The Coalition for an effective SADC Tribunal has called on heads of state to uphold the rule of law and human rights in the region by reinstating the SADC Tribunal.
In a statement released on the eve of the SADC Heads of State Summit on Sunday the coalition which has so far 19 civil society organizations supporting the call, says the suspension of the tribunal lacks legality.
It further says that the adoption of the new SADC Tribunal by SADC heads of states was done without consultation.
“The SADC did not act in accordance with its own Treaty’s amendment procedures. As such the suspension lacks legality, “inter alia” because the SADC Treaty does not allow for suspension.
According to the CSOs, the new Protocol removes access to the Tribunal by individuals and legal persons, and removes its human rights mandate. To date the Protocol has been signed by nine member states, but will enter into force thirty days after ten countries have ratified it. It is not yet clear as to whether any country has actually ratified the Protocol through their national parliaments.
Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) is among the CSOs calling for the reinstatement of the SADC Tribunal.
The Coalition says it is committed to championing efforts and advocacy to reinstate the Tribunal as it affects every single citizen and person in the region. It has also called on heads of states to uphold the rule of law and human rights in the region.
It is also asking citizens in the SADC region to sign a petition calling for the re-establishment of the tribunal. It can be accessed on https://www.change.org/p/sadc-heads-of-state-and-government-don-t-deprive-me-of-my-right-to-take-leaders-of-southern-africa-to-court.