Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Tribunal is an international court that reinforces SADC and national law, as well as relevant international human rights instruments, and is accessible only after domestic remedies have been exhausted.
The Tribunal holds states, and SADC, accountable for their actions, thereby empowering citizens. It inspires confidence that investment in the region will be protected against any infringements.
As stated by Justice Ariranga Pillay, former judge president of the Tribunal, ‘SADC’s bid to replace the Tribunal is illegal and undermines the principles of human rights and access to justice…’
What happens with the SADC Tribunal sets an example for the treatment of other courts in the region, and because this unilateral decision threatens the promotion, and protection, of human rights and democratic governance, it cannot go unchallenged.
The Tribunal is an important regional institution that should be strengthened, enhancing its independence and efficacy.
The ultimate goal of this project is to advocate for the re-instatement of the Tribunal as an accessible court with a human rights protection mandate, capacity to apply international law, and enforce its decisions. Several objectives are essential in the success of this project.
First, awareness of the Tribunal, and its role, must be raised by enhancing citizens’ knowledge of the negative implications of the suspension of the court.
Secondly, this project seeks to generate appreciation for the role of international courts and law by appointing independent, qualified and experienced jurists to the SADC Tribunal bench.
Finally, this project strives to promote the participation of various civil society bodies in reviewing the Tribunal in accordance with article 23 of the SADC Treaty.ShareThis