In recognition and amplification of the important role that judiciaries play within the regions, the Southern African Chief Justices Forum was established in 2003 to, among other things, uphold the rule of law, democracy and independence of the courts and to promote contact as well as co-operate among the courts in the regions of its operation.
A transformed, independent, integrated and united judiciary which promotes the rule of law, fundamental human right, democracy and good governance to ensure prosperity, equality, peace and security of all citizens.
Providing a formal platform, structure and framework through which the Chief Justices of Eastern and Southern Africa and Africa at large are able to collectively reflect on critical issues on justice delivery and adopt action plans to address those issues in a systematic and sustained way in order to strengthen justice delivery in the region (s). in particular the SACJF commits to;
- Protect and promote democracy, justice, the rule of law, and fundamental human rights as enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and other instruments that have been adopted by the AU and its member states such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.
- Advance access to the courts by all citizens, especially women and children, by collaborating with governments and civil society to educate and empower them on their rights.
- Promote provision of state-funded legal aid schemes in different jurisdictions.
- Work with the AU, AU sub-regional bodies and AU member states to secure the institutional independence of the African Judiciaries legislatively and functionally.
- Strive to ensure transformed, learning, accountable, effective and efficient judiciaries through the establishment of Judicial Code of Conduct, and a system of Monitoring and Evaluation.
- Further, strive to promote good governance and eradication of corruption.
Values and Principles
The values and principles which guide and govern the functioning and operations of SACJF are:-
- Promotion of rule of law
- Delivery of accessible quality justice to all
- Good governance and shared values
- Transparency, independence, Impartiality, Integrity and accountability
- Promotion of a culture of human rights, freedom, tolerance and peaceful co-existence
- Democratic good governance