Hayes v Baldachin 1980 ZLR 442 AD

Fieldsend CJ:

Issue of in camera proceedings under Emergency Powers. Where inroads are made into the normal rules of procedure there should be strict compliance with every formality required by legislation. In this case neither the parties to the proceedings, nor the Attorney-General produced the certificate and the proceedings were wrongly held in camera.

The holding of a trial in camera and the unlawful direction to withhold documents from the appellant constituted serious irregularities calculated to prejudice the appellant. Prejudice exists in that witnesses whose evidence is open to public scrutiny are likely to be more meticulous and truthful than if what they say is examined by only one or two people in a closed court.

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