• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

SADC, SADC Tribunal and Human Rights

Extracts from this document...


Human Rights, SADC and the SADC Tribunal1 By Tazorora TG Musarurwa LLB, LLM2 Introduction Human rights have become an integral part of our daily lives that it is rather impossible to find a single person who cannot tell you something about what they think human rights are. They have also become such a topical subject that it is no longer plausible to simply dismiss them as a Western phenomenon that has no business in Africa. The history of the Southern African region, like most parts of Africa, has been a call for human rights. In pre-colonial times, the majority of people were denied basic political rights such as those pertaining to voting and fair trials. Black people's movements were restricted by laws. In South Africa, the infamous Group Areas Act of 1950 divided the nation into areas by race and denied people of colour from building homes or establishing businesses in certain areas that were designated as 'white areas'. The region has also witnessed civil wars where the rules of war have taken a back seat and thousands of innocent civilians have been massacred by either of the sides fighting those wars. Furthermore, women have been subjected to a subservient role in their own lives and continue to be subject to the whims and caprices of their male counterparts. ...read more.


Agents for Zimbabwe argued that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter as the SADC Treaty only had human rights as principles but did not have the actual standards upon which Member States' conduct could be measured by. They further argued that were the Tribunal to borrow these standards from any other jurisdiction, it would be tantamount to legislating on behalf of member states.6 The Tribunal dismissed these arguments and ruled that it could entertain the matter as Article 21(b) of the Tribunal Protocol allowed it to have regard to "applicable treaties, general principles and rules of public international law" it could look elsewhere where the Treaty was silent. In essence the Tribunal ruled that Zimbabwe's land reform programme as provided for by S16B(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe denied the applicants access to justice, was racially discriminatory and violated international law in its failure to provide for compensation. In so doing it was a violation of the SADC Treaty. Correctness of the Campbell decision Whether any decision can be considered to be correct or not will obviously depend on the commentator. Criticisms on the Campbell decision include the argument that the principles which were relied upon by the Tribunal are not legally enforceable obligations. The question therefore is whether the Tribunal should have found the principle of human rights as creating rights and duties between the parties. ...read more.


SADC member states should now take the lead and develop a human rights protocol. At the end of the day it is citizens that must benefit from regional groupings and leaders should not be seen as fighting against the tide of human rights. Conservative positivists may thus have problems with the approach taken by the Tribunal, but those who believe in a judicially active bench that stands to promote, protect and respect human rights will appreciate the contribution made by the Tribunal to human rights jurisprudence. 1 The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the Tribunal. The author writes in his personal capacity. 2 Legal Professional Assistant SADC Tribunal (Registered legal practitioner, Zimbabwe). 3 SADC was founded by Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 4 See Ruppel and Bangmwabo, 'The SADC Tribunal: A legal analysis of its mandate and role in regional integration' Monitoring Regional Integration in Southern Africa Yearbook Vol 8 2008 213. 5 SADC (T) Case No. 2/2007. 6 P 23 of the judgment. 7 Unreported suit, Reference No. 1 of 2007, Judgement of the EACJ delivered on 1 November 2007. 8 See also Solomon T. Ebobrah 'Litigating human rights before sub-regional courts in Africa: prospects and challenges' 17 RADIC (2009) 82. And also Christpher Mbazira 'The human rights jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice - The James Katabazi case' Occasional Paper of the East African Law Society. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Human Rights Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Human Rights Law essays

  1. human rights

    Public Authorities The HRA requires public authorities to act in a way that does not breach Convention rights. The HRA does not define the term public authority, but it is clear that bodies like the police, local councils and government departments and agencies are all public authorities.

  2. Human Rights Essay - Freedom to Protest and Extradition case studies.

    If there is any serious damage resulting from being slapped in the face it is very likely for the act to reach the level of minimal severity and thus to create an offence of torture under Human Rights Act. Other situations which appeared in this case and which are considered


    and reminds the court that "this House is not bound by the decisions of the European Court"18; re-emphasizing that there is no legal obligation to follow the judgements of the ECtHR. Both these conflicting judgements have caused an apparent legal confusion and judicial uncertainty due to the courts attempt in "blindly following Strasbourg"19.

  2. ECHR Article 8: Where does margin of appreciation lie regarding the respect for private ...

    another family member to which he or she belongs to is to be deported; (iii) a court recommends deportation in case of a person over the age of 17 after conviction of an offence punishable by imprisonment[13]?. Since most deportation cases which have been brought before the ECtHR in relation

  1. Have the courts helped the Human Rights Act achieve its objectives?

    The difficulty arises in respect of the extent of the power, how far can the courts go when interpreting statute law? There are three significant cases on this issue. R v A17 concerned section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (YJCEA).18 Section 41 bans the defence in

  2. The application of common standards necessarily treats people differently, privileging some and penalising others. ...

    enough instead.5 Helping the world's poorest populations emerge from poverty tends to strengthen their states and thus to weaken our own; not something that any developed state is willing to do. For the first time in human history, around the year 2000, it was quite feasible, economically, to wipe out hunger worldwide without inconvenience to anyone.

  1. What kind of responsibility do some states have for the rights of the subjects ...

    It is not only the responsibility of States to protect their populations that are socially determined, but also the right of States to self-governing and of freedom from outside interference.

  2. Human Rights - Articles 6 and 8 applied to fictitious cases.

    The Contempt of Court Act 1981 (the ?CCA?) was passed in response to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of The Sunday Times v United Kingdom (1979)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work