The structure of the Association this consists of :
- Annual General Meeting;
- Council of the Association;
- Executive Committee;
- Secretariat; and
- Standing Committee.
Annual General Meeting
The General Meeting is the governing body of the SADC Lawyers’ Association. This meeting exercises general control over the Association, along with other duties including the election of officers (e.g. President, Treasurer), making honorary appointments, approving annual accounts and making decisions on the times and venues of conferences. Organisational Members of the SADC Lawyers’ Association have the right to send delegates to this meeting (the number of delegates is dependent on the size of the organisations) who have the opportunity to influence decision-making.
Delegates from full Member Organisations (law societies and bar associations) are entitled to vote on issues raised at General Meetings, but this privilege is not extended to delegates from sustaining Member Organisations (other law based organisations) or individual members. However, these delegates are entitled to speak at such meetings, giving them the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns.
In 2012, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference of the Association which was attending by over 400 lawyers was held in Ezulwini, Swaziland and the 2013 AGM and Conference will be held in Lilongwe, Malawi from 1 - 4 August, just 2 weeks ahead of the Annual SADC Summit to be held in the same country.
The SADC Lawyers’ Association Council consists of one member from each full Member Organisation, known as the SADC Lawyers’ Association Councillor, who has the power to vote on behalf of their organisation at Council meetings. Sustaining Members are entitled to send a designated representative to meetings but are unable to vote. SADC Lawyers’ Association Officers, Senior Officers from the SADC Lawyers’ Association Sections, Standing Committee Chairs and Honorary Council members can also attend Council meetings.
The council is the administrative body of the Association and is directed by the decisions of the General Meeting. However, subject to these decisions, the council has the general supervision and control of the affairs of the SADC Lawyers’ Association. In this role, the Council recommends to the General Meeting the election of the SADC Lawyers’ Association President and other Officers, and proposes, debates and passes resolutions.
When the SADC Lawyers’ Association speaks, it does so as a truly regional organisation, which gives a fair hearing to all points of view from members representing small or developing bars as well as the larger ones. In this way all organisations are able to comment on current issues of interest to the legal profession and the SADC Region.
The Executive Committee
The SADC Lawyers’ Association Council delegates some of its powers to the SADC Lawyers’ Association Executive Committee, mainly those concerning investment, budgetary or other financial issues. The Committee comprises the President, Vice President, Treasurer and two additional Members elected by the SADC Lawyers’ Association General Meeting.
The Secretariat of the Association is established in terms of Article 21 of the Constitution and is composed of the Executive Secretary and any other staff members that may be appointed from time to time to perform the functions of the secretariat.
The Standing Committees
The Standing Committees of the Association are formed and dissolved from time to time depending on the needs of the Association. The Committees are chaired by a Member of the council and composed of any volunteer member of the Association or members who are nominated in recognition of their expertise on any issues that the committee may be formed to address.