Chief Justice Luke Malaba has ordered all High Court and Labour Court judges to submit their judgments for review to him or the Judge President for approval before a ruling is handed down.

In a memorandum to all judges dated 16 July 2020, Malaba said the directive followed concerns raised about the manner in which judgments are being handed down.

The memo is addressed to the Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, and copied to Justice Antonia Guvava, of the Supreme Court, Judge President George Chiweshe, Justice Gladys Mhuri, a senior judge at the Labour Court, and judge of the administrative court, Herbert Mandeya.

Malaba said before a judgment or an order of the High Court or Labour Court is issued or handed down, it should be seen and approved by the head of court or division.

Malaba said handing down a judgment is evidence that the judgment is ready for access by the parties and members of the public thus judgments handed down must be immediately accessible to the Registrar, litigants, and the public.

“Only Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court can issue such orders as they are courts of final jurisdiction. The only exception is when a judge is dealing with a point in limine. Such an order will be appropriate as it enables court to expeditiously finalise the main matter,” Malaba added.