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Jurisdiction of the Court


Pursuant to the Provisions of Articles 7, and 19 to 36 of the Treaty establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Court shall have jurisdiction:-

Upon all matters which may be referred to it

  • Where in reference to it by Member States a Member State considers that another Member State or the Council has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaty or has infringed the provisions of the Treaty.
  • Where a Member State refers for determination by the Court the legality of any act, regulation, direction or decisions of the Council on the grounds that such act, regulations, direction or decisions are ultra vires or unlawful or an infringement of the provisions of the Treaty or any rule of law relating to its application or amounts to misuse or abuse of power.
  • Where the Secretary General on directions of the Council refers to the Court an alleged failure by a Member State to fulfil an obligation under the Treaty.
  • Where any person who is a resident in a Member State refers for determination by the Court the legality of any act, regulation, directive, or decision of the Council or Member State alleging that such act, directive, decision or regulation is unlawful or infringes any provision of the Treaty provided such person has first exhausted local remedies in the national courts or tribunals of the Member State.
  • Where the Common Market employees refer disputes to the Court which disputes arise out of the application and interpretation of the Staff Rules and Regulations of the Secretariat or the terms and Conditions of employment.
  • Where third parties refer to the Court for determination claims against the Common Market or its Institutions for acts of their servants or employees in the performance of their duties.
  • Where any matter is referred to the Court arising from an Arbitration Clause contained in a contract to which the Common Market or any of its Institutions is a party.
  • Where a dispute is referred to the Court between Member States regarding the Treaty if the dispute is submitted to it under a Special agreement between Member States concerned.
  • Where national courts refer to it for a preliminary ruling regarding the application or interpretation of the Treaty on the validity of a regulation, directive and decisions of the Common Market.
  • Where any question as that referred to it in the paragraph above is raised in a case pending before a court or tribunal of a Member State against whose judgement there is no judicial remedy under the national law of the Member State, that court or tribunal shall refer the matter to the COMESA Court of Justice.
  • Where the Authority, the Council or a Member State request the Court to give an advisory opinion regarding questions of law arising from the provisions of the Treaty affecting the Common Market,  Member States shall have the right to be represented and take part in the proceedings.

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