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Judicial Service Act
(The Act will come into operation on a date to be fixed by the President.)
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
- Short title and date of commencement.
- Constitution of Judicial Service.
- Establishment of Committees.
- Functions of Judicial Service Commission.
- Delegation of functions.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUDICIALSERVICE
- Departments and classification of members of the Judicial Service.
- Persons under contract.
- Probationary period.
- Appointment and functions of Secretary of Commission.
- Consultations re conditions of service of members of Judicial Service.
- Secondment and deployment of members of Judicial Service.
- Recognised associations and organisations.
- Prohibition from engaging in any work outside Judicial Service.
DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIAL SERVICE
- Investigation and adjudication of misconduct cases.
- Freedom of persons presiding over courts from arrest or search in court premises.
- Codes of conduct.
- Codes of ethics.
- Appeals to Labour Court.
- Funds of Judicial Service.
- Investment of moneys not immediately required byJudicial Service.
- Accounts of Judicial Service.
- Audit of accounts.
- Pension rights of members of Judicial Service.
- Service regulations.
- Act not to affect application of certain other laws.
- Amendment of Acts.
- Transitional provisions.
To make further provisions for the Judicial Service Commission; to constitute the Judicial Service; to establish the Judicial Service Committees and to provide for their functions; to provide for the administration and the conditions of service of members of the Judicial Service employed in the Supreme Court and the High Court and other courts subordinate to the Supreme Court and the High
Court, and the Office of the Ombudsman; to provide for the transfer of persons from the Public Service to the Judicial Service; to make consequential amendments to various Acts; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.
[Date of commencement : Not yet in force.]
WHEREAS section 91(1) and (2) of the Constitution provide as follows-
91.(1) The functions of the Judicial Service Commission shall be to tender such advice and do such things in relation to the judiciary as are provided for by this Constitution or by or under an Act of Parliament.
(2) An Act of Parliament referred to in subsection (1) may confer on the Judicial Service Commission functions in connection with the employment, discipline and conditions of service of such officers and persons employed in
- the Supreme Court, the High Court and other courts subordinate to the Supreme Court and the High Court; and
- the office of the Ombudsman; as are specified in such Act.
AND WHEREAS it is desirable to make further provisions for the Judicial Service Commission and for persons employed in connection with the administration of justice in Zimbabwe:
NOW, THEREFORE, be it enacted by the President and the Parliament of Zimbabwe as follows:— PART I
1 Short title and date of commencement
- This Act may be cited as the Judicial Service Act [Chapter 7:18].
- This Act shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by the President by statutory instrument.
In this Act-
“approved service” means— (a) the Public Service; or
- a disciplined force; or
- the service of Parliament; or
- the service of a government, statutory body, local authority or institution approved by the Minister, after consultation with the Commission, for the purposes of this Act;
“Commission” means the Judicial Service Commission established in terms of section 90 of the Constitution;
“committee” means a committee established by the Commission in terms of section 4;
“fixed date” means the date fixed in terms of section 1(2) as the date of commencement of this Act;
“court” means any court established by law in Zimbabwe other than a customary court;
“customary court” means a court established in terms of the Customary Law and Local Courts Act [Chapter 7:05];
“disciplined force” has the meaning given to that term in section 113(1) of the Constitution;
“Judges Pension Scheme” means the scheme set out in the Judges Pension Scheme Notice, 2006 (published in Statutory Instrument 71 of 2006) or any other scheme that may be substituted for it;
“Judicial Service” means the service constituted by the persons referred to in section 3;
“member”, in relation to Judicial Service means a person employed in the Judicial Service, including a person employed under contract in terms of section 8;
“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;
“pension benefit” means any pension, commutation of a pension, gratuity or other similar allowance or benefit or any refund of pension contributions, including any interest payable thereon, for a person in respect of his or her service as a member of the Judicial Service or in respect of any ill-health or injury arising out of and in the course of his or her official duties as such a member or for a dependant or personal representative of such person in respect of such service, ill-health or injury or on the death of such person;
“Public Service Pension Scheme” means the scheme set out in the Public Service (Pensions) Regulations, 1992 (published in Statutory Instrument 124 of 1992) or any other scheme that may be substituted for it;
“recognised association or organisation” means an association or organisation declared to be a recognised association or recognised organisation, as the case may be, in terms of section 13;
“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Commission referred to in section 10;
“service regulations” means regulations made in terms of section 25 regulating conditions of service of members of the Judicial Service.
3 Constitution of Judicial Service
The Judicial Service shall consist of the following members—
- the Chief Justice appointed in terms of section 84 of the Constitution; and
- the judges of the Supreme Court; and
- the Judge President and the other judges of the High Court; and
- persons presiding over other courts subordinate to the Supreme Court and the High Court other than persons presiding over customary courts; and
- the Office of the Ombudsman; and
- the Secretary of the Commission and all other support staff of the Judicial Service; and
- assessors; and
- such persons under contract as may be prescribed; and
- such other persons in the employment of the State as may be prescribed.
4 Establishment of committees
- The Commission may constitute, on a permanent or temporary basis, one or more advisory committees to advise the Commission on such matters relating to the Judicial Service as the Commission may from time to time consider necessary.
- A committee formed in terms of subsection (1) may, subject to the direction of the Commission, regulate its own procedure, and its members shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Commission may determine.
5 Functions of Judicial Service Commission
(1) Subject to the Constitution, this Act or any other enactment, the Commission shall have the following functions—
- fix by means of service regulations conditions of service for its members; and
- administering and supervising the Judicial Service; and
- appointing persons to the Judicial Service, whether as permanent members on pensionable conditions of service or on contract or otherwise, assign and promote them to offices, posts and grades in the Judicial Service, and fixing their conditions of service; and
- inquiring into and dealing with complaints or grievances made by or against members of the Judicial Service; and
- exercising disciplinary powers in relation to members of the Judicial Service; and
- exercising any other functions that may be imposed or conferred upon it in terms of this Act or any other enactment;
(2) The Commission shall exercise its functions under this Act so as to ensure the well-being and good administration of the Judicial Service and its maintenance in a high state of efficiency.
6 Delegation of functions
- Subject to the Constitution and any other enactment, for the better exercise of its functions and in the interest of ensuring the greatest possible degree of devolution of decision-making consistent with good administration, the Commission may delegate decision-making functions to the appropriate departments and subdepartments of the Judicial Service.
- The delegation of a function by the Commission in terms of subsection (1)—
- may be made subject to conditions; and
- may be amended or revoked at any time; and
- shall not preclude the Commission from exercising the function so delegated.
(3) Where the Commission has delegated a function in terms of subsection (1), any conditions or limitations applicable to the exercise of that function by the Commission shall apply to the exercise of the function by the person to whom it has been delegated.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUDICIALSERVICE
7 Departments and classification of members of Judicial Service
- Subject to the Constitution and any other enactment, the Judicial Service shall have such departments and sub-departments as the Commission may establish from time to time, each headed by an officer of such grade and designation as the Commission shall determine.
- For each department the Commission shall assign such members of the Judicial Service as may be necessary to carryout the Commission’s functions.
- Members of the Judicial Service shall be classified in such manner as may be prescribed.
8 Persons under contract
- Subject to the Constitution and any other enactment, the Commission may engage as members of the Judicial Service persons under contract, on such conditions as may be prescribed.
- There may be incorporated in the conditions referred to in subsection (1) such provisions of any service regulations applicable to members of the Judicial Service not engaged under contract as may be considered necessary or desirable in the light of the nature of the contract.
- Upon the termination of a contract entered into in terms of subsection (1), the person under contract shall cease to be a member of the Judicial Service, unless the contract is renewed or he or she is appointed to the Judicial Service in some other capacity.
9 Probationary period
- A member of the Judicial Service referred to in section 3(d), (f), (g) and (i) appointed otherwise than under contract shall serve a probationary period of not less than six months and not more than one year, as the Commission may prescribe or fix in relation to that member.
- The appointment of a member under subsection (1) shall be confirmed at the end of the probationary period unless, at any time during the probationary period, the Commission considers that the member does not meet the required standard of performance, in which case the Commission may—
- discharge the member; or
- extend the probationary period by not more than six months, at the end of which period the member shall be discharged if he or she fails to meet the required standard of performance.
10 Appointment and functions of Secretary of Commission
- The Commission shall appoint, on such terms and conditions as the Commission shall fix, a person to be the Secretary of the Commission.
- The Secretary of the Commission shall, subject to the Commission’s directions, supervise and manage the Commission’s staff, activities, funds and property and perform such other functions on behalf of the Commission as the Commission may assign to him or her.
- The Secretary of the Commission is prescribed for the purposes of section 49 of the Audit and Exchequer Act [Chapter 22:03] to be the accounting officer of the Judicial Service.
11 Consultations re conditions of service of members of Judicial Service
- The Commission shall engage in regular negotiations with recognised associations and organisations in regard to the conditions of service of members of the Judicial Service who are represented by the recognised associations or organisations.
- Notwithstanding subsection (1), conditions of service fixed or determined under this Act shall not be invalid solely on the ground that they were not agreed to by all the parties to any negotiations in terms of subsection (1).
12 Secondment and deployment of members of Judicial Service
- A member referred to in section 3(d), (f) (other than the Secretary), (g) and (i) or, with his or her consent, any other member, may at any time be deployed or seconded by the Judicial Service to a post in an approved service.
- The terms and conditions of service of a member while on secondment shall, subject to any policy directive issued by the Commission, be governed by contract between the member and the approved service concerned.
- A member who, having been seconded from the Judicial Service to an approved service(a) resigns or retires from the approved service; or
(b) is discharged from the approved service on account of misconduct or on the grounds that he or she is unfit or incapable of performing efficiently the duties of his or her post; shall be deemed to have resigned, retired or been discharged from the Judicial Service in similar circumstances with effect from the date that he or she resigned or was discharged from the approved service unless the Commission reinstates that person as a member of the Judicial Service with effect from the day following the said date.
13 Recognised associations and organisations
- The Minister responsible for labour may, after consultation with the Commission, by written notice to the association or organisation concerned, declare any association or organisation representing all or any members of the Judicial Service to be a recognised association or a recognised organisation, as the case may be, for the purposes of this Act.
- The Minister responsible for labour may, after consultation with the Commission, at any time by written notice to the recognised association or organisation concerned, revoke any declaration made in terms of subsection (1).
- Any member of the Judicial Service who is eligible to do so may join a recognised association or organisation and, subject to this Act, participate in its lawful activities.
- A member of the Judicial Service who fails or refuses to join a recognised association or organisation shall not, on account of such failure, be debarred from or prejudiced in respect of any appointment, promotion or advancement within the Judicial Service.