Justiciable Property Rights and Postcolonial Land Reform: A Case Study of Zimbabwe

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This chapter analyses the tension between a justiciable right to property and a state-led agrarian land reform program in a postcolonial context by examining Zimbabwean Constitutional law. It starts by presenting the conceptual framework that underlines the nexus between land reform, the right to property and justiciability. This is followed by a discussion of the various land reform policies adopted by the government of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 2013, focusing on the relevant constitutional and legislative arrangements. The chapter then analyses these constitutional and legislative frameworks and outlines their implications for human rights justiciability. It concludes that a national constitution and human rights norms may not realistically address the issue of land reform in a postcolonial situation such as Zimbabwe. Rather, the solution lies in a combination of constitutionalism, human rights norms and international diplomacy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJusticiability of Human Rights Law in Domestic Jurisdictions
EditorsAlice Diver, Jacinta Miller
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-24016-9
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jan 2016


  • land reform
  • the right to property
  • justiciability
  • postcolonial context
  • Zimbabwe


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