminal case which involves a question of law alone, a judge of the Supreme Court may, if he thinks fit, request the court or tribunal from which the appeal is brought to state the question, together with all the circumstances under which the said question has arisen, in such manner as may be prescribed by rules of court.
19. Time for obtaining leave to appeal
20. Detention as unconvicted prisonerThe time during which an appellant in custody is treated, pending the determination of his appeal, as an unconvicted prisoner shall not, unless the Supreme Court otherwise directs, count as part of any term of imprisonment under his sentence.
Part IV – Civil appeals
21. Jurisdiction in appeals in civil cases
22. Powers of Supreme Court in appeals in civil cases
23. Statement of case or question of law arising on appeal
24. Effect of judgment of Supreme Court in civil appealsExcept as otherwise provided in any other law, judgment of the Supreme Court in any appeal in terms of this Part shall be recorded in the court or tribunal of first instance and such judgment may be enforced in all respects as if it had been given by that court or tribunal.
Part V – General
25. Review powers
26. Finality of decisions of Supreme Court
27. Sittings of Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court shall sit at such places and at such times as may be prescribed by rules of court or as directed by the Chief Justice or, in the absence of the Chief Justice, by a judge of the Supreme Court.
28. Seal of Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court shall have and use as occasion may require a seal in a design approved by the President.
29. Right of person to be present at hearing of his appeal or other application
30. Right of audienceSubject to section twenty-nine, the rules of court and any other law, in all proceedings before the Supreme Court the parties may appear in person or be represented and appear by any legal practitioner registered in terms of the Legal Practitioners Act [Chapter 27:07].
31. Proceedings in open court and in EnglishExcept as otherwise provided in the rules of court or in any other law, all proceedings in the Supreme Court shall be carried on in open court and the pleadings and proceedings thereof shall be in the English language.
32. Administration of oaths
33. Officers of Supreme Court
34. Rules of Court
35. Regulatory power to fix feesThe Minister may make regulations providing for the fees which shall be payable in respect of instruments, services or other matters received, issued, provided or otherwise dealt with by the registrar or any other officer of the Supreme Court in the course of his duties or in the office of such officer.
History of this document
28 August 1981