The Treaty of the Southern African Development Community (SADC Treaty) carries principles of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which include respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. This book seeks to address the question whether the design of the institutions of SADC is democratic and reflective of a desire to anchor policymaking and implementation processes in the rule of law. In this chapter, a brief historical account of SADC, including the evolution of its institutional and legal frameworks, is given. This chapter also discusses the nature of SADC as an international organisation from a comparative perspective. It then sets out the scope of the book which is basically a legal analysis of the SADC governance architecture from the perspective of democracy and the rule of law.