No longer in suspense : clarifying the human rights jurisdiction of the SADC tribunal

Introduction Over the past decades, apart from the creation of the continental body known as the African Union (AU), there has been a proliferation of sub-regional economic communities such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern A...

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Published in: Potchefstroom electronic law journal Vol. 18; no. 3; pp. 531 - 567
Main Author: Phooko, M.R
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Portuguese
Afrikaans
Published: North-West University 01-01-2015
North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)
Subjects:
Law
Online Access: Get full text
Summary: Introduction Over the past decades, apart from the creation of the continental body known as the African Union (AU), there has been a proliferation of sub-regional economic communities such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). While Regional Economic Communities (RECs) were created primarily to deal with economic issues it has been persuasively argued that there is a nexus between the objectives of regional integration and the realisation of human rights, albeit there is contestation of this fact. Each of these sub-regional communities has a tribunal that is established in terms of their respective constituent documents. These tribunals are the Southern African Development Community Tribunal (the SADC Tribunal), the Economic Community of West African States Community Court of Justice (the ECOWAS CCJ), and the East African Court of Justice (EACJ). The tribunals are instrumental in promoting regional integration on the African continent and are therefore responsible, inter alia, for interpreting and applying treaty provisions in order to resolve disputes arising from economic integration. Even though the protection of human rights was not originally within their jurisdiction through express or implied mandates, they have adjudicated over cases involving allegations of the violation of human rights.
ISSN: 1727-3781
1727-3781
DOI: 10.4314/pelj.v18i3.03