Pursuant to article 38 of the Treaty the court has made rules of the Court
Rule 2 provides that any matter within the jurisdiction of the Court under the Treaty shall be commenced, proceeded with and disposed of by the Court in accordance with these Rules.
- It provides further that nothing in these Rules shall limit or otherwise affect the inherent powers of the Court to make such orders as may be necessary to meet the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the Court. Hence under part V Rule 30 to 47 the Rules provide that a claim to the Court is by way of a reference. In most former British Colonies proceedings are commenced by a Writ of Summons, Originating Summons, Originating Notice of Motion or Petition. In the COMESA Court of Justice proceedings are commenced by way of a reference.
- The Rules provide for the procedure and disposal of the matters referred to the Court. They provide for the contents of the reference, service of the reference, defence, reply and re-joinder and pleadings generally as well as amendments of such pleadings, summons to and examination of witnesses, and request for expert opinion. However it is not possible for the Rules to provide for every possible situation in which case the Court has its inherent, powers to make such orders as may be necessary to meet the ends of justice.
- The Rules provide further that a party to the proceedings shall be represented before the Court by an Agent who is a lawyer entitled to practice before a court of a Member State; a party may address Court only through his Agent. Such Agents are to enjoy immunities or privileges in the Member State while representing their clients before the Court. Agents and advisers who are lawyers and lawyers shall appear before the Court wearing formal attire or robes prescribed in the Member State.
- The Rules provide for oral proceedings and the conduct of such proceedings which shall be presided over by the President in the case of the Appellate Division and by the Principal Judge in the case of the first Instance Division or presiding Judge.
- The Rules provide for the contents of the judgement, delivery of judgement, enforcement, rectification of judgement and applications to supplement judgements if the Court should omit to give a decision on a specific head of claim or on costs.
- Costs are provided for in the Rules which provide that a decision as to costs shall be given in the final judgement or in an order which closes the proceedings.
- Rules provide for costs which may be recovered and the currency of payment.
- Rules provide for discontinuance of proceedings, staying of proceedings, intervention by third parties, judgement in default and applications to set aside and applications for review of judgement.
Rules provide for a request to the Court for opinions by the Authority, the Council or Member State.