STATEMENT: CSOs CONTINUE TO CALL FOR A REGIONAL COURT WITH A HUMAN RIGHTS MANDATE

Salc : Staff Writer

From the 17- 18 August 2018, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will hold its 38th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Namibia. The Summit is expected to address some of the critical challenges affecting the region including the need to address poverty, promote development and take steps towards sub-regional integration. The Summit is also expected to speak to peace, stability and security in the region. Whilst these goals are inspirational, achieving them requires strong regional institutions capable of defending the rule of law and promoting democratic governance. The Coalition for an Effective Southern African Development Community Tribunal (SADC Tribunal Coalition), a network of civil society organisations advocating for the restoration of the SADC Tribunal in its original form, was established to support the need for such strong regional institutions. The SADC region faces unprecedented tensions and instability. Often these events are caused by human rights violations. It is against this backdrop that we call upon the SADC leadership, during the upcoming Summit in Namibia to:
1. Review and overturn the SADC decision that led to the suspension of the SADC Tribunal in its original form;
2. Restore the SADC Tribunal allowing it to receive human rights complaints brought by individuals;
3. Create and support the establishment of international, regional and domestic institutions, including courts capable of addressing regional challenges.