n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Is the SADC Tribunal under judicial siege in Zimbabwe? Reflections on

Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Following a decision of the High Court of Zimbabwe that the SADC Tribunal is not recognised in the Zimbabwean Constitution as superior to the national courts in Zimbabwe, there was an outcry in sections of the media and civil society that the decision had undermined the regional tribunal. This contribution analyses the 'offending' pronouncements in the High Court decision from an international law perspective. Focusing on the relationship between international law and Zimbabwean law on the one hand, and the relationship between proceedings in international tribunals and national legal proceedings on the other, this contribution critiques the view that the decision of the Zimbabwe High Court undermines the SADC Tribunal. Applying the effect of the dualist- monist debate on the relationship between international law and municipal law, this contribution argues that the decision in question does not negatively affect Zimbabwe's responsibility at international law. However, the contribution concludes that for the sake of judicial integrity national judges should encourage respect for the decisions of international tribunals as far as this is possible within the limits of national constitutions.

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