Keywords: SADC; Tribunal; Protocol; Individuals; Access to Justice; Human Rights.
In 2014, the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government adopted the new Protocol on Tribunal: this was the last step in the long controversial case concerning SADC judicial system. The new Protocol, which is not yet in force, introduces relevant legal changes to the SADC Tribunal aiming at reducing its role within the regional organization. In particular, it has significant implications on human rights protection insofar as it denies legal and natural persons the right of access to regional justice. This represents a decisive step backwards in moving regional cooperation towards a rules-based system, on the one hand, and contradicts the growing trend towards the judicialization of regional organizations, on the other hand.