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.


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