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Judicial Services Bill passes through committee stage
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
October 05, 2006

THE Judicial Services Bill, which seeks to remove magistrates and their supporting staff from the authority of the Public Service Commission and place them under the commission that certifies judges, on Tuesday passed through the committee stage with support from both Zanu-PF and MDC Members of the House of Assembly.

The proposed law was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee to check that the amendments were in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

In his second reading speech, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa said if passed, the law would enhance the independence of the judiciary, a development which would be in conformity with the internationally acceptable standards where judiciaries operated with a great degree of autonomy.

Contributing to the debate, MDC chief whip and Mutare Central legislator Mr Innocent Gonese said the Bill was long overdue as it had been an anomaly to place magistrates under the PSC.

This, he said, had compromised the judiciary’s capacity to operate freely without external pressure and influence.

Mr Gonese said he hoped the Judicial Services Commission would improve conditions of service of magistrates and their supporting staff who were currently leaving in great numbers in search of greener pastures. He implored Government to provide adequate resources to the commission to enable it to fully carry out its mandate.

The Judicial Services Commission is constituted in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

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