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Simplicio Bhebhe

Ruth First Scholar (2009-10)

Simplicio Bhebhe is from Zimbabwe. He graduated from the University of Zimbabwe in 2008 with an LLB (Bachelor of Laws). He has worked as a Student Assistant on the University of Zimbabwe Legal Aid and Advice Scheme, and has been an active member of a group educating young people in Zimbabwe about HIV and AIDS.

Simplicio and Mike
Thompson at the end of
a sponsored walk in aid of the RFET.
Blanchland, June 2010.

At Durham, Simplicio took an LLM in the Law School. He was a member of St Chad’s College, which supports the Ruth First Scholarship by providing subsidized accommodation. He was also a member of Ngoma Vuma Uropa (the African music group organized by Peter Okeno Ong’are) and the Durham University United Nations Society, and a volunteer for St John Ambulance.

Simplicio’s LLM dissertation was entitled ‘The Effectiveness of Universal Jurisdiction in Punishing Perpetrators of Torture: A look from Zimbabwe’s perspective’. It investigates whether current international law principles such as universal jurisdiction and extradition can be used to bring perpetrators of torture to justice, especially in a country like Zimbabwe which has not ratified any of the major international Human Rights treaties like the Convention against Torture and the ICC statute. It critiques the present state of Zimbabwean law on torture (especially the Constitutional Bill of Rights) and makes recommendations for the improvement of that law.

After completing his course, Simplicio returned to Zimbabwe to practise law.

Update May 2011: Simplicio works with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights assisting victims of human rights abuses. He also works unpaid as a part-time tutor in the Law Faculty at the University of Zimbabwe.

April 2013: “I was appointed Partner in the law firm of Kantor and Immerman in Harare beginning 1 January 2013. I still do human rights work for ZLHR, tutor Business Law at the University of Zimbabwe free of charge, and give free legal advice to indigent people via various legal organisations, including ZLHR and the Labour Law Trust.”

Updated April 2013 Mike Thompson
[email protected]
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