18 March 2012
This week, the African Commission on Human Rights decided that it was seized of a case against 16 member states of the South African Development Community (SADC) for their decision to suspend the SADC Tribunal. The SADC Tribunal had held in 2008 that the decision by Zimbabwe to take land from white farmers was in violation of the SADC Treaty. Zimbabwe declined to implement that judgment, and the SADC member states suspended the Court. This left persons who already had filed applications with the SADC at the time of the decision without recourse, as they petitioned the African Commission, arguing that all SADC states (who had all voted in favour the suspension of the Court) had violated the African Convention on Human and People’s Rights.