How to Reboot the SADC Tribunal : A European Perspective

Authors Lukas Knott

ISSN: 2026-8556
Affiliations: PhD Fellow, Ecole doctorale de droit international et européen, Université Paris
Source: SADC Law Journal, The, 2012, Issue 2, p. 304 – 318


This paper addresses some aspects of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal’s current review process from a European point of view, comparing elements of European judicial integration with the perspectives for supranational rule of law in southern Africa. It appears that the achievements at stake since the Campbell crisis — namely the Tribunal’s individual complaints mechanism — are only one, albeit important, field of activity for a community judge. Another most intriguing challenge for the cause of regional integration, shared by all African regional courts, remains the use of preliminary ruling procedures by national judges in order to end the radio silence between national and regional judiciaries. Besides pursuing ways to solve this challenge, the search for a proper place for the Tribunal within the community needs to be contextualised in the overall functioning of the institutional setting. Remedies to the current intergovernmentalist overweight will necessarily have to include a strengthening of independent institutions at the regional level; the establishment of a legislative assembly would be particularly promising in this regard.