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Chapter 7:06

High Court Act

(Will be amended by the Judicial Service Act[Chapter7:18](No.10of2006)when it comes into operation)

Acts 29/1981, 3/1984 (s. 5), 30/1989, 1/1992, 15/1992, 20/1994 (s. 18), 14/1995 (s.28), 6/1996 (s, 7), 8/1997 (s. 21), 9/1997 (s. 10); 22.2001 (s. 4).




  1. Short title.



  1. Composition of High Court.
  2. Decisions of High Court.
  3. Assessors in civil cases.
  4. Assessors in criminal trials.
  5. Swearing in of assessor in criminal trial.
  6. Incapacity of assessor in criminal trial.
  7. Perusal of record of preparatory examination.
  8. Decision of court and reasons therefor in criminal trial.
  9. Withdrawal of assessor from court in criminal trial.
  10. Remuneration and allowances of assessors.



  1. Original civil jurisdiction.
  2. High Court may determine future or contingent rights.
  3. Exercise of jurisdiction founded on or confirmed by arrest or attachment.
  4. Restriction on decree of civil imprisonment.
  5. Manner of securing attendance of witness in civil cases.
  6. Refusal of witness to give evidence or produce documents.
  7. Service of process on Sheriff or deputy sheriff.

19A. Reference of question for inquiry and report by referee.

  1. Execution of process.
  2. Property not liable to be seized in execution.
  3. Offences relating to execution.



  1. Original criminal jurisdiction.
  2. Reservation of decision on indictment for decision of Supreme Court.
  3. Reservation of question of law for consideration of Supreme Court.



  1. Power to review proceedings and decisions.
  2. Grounds for review.
  3. Powers on review of civil proceedings and decisions.
  4. Powers on review of criminal proceedings.



  1. Jurisdiction in appeals in civil cases.
  2. Powers of High Court on appeal in civil cases.
  3. Statement of case on question of law arising on appeal.
  4. Effect of judgment of High Court in civil appeal.



  1. Jurisdiction in appeals in criminal cases.
  2. Concession of appeal by Attorney-General.
  3. Prosecution of appeals in person.
  4. Statement of case on question of law arising from appeal.
  5. Determination of appeals in ordinary cases.

38A. Special powers of High Court in respect of appeals by Attorney-General on points of law.

  1. Powers of High Court in special cases.
  2. Powers of High Court in relation to orders ancillary to conviction.
  3. Supplementary powers of High Court. 41A. Time for obtaining leave to appeal.
  4. Detention as unconvicted prisoner.



  1. Right of appeal from High Court in civil cases.
  2. Right of appeal from High Court in criminal cases.
  3. Time for appealing.
  4. Stay of execution of sentence pending appeal.



  1. Sittings of High Court.
  2. Seal of High Court.
  3. Proceedings in open court and in English.
  4. Right of person to be present at hearing of his trial, action, application or appeal.
  5. Right of audience.
  6. Removal of cases from High Court.
  7. Costs in cases which could have been brought in magistrates court.
  8. Administration of oaths.
  9. Officers of High Court.
  10. Rules of court.
  11. Regulatory power to fix fees.

AN ACT to make provision for the jurisdiction, powers, practice and procedure of the High Court of Zimbabwe and for the making of rules and regulations in connection therewith; to make provision for appeals from decisions of inferior courts and tribunals; to confer powers of review on the High Court of Zimbabwe; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 28th August, 1981.]

WHEREAS, in relation to the High Court, sections 79 (1) (b), 79A, 79B and 81 of the Constitution provide that—

  1. (1) The judicial authority of Zimbabwe shall vest in— (a) . . .
  • a High Court; and (c) . . .

79A. The judiciary of Zimbabwe shall consist of— (a) the Chief Justice, who shall be head of the judiciary; and (b) . . .

  • the Judge President and the other judges of the High Court; and (d) . . .

79B. In the exercise of his judicial authority, a member of the judiciary shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority, except to the extent that a written law may place him under the direction or control of another member of the judiciary.

  1. (1) There shall be a High Court which shall be a superior court of record and shall have such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred upon it by or in terms of this Constitution or any Act of Parliament.
  • The High Court shall consist of— (a) the Chief Justice;
    • the Judge President of the High Court who shall, subject to the directions of the Chief Justice, be in charge of the High Court;
    • such other judges of the High Court as may from time to time be appointed.
  • The Chief Justice may, from time to time, after consultation with the Judge President of the High Court, appoint a judge of the Supreme Court to act as a judge of the High Court.
  • ...
  • An Act of Parliament may provide for the conferring, by way of rules of court, upon a registrar of the High Court, duly appointed thereto, of the jurisdiction and powers of the High Court in civil cases in respect of—
    • the making of orders in uncontested cases, other than orders affecting status or the custody or guardianship of children;
    • deciding preliminary or interlocutory matters, including applications for directions but not including matters affecting the liberty of the subject:

Provided that any such Act of Parliament shall provide for the right of any person who is aggrieved by the order or decision of any such registrar to have the order or decision reviewed by a judge of the High Court who may, on such review, amend, vary, set aside or confirm the order or decision concerned or give such other order or decision as he deems fit.

AND WHEREAS it is desirable that an Act of Parliament make further provision in relation to the High


NOW THEREFORE, be it enacted as follows:—



1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the High Court Act [Chapter 7:06].

                       2    Interpretation

In 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 High Court;

“Judge President” means the Judge President of the High 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 rules of court made in terms of section fifty-six;

“Sheriff” means the Sheriff for Zimbabwe and includes an additional sheriff and an assistant sheriff.





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