Civil Matters (Mutual Assistance) Act
- Published in Government Gazette
- Commenced on 1 April 1996
- [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 Civil Matters (Mutual Assistance) Act [Chapter 8:02].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—"civil case" means proceedings in any civil or commercial matter before any court or tribunal, and includes proceedings before an arbitrator;"designated country" means a foreign country or territory declared to be a designated country in terms of subsection (2) of section three;"give evidence" includes to answer a question and to produce a thing in evidence;"judgment" means a judgment or order given or made by any court or tribunal requiring the payment of money, and includes an award of compensation or damages to an aggrieved party in criminal proceedings;"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" include rules or regulations governing the practice and procedure of any tribunal;"tribunal" includes any tribunal, commission, body or authority, whether consisting of one or more persons, which performs any function of a judicial nature or by way of arbitration, conciliation or inquiry.
3. Application of act to designated countries and international tribunals
Part II – Reciprocal enforcement of judgments
4. Interpretation in Part IIIn this Part—"appropriate court", in relation to—(a)any judgment, means the High Court;(b)any judgment which would have been within the jurisdiction of a magistrates court had the cause of action arisen wholly within the court’s province, means that magistrates court;"defendant" includes any person against whom proceedings, whether in convention or reconvention, are instituted in any court or tribunal;"judgment creditor" means the person in whose favour a judgment was given or any other person in whom any of his rights under the judgment have become vested;"judgment debtor" means the person against whom a judgment was given or any other person against whom the judgment is enforceable;"plaintiff" includes any person who institutes proceedings, whether in convention or reconvention, in any court or tribunal or on whose behalf such proceedings are instituted;"registration", in relation to a judgment, means registration in terms of subsection (1) of section seven.
5. Application for registration of foreign judgment
6. Grant or refusal of application
7. Registration of foreign judgment and effect of registration
8. Setting aside of registration of foreign judgment
9. Evidence and presumptions
10. Act not to affect conclusive nature of foreign judgmentsNothing in this Part shall be construed as preventing any court in Zimbabwe from recognizing any judgment given by a court or tribunal outside Zimbabwe, other than a judgment the registration of which has been refused or set aside in terms of section six or eight, as being conclusive of any question of law or of fact decided in the judgment.
11. Issue of documents for enforcement of judgments given in Zimbabwe.
Part III – Service of civil process and attendance of witnesses in designated countries
12. Interpretation in Part IIIIn this Part—"process" means a summons, writ, notice or other document issued or executed in relation to a civil case, and includes a subpoena;"subpoena" means any document requiring the attendance of a person before a court or tribunal as a witness in a civil case.
13. Service of process received from designated country
14. Authentication of foreign process not requiredNotwithstanding any other law, it shall not be necessary for any process to be authenticated for service or for a return of service under this Part, if the process was issued in a designated country and is certified by a person purporting to be a judicial officer or other officer of court in that designated country as an original process or as a true copy or translation of the process, as the case may be.
15. Penalty for failing to obey certain subpoenas
16. Certain fees not recoverableNo fees other than disbursements shall be recoverable from a court outside Zimbabwe in respect of the service of any process in terms of this Part, unless the Minister otherwise directs.
17. Issue of process for service in designated countryNotwithstanding any other law, process may be issued by the Registrar of the High Court or the clerk of a magistrates court for service in a designated country without leave of the court concerned.
18. Proof of service of process issued in ZimbabweWhere process issued in Zimbabwe has been served in a designated country, the service may be proved—
Part IV – Obtaining of evidence for use in designated countries
19. Interpretation in Part IVIn this Part—"requesting court or tribunal" means the court or tribunal pursuant to whose request an application is made in section twenty.
20. Application to Zimbabwean court for assistance in obtaining evidence
21. Orders that may be made on application for assistance
22. Privileges of persons giving evidence
23. Offences by witnesses
Part V – General
24. Immunity of witnesses from designated countriesNo person who has been subpoenaed in a designated country to appear before a court or tribunal in Zimbabwe and, by virtue of a law in that designated country, is required so to appear shall be liable, while in Zimbabwe for the purpose of appearing before the court or tribunal, to be arrested on a civil or criminal warrant for any debt due or offence committed in Zimbabwe before he entered Zimbabwe for that purpose.
25. Act not to derogate from other lawsThis Act shall be regarded as additional to, and not as limiting the provisions of any other law relating to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, the service of process or the taking of evidence, whether on commission or otherwise.
26. Repeals and savings
History of this document
31 December 2016 this version
01 April 1996