History of Zimbabwean Law

1650 Words Apr 9th, 2013 7 Pages
The Zimbabwean law came from a long way to be what it is today. The long road which led to the current law had milestones of changing times, governance, wars which fought and exploration among others. This writing is aimed at outlining the historical development of blended Zimbabwe’s current law by chronologically tracing all the developments from its origins up to post colonial era.

The birth of Zimbabwean law can be traced from the fall of Roman in AD 476. The decline of Roman Empire did not bring the existence of Roman law to an end as indicated by Christie (1998). During those middle ages, the Roman law existed because every person was judged according to the laws of his or her own tribe or country which made the former Roman
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In itself the charter was the first legal document which outlined how Rhodesia was to be governed and administered. It also defined legislative and judicial issues. For example, article 10 of the Charter stated that the company shall to the best of its ability preserve peace and order in such manners as it shall consider necessary. It is thus patently clear from the provisions of Article 10, that the company had now been vested with legislative, administrative and judicial powers and this was the beginning of formal law and its imposition upon a sovereign African Natives.
Harsh laws were made by the Rhodesian government to oppress the black majority so that they became subjects of the colonialists. The early administrators like Star Jameson and Earl Grey administered Rhodesia using the Cape Model. More land was taken from Natives. A Hut Tax was imposed in 1896 and a Pass Law in 1902. These measures were in place to force and direct natives to be labourers of the colonialists in farm and mines established. In 1894, a High court was set up, from which appeals would proceed to the Cape Supreme Court. It is thus common knowledge that the laws administered in the colony of Rhodesia were of foreign origin, mainly British (English Law) and Roman – Dutch Law.
A landmark occurrence took place in on 20 October 1898. The South Rhodesia Order in Council was enacted. It provided for the

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