International Legal Delegation Reports on Critical Situation Faced by Judges and Lawyers in Zimbabwe

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe LLP

    WASHINGTON, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Worldwide
 legal organization, the International Bar Association (IBA), will hold a press
 briefing at the offices of Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe LLP (7th floor lobby
 - 1200 Nineteenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-2412) at 9.30am on
 Tuesday 24 April 2001, to launch the findings of its recent mission to
 Zimbabwe, where it investigated the state of the country's judiciary and rule
 of law.
     Discussion will be led by Judge Andre Davis, United States District Judge,
 District of Maryland, the Hon. Chief Justice Sir Dennis Byron, Chief Justice
 Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court -- both members of the international
 delegation which traveled to Zimbabwe last month -- and IBA Executive Director
 Mark Ellis. The mission, jointly funded by the Open Society Institute and the
 IBA Human Rights Institute, was prompted by press reports about the apparent
 intimidation of the country's judges, and allegations that the Zimbabwean
 Government had forced the Chief Justice to retire.
     The high-level delegation, which included seven judges and lawyers from
 jurisdictions across the globe, sought the views of both Governmental and
 professional representatives. The mission held a three-and-a-half hour
 discussion with President Mugabe and separate meetings with the country's
 Attorney General and Minister of Justice, as well as speaking with Chief
 Justice Anthony Gubbay, Zimbabwe's Acting Chief Justice, Justice Godfrey
 Chidyausiku, and judges of the country's Supreme and High Courts.
     Meetings also took place between the delegation and senior officials of
 the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Bar Association, along with
 representatives of the legal profession, the Law Faculty of the University of
 Zimbabwe and various non-governmental organizations. The delegation also
 traveled to Bulawayo and met judges of the High Court of Bulawayo and legal
 practitioners.
     On completing its seven-day visit to the country, the delegation concluded
 that events of the past 12 months had put the rule of law in Zimbabwe "in the
 gravest peril" and that conduct committed or encouraged by Government
 Ministers had "put the very fabric of democracy in Zimbabwe at risk".
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X77124862
 
 

SOURCE Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe LLP
    WASHINGTON, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Worldwide
 legal organization, the International Bar Association (IBA), will hold a press
 briefing at the offices of Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe LLP (7th floor lobby
 - 1200 Nineteenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-2412) at 9.30am on
 Tuesday 24 April 2001, to launch the findings of its recent mission to
 Zimbabwe, where it investigated the state of the country's judiciary and rule
 of law.
     Discussion will be led by Judge Andre Davis, United States District Judge,
 District of Maryland, the Hon. Chief Justice Sir Dennis Byron, Chief Justice
 Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court -- both members of the international
 delegation which traveled to Zimbabwe last month -- and IBA Executive Director
 Mark Ellis. The mission, jointly funded by the Open Society Institute and the
 IBA Human Rights Institute, was prompted by press reports about the apparent
 intimidation of the country's judges, and allegations that the Zimbabwean
 Government had forced the Chief Justice to retire.
     The high-level delegation, which included seven judges and lawyers from
 jurisdictions across the globe, sought the views of both Governmental and
 professional representatives. The mission held a three-and-a-half hour
 discussion with President Mugabe and separate meetings with the country's
 Attorney General and Minister of Justice, as well as speaking with Chief
 Justice Anthony Gubbay, Zimbabwe's Acting Chief Justice, Justice Godfrey
 Chidyausiku, and judges of the country's Supreme and High Courts.
     Meetings also took place between the delegation and senior officials of
 the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Bar Association, along with
 representatives of the legal profession, the Law Faculty of the University of
 Zimbabwe and various non-governmental organizations. The delegation also
 traveled to Bulawayo and met judges of the High Court of Bulawayo and legal
 practitioners.
     On completing its seven-day visit to the country, the delegation concluded
 that events of the past 12 months had put the rule of law in Zimbabwe "in the
 gravest peril" and that conduct committed or encouraged by Government
 Ministers had "put the very fabric of democracy in Zimbabwe at risk".
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X77124862
 
 SOURCE  Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe LLP