SADC Lawyers Association

Learn about our organization's history, our core values, and what SADC Lawyers' Association stands for . Also find information about the locations of our headquarters over time.

SADCLA Identity

The SADCLA is a voluntary association made up of law societies, bar associations and individual lawyers from the 15 member Southern African region. It is the only organization that effectively brings together lawyers from the sub Region. As such, it is an authoritative and representative voice of the collective legal profession in Southern Africa.

The organization was formed in 1999 at an inaugural meeting that was held by SADC regional lawyers in Maputo, Mozambique. At its formation, the headquarters of the Association was located in South Africa and hosted by the Law Society of South Africa. In 2003, the office relocated to Botswana and was registered in that country under the Societies Act in April of 2003. The office moved back to South Africa in 2011 and was registered as a non profit company in terms of the South African Companies Act in July of 2012.

Since its formation, the organization has been involved in numerous activities at the regional and international levels to strengthen, defend and advance the rule of law in the SADC region and beyond.

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Values & Principles

In executing its duties, SADCLA is guided by the following values and principles articulated in its founding preamble, as follows:

  • Mutual interaction with the Bar Associations, Law Societies and their respective members within the Region.
  • Upholding and maintaining respect for the Rule of Law and fundamental liberties.
  • Promoting the respect for human rights, especially the rights of women, people with disabilities and children.
  • Development of respective legal systems to ensure the proper administration of justice and generally to work towards the harmonization of SADC countries’ respective legal systems and to advance the interests of the members.