n Malawi Law Journal - Tackling threats to the existence of the SADC Tribunal : a critique of perilously ambiguous provisions in the SADC Treaty and the protocol on the SADC Tribunal

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1996-7675



Following the controversy that accompanied Zimbabwe's declaration that it would not comply with the decision of the SADC Tribunal against it in the Campbell case and the refusal of the Zimbabwean municipal courts to implement the decisions of the SADC Tribunal, the Tribunal faces threats to its existence. While some of those threats are external, others are located within the founding instruments of the Tribunal. Specifically, certain ambiguities in some provisions have been raised to challenge the legality, competence and legitimacy of the SADC Tribunal. This article examines the concept of ambiguity in international legal drafting and analyses the relevant instruments of the SADC Tribunal. The article takes the view that most of the ambiguities currently found in the relevant instruments are not fatal.However, it stresses the need for Treaty amendments to address them in order to prevent future disruptive challenges to the Tribunal's existence.

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