19 Potchefstroom Elec. L.J. 1 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/per19 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Lovemore Chiduza and Paterson
Nkosemntu Makiwane


University of Limpopo and Walter
Sisulu University, South Africa


Date published 30 May 2016

Editor Prof C Rautenbach

How to cite this article
Chiduza L and Makiwane PN
Strengthening Locus Standi in
Human Rights Litigation in
Zimbabwe: An analysis of the
Provisions in the New Zimbabwean
Constitution PER/ PELJ 2016(19)
http:/dx.doi.orgi 0.17159/1727-
3781/2016/vi 9i0a742


This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License.
http://dx.doi.o rgil 0.17159/1727-
3781/2016/v! 9i0a742


Zimbabweans have been both victims of and witnesses to
serious human rights violations over the years. Though there is
wide agreement and speculation that the state and its agencies
are the perpetrators of these atrocities, they have largely
remained unprosecuted and unpunished. Such impunity is inter
a/ia the result of ineffective law enforcement mechanisms and
institutions as well as the lack of capacity and legal knowledge of
victims to approach the courts and seek redress. These factors
negatively affected the protection of human rights and access to
justice in Zimbabwe.

Although the Lancaster House Constitution contained a
Declaration of Rights, its enforcement mechanisms, particularly
those relating to locus standi (legal standing), posed a great
challenge to human rights litigation in Zimbabwe. This is so
because the Lancaster House Constitution adopted the
traditional common law approach to standing. Under this
approach it was required that an individual must have a
personal, direct or substantial interest in a matter in order to
have standing. The Lancaster House Constitution failed to
recognise the importance of broader rules of standing, which
would accommodate public interest litigation, specifically for
protecting human rights. Contrary to this, the new Constitution of
Zimbabwe (2013) broadens the rules of standing in order to
enhance access to the courts. This paper analyses the new
approach to standing under the new constitutional dispensation
in Zimbabwe.

To this end, the discussion commences with an elucidation of the
concept of locus standi and its link to access to justice. This is
followed by an analysis of locus standi under the Lancaster
House Constitution. Since the new approach in Zimbabwe is
greatly informed by the South African approach to locus standi,
a brief analysis of standing in South Africa is made. The paper
concludes with a discussion of the approach to locus standi
under the new constitution with a view to demonstrating how the
new approach is likely to impact on the right of access to justice
and human rights protection.


Zimbabwe; locus standi; human rights litigation.

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