Legal Aid Act
- Commenced on 1 January 2003
- [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 title and date of commencementThis Act may be cited as the Legal Aid Act [Chapter 7:16].[Short title amended by S.I. 262 of 2006]
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“aided person” means a person who is granted legal aid in terms of this Act;“court” includes any court or tribunal before which a legal practitioner may represent a client;“Director” means the Director of the Legal Aid Directorate referred to in section four;“Fund” means the Legal Aid Fund established by section fourteen;“law officer” means a person referred to in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section four, whose duties consist wholly or mainly in providing an aided person with services normally provided by a legal practitioner to his client;“Legal Aid Directorate” means the Legal Aid Directorate established by section three;“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.
Part II – Legal Aid Directorate
3. Establishment and functions of Legal Aid Directorate
4. Director, law officers and staff of Legal Aid Directorate
5. Minister may give policy directions to Director
6. Right of audience of law officers
Part III – Provision of legal aid
7. Application for legal aid
8. Eligibility for legal aidSubject to this Act, a person shall be eligible for legal aid under this Act if, in the Director’s opinion—
9. Assessment of means
10. Legal aid at instance of court or Prosecutor-General
11. Nature of legal aid
12. Assignment of legal practitioner
13. Termination of legal aidThe Director may at any time, for any sufficient reason, terminate legal aid granted under this Act:Provided that he shall not terminate legal aid granted on the recommendation of a judge or a magistrate or the Prosecutor-General in terms of section ten without the leave of the judge or magistrate or the Prosecutor-General, as the case may be.
Part IV – Financial provisions
14. Legal Aid Fund
15. Contributions towards legal aidThe Director may, in granting legal aid to any person under this Act, require the aided person to contribute to the cost of that legal aid to an extent which, in the opinion of the Director, is just and reasonable having regard to the means of the person concerned.
16. Deductions from awardsThe Director shall, for the benefit of the Legal Aid Fund, deduct from—
17. Costs awarded to aided persons
18. Costs not to be awarded against aided personsNotwithstanding any other law, a court shall not award costs against an aided person.
Part V – General
19. Parties to submit to arbitration in certain casesWhere—
20. Aided person may dispense with legal aidNotwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, an aided person may at any time dispense with legal aid granted to him under this Act.
21. Legal aid not to affect legal practitioner and client relationship
22. AppealsAny person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Director in terms of this Act may, within thirty days of being notified of the decision, appeal to the Minister, who may give such decision or direction as he thinks fit.
23. Offences and penaltiesAny person who—
25. Repeal of Cap 9:13 and savings
History of this document
01 January 2003