Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 19th January 2005.

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Photo of Professor Ross Cranston Professor Ross Cranston Labour, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has assessed on the operation of the justice system in Zimbabwe.

Photo of Chris Mullin Chris Mullin Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We receive regular reports from our embassy in Harare on the operation of the justice system in Zimbabwe. We have also received the useful reports published by the Bar Council of England and Wales and the International Council of Barristers and Advocates and the Law Society of Zimbabwe. My right hon. Friend the Attorney-General met with a leading Zimbabwe human rights lawyer in November and discussed the justice system in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's legal system is increasingly compromised by the government through delays in the operation of the justice system, partisan appointments to the higher judiciary, and the intimidation of judges, magistrates and lawyers.

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