Zimbabwe: pilot travel courts and victims friendly courts aim to provide better access to justice

April 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm Leave a comment

Walter Chikwanha, provincial magistrate in the chief magistrates’ office in Murehwa, Zimbabwe says: “Most of them are rural folk who’re surviving on farming and cannot afford lawyers. Since most of them don’t have lawyers, it is important for magistrates to lean over backwards and consider them.” With support from the Danish government Chikwanha and his colleagues plan to visit distant areas to hold dispute resolution sessions for people who cannot afford the costs of travel or the legal costs of a legal proceeding.

Another initiative is the establishment of victim-friendly courts to offer accessible legal protection to vulnerable people, namely women who had suffered sexual crimes. “We don’t charge any fee, or it’s very minimal. There is need for paperwork in processing applications. If we make them (poor litigants) pay, it defeats the reason for having the Maintenance Act because we are asking the woman who can’t look after herself or her baby to pay money,” said Mr. Chikwanha.

Read more about Zimbabwe’s travel courts and victims friendly courts here

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Entry filed under: Access to Justice, Costs of justice, Human Rights, Zimbabwe.

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