Functions of the Court

Under the provisions of the Treaty establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

The COMESA Court of Justice performs the following functions:-

  1. Generally the Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon all matters which may be referred to it pursuant to the COMESA Treaty.
  2. It shall interpret the provisions of the Treaty and whether an obligation by a Member State or the Council of Ministers has been infringed.
  3. It shall determine the legality of any act, regulation, directive or decision of the Council where such act, regulation, directive or decision is ultra vires or unlawful or an infringement of the provisions of the Treaty or any other rule of law relating to its application or amounts to a misuse or abuse of power.
  4. It shall determine whether, on a reference to it by the Secretary General, a Member State has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaty.
  5. It shall determine on a reference to it by any person who is a resident in a Member State the legality of any act, regulation, directive or decision of the Council or of a Member State on the grounds that such act, directive, decision or regulation is unlawful or an infringement of the provisions of the Treaty, provided such a person has first exhausted local remedies in the national courts or tribunals of the Member State.
  6. It shall hear disputes between the Common Market and its employees regarding the application and interpretation of the Staff Rules or disputes regarding the terms and conditions of employment.
  7. It shall determine claims by any person against the Common Market or its Institutions for acts of their servants or employees in performance of their duties.
  8. It shall hear and determine any matter referred to it under an Arbitration Clause contained in a Contract to which the Common Market or any of its Institutions is a party.
  9. It shall hear and determine any matter arising from a dispute between Member States regarding the Treaty if the dispute is submitted to it under a Special agreement between the Member States concerned.
  10. At the request of a national court it will give a preliminary ruling as to the application or interpretation of the Treaty or the validity of any act, regulation, directive or decision of the Common Market.
  11. Where any question is referred to it by a national court to give a preliminary ruling in a case pending before such national court or tribunal of a Member State against whose judgement there is no judicial remedy under the national law of that Member State, the national court or tribunal shall refer the matter to the COMESA Court of Justice for determination.
  12. The Court of First Instance Division shall consider and determine every reference made to it pursuant to the Treaty in accordance with the Rules of the Court, and shall deliver in public sessions reasoned judgements which, subject to the provision of the said Rules as to review shall be   conclusive but open to appeals to the Appellate Division of the Court.
  13.  The First Instance Division of the Court shall hear and determine applications for revision of its judgements.
  14.  It shall give advisory opinions regarding questions of law arising from provisions of the Treaty affecting the Common Market on request by the Authority, the Council or a Member State.
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