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Home / News-archive / SADC TRIBUNAL MANDATE SUSPENDED BY MEMBER STATES

SADC TRIBUNAL MANDATE SUSPENDED BY MEMBER STATES

In the meeting held on 18 August in Maputo, Mozambique, leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have extended to an indefinite term the suspension of the SADC tribunal.

 

In the same meeting, SACD countries have also declared that a successor court, if ever constituted, would have no jurisdiction over cases brought against national governments. Only governements would have access to the court, to solve intergovernmental disputes.

 

The Tribunal was first established in 2007 to judge over SADC matters, including human rights elements. In the first form, citizens, companies and governments could have accessed the Tribunal. Nevertheless, none of its decisions were ever enforced by a SADC member government, and the community as a whole never intervened with a member government in support of enforcement.

The Court experienced first hostilities in 2010 from the government of Zimbabwe.The Court had judged that the government’s seizures of white-owned farms were racists and violating SADC’s founding treaty. Following Zimbabwe’s request to close the tribunal, SADC leaders planned an experts’ review. The reccomendations coming out from the review process were agreed to by SACD member states before Maputo meeting. Nevertheless, during the meeting leaders sagreed that a new protocol on the Tribunal should be negotiated.

Tribunals supporters present to the meeting, reported that the final decision was strongly influenced by Zimbabwe.

 

Francesca Ghersenti International Democracy Watch. 11 September 2012.

 
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