Promoting access to justice in Africa: key points for advocacy on the Southern African Development Community Tribunal
Mandlate, Aquinaldo Célio
MetadataShow full item record
This policy paper provides insights to strengthen advocacy for the restoration of the Southern African Development Community Tribunal (SADC Tribunal) in its original form. The focus on the SADC Tribunal is as a result of the acknowledgement that sub-regional integration needs strong institutions including independent and impartial judicial bodies that function effectively without political interference. Given the significant role of such independent judicial bodies, the paper reflects on advocacy for the restoration of the SADC Tribunal, the only sub-regional court which allowed citizens from SADC countries to bring cases before the court. The paper notes that the SADC Tribunal was suspended due to a political decision taken by the heads of states and governments of countries that are members to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). It then argues that the suspension of the SADC Tribunal created a huge gap for citizens to access justice in the SADC region. To address this gap, the paper reflects on advocacy efforts that are being made with view to bring back the SADC Tribunal in its original form. It makes recommendations to improve advocacy efforts. The conclusion reiterates the need to employ advocacy based on principles enshrined in the SADC Treaty itself as part of efforts to encourage SADC leaders to restore the SADC Tribunal as it was originally conceived.