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High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe has called on all stakeholders to ensure that the rights promised in the new Constitution are enjoyed by every citizen.

Officially opening the 2015 Legal Year during a High Court session at Mutare Magistrate’s Courts yesterday, Justice Hungwe said adherence to constitutionalism would be higher if the community was aware of the contents of the rights and duties in the governing Constitution at any given time.

“I am aware that the core activity of the courts is to administer justice in accordance with the law,” he said. “The question is often asked whether the courts take into account the public interest when deciding cases, particularly those which involve public law or constitutional principles.

“Of course they do, but this does not mean that in the determination of cases, the courts will look to what sectors of the public or the majority of the public or even what the Government may desire as the outcome in any given case.

“That is not what is meant by public interest. The public interest that is served by the courts is in adherence to fundamental concepts of fairness, dignity and justice in the application of the law. I refer to these fundamental concepts because the courts are mandated to apply not just the content of the law, but, sometimes more importantly, its spirit. But it is always the law and its spirit that dominate. No one, no institution is above the law.”

Justice Hungwe said it was everyone’s responsibility to ensure that the country’s constitutional democracy takes root.

“We should actively encourage each other and indeed remind each other on the integrity of the law,” he said.

“We need to assure the community that, as the judiciary, we will strive to serve the ends of justice at all times.”

Source : The Herald

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