John Fieldsend
Appointed byPresident Robert Mugabe
Succeeded byE
Personal details
John Charles Rowell Fieldsend

(1921-09-13) September 13, 1921 (age 100)
DiedFebruary 22, 2017(2017-02-22) (aged 95) -->
Spouse(s)Wilma Sanger
Children2 sons
EducationBA in Greek and in Classical Life and Thought, MA Law, LLM
Alma materUniversity of Essex
University of the Witwatersrand
Jesus College, Cambridge

Anthony Gubbay is the Zimbabwe Supreme Court Chief Justice. He was appointed in 1990 and resigned in 2001 after differences with the Robert Mugabe led government on the land issue in Zimbabwe.

Background and Education

Anthony Gubbay was born in England on 26 April 1932. In 1952 Anthony Gubbay graduated from Wits with a BA in Greek and in Classical Life and Thought. He then read Law at Jesus College, Cambridge where he obtained an MA (1955) and later an LLM. He was admitted to practice in 1957 and the following year emigrated to Southern Rhodesia (as it was then). In 1958 he also married Wilma Sanger and, in Bulawayo, where they set up home, he commenced private practice as a junior advocate.[1]


Anthony Gubbay advanced rapidly in his profession and by May 1974 had become a Senior Counsel. He was subsequently appointed as President of the Matabele and Midlands Valuation Board, National President of the Special Court for Income Tax Appeals, the Fiscal Court and Patents Tribunal and Chairman of the Law Development Commission of the Rhodesia Bar Association. In May 1977 he was sworn in as a Judge of the High Court. He was appointed Acting Judge of the Supreme Court in 1983, an appointment made permanent the following year.

As Chief Justice

In 1990, Gubbay was appointed the Chief Justice of theSupreme Court of Zimbabwe. At 58, he was the youngest person ever to occupy this position.

Resignation as Chief Justice

He resigned as Chief Justice in 2001 after war veterans were allowed to invade the Supreme Court building in Harare and dance on the tables and after the President of Zimbabwe had said "The courts can do whatever they want, but no judicial decision will stand in our way. They are not courts for our people and we shall not even be defending ourselves in these courts?"[1]


He was the recipient of the Peter Gruber Foundation's Justice Prize for 2001 at Runnymead, UK. In 2002 the University of London awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Law.[1]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Honorary Degree Citation: Anthony Gubbay, Wits Univrsity , Retrieved:2 February 2015