Business

‘Resolving disputes through courts good’

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Court of Justice has embarked on a publicity programme to sensitise governments and the business community on the benefits of using the court to resolve disputes.
The Court of Justice is the judicial organ of COMESA whose function is to adjudicate upon disputes between member states that might arise from the interpretation and application of regional treaties.
To further promote trade development regarding the region and Africa, COMESA held a meeting in Madagascar to inform law practitioners, various government staff, the business community and other stakeholders on the remedies that the Court of Justice can afford to litigants in an effort to support trade. The meeting was held on June 22.
This is according to a statement availed to the Daily Mail by COMESA secretariat head of corporate and communications Mwangi Gakunga.
COMESA says since inception, the court has been underutilised as stakeholders, especially the business community and governments that have not been well informed about its functions and jurisdiction.
“Nevertheless, the court has in recent years been favourably cited for its landmark rulings and advisory opinions which have reassured the business community in particular, of final redress where possible disputes are likely to occur with government and other parties,” COMESA says.
Commenting on the development, COMESA Court assistant registrar Nemaduthsingh Juddoo said the court plays a critical role by providing a channel through which member states and other stakeholders can seek redress for any damages or disputes which may arise as a result of the COMESA integration process.
“Countries need to be assured that the agreements and treaties they sign can be enforced through a functional legal framework as this builds confidence in the system and enables deeper integration to occur.
“We believe that through publicity seminars in the COMESA member states, more people will be able to appreciate the services of the COMESA Court of Justice and use its services when required,” he said.

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