COMESA urged to utilise Court of Justice

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COMESA urged to utilise Court of Justice
COMESA urged to utilise Court of Justice

Africa-Press – Zambia. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Court of Justice president, Lombe Chibesakunda, has urged member states to make use of the regional Court of Justice to resolve disputes which impede effective economic trade in the region.

Justice Chibesakunda says the Court has the supreme mandate to tackle disputes and harmonise economic policies and developmental issues in the COMESA region.

She was speaking during the Judges retreat training today aimed at reviewing the strengths and successes of the regional Court, with a call to member States to utilise the COMESA Court of Justice for world class adjudication of disputes.

Justice Chibesakunda explained that Judges have a critical role to play in the dispensation of justice and must review their operations from time to time in order to effectively handle cases professionally.

She noted that the Court of Justice which was established in 1994 with its headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, offers the best platform to resolve issues across the COMESA region.

“As a court we usually take retreats to review how we have fared in conflict and disputes resolution in the region and look at how to capacity-build the Judges for them to effectively handle disputes in the region,” she said.

Justice Chibesakunda added that the COMESA treaty handles several types of cases that may be brought before the COMESA Court stating that the case should be first exhausted at national level.

She also called for the strengthened ties among COMESA members states in a bid to realise economic and social development in the region. Justice Chibesakunda explained that article 26 of the COMESA treaty deals with matters of individual countries that fail to resolve and exhaust their cases at national level.

She has since called on the 21 COMESA member States and Africa at large to unite in a quest to boost and unlock economic potential which can only be realised when there is unity in the region.

Justice Chibesakunda added that despite the COVID-19 pandemic which ravaged the continent and the world at large, it did not affect the operations of the Court of Justice as its members continued meeting virtually.

And Attorney General, Mulilo Kabesha, said the Court of Justice remains relevant and continues to adjudicate upon all matters referred to it by aggrieved member states.

Mr. Kabesha said member states may refer disputes for determination by COMESA Court of Justice on the legality of any act, regulation or directive if it is unlawful.

“It is gratifying to learn that Judges are undergoing capacity- building training to be more knowledgeable and competent in adjudicating on cases to do with trade remedies,” he said.

It is hoped that the COMESA Court of Justice will address disputes and other related unethical practices in a bid to accelerate industrialisation in the COMESA region.

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