The ICAB unanimously resolved to denounce the actions of the government of Zimbabwe in ignoring its human rights obligations under
domestic and international law and called for the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the United Nations to take all steps necessary to return the rule of law to Zimbabwe. The ICAB condemned the detention without trial of Eric Matinenga, a Member of Parliament of Zimbabwe and leader of the Harare Bar. The ICAB went on to call for independent legal observers to be permitted to be present in all courts in Zimbabwe throughout the trials of members of the legal profession who are being prosecuted for alleged offences. ICAB demands that the lawyers of Zimbabwe be permitted, without intimidation or penalty, to perform their duty to represent and defend their clients in accordance with the rule of law and ensure the entitlement of their clients to basic human rights. Furthermore, ICAB demands that the magistrates of Zimbabwe be allowed to adjudicate impartially and without intimidation on the cases which come before them. ICAB also demands that the Attorney-General independently and impartially exercise his powers to uphold the rule of law.

Chairman of the Bar Council, Tim Dutton QC said: “It is clear that the rule of law is under an unprecedented assault in Zimbabwe. The Bar Council insists that the lawyers of Zimbabwe be allowed to advise their clients without fear of politically motivated oppression. The government of Zimbabwe is clearly in breach of its obligations under international law, not least with respect to human rights. It is a travesty to call the recent second round run off ‘contest’ in Zimbabwe an election. Elections presuppose that parties argue their case with advocacy rather than violence. The rule of law in Zimbabwe is presently under grave threat.”