Court of Justice of CEMAC

The Court of Justice of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC ) was established by the revised treaty of the CEMAC of 25 June 2008. Article 10 of the Revised Treaty instituted two separate courts, namely, the Court of Justice and the Cour des Comptes in lieu and place of the former community court provided in the CEMAC treaty of 16 March 1994. According to Article 48 (1) of the revised treaty, the Court of Justice ensures the enforcement of community law. The CEMAC Court of Justice which is based in N’djamena, Chad, has three main functions.

In the first place, it is competent to examine disputes arising out of violations of community law by any CEMAC member, institution or organ and disputes related to the reparation of damages caused by CEMAC institutions, organs or employees in the accomplishment of their official duties. The decisions of the Court in this function are of first and last resort. Secondly, The CEMAC Court of Justice is also competent to give advisory opinions on legal issues related to the CEMAC treaty or any subsequent instrument on the request of a CEMAC member, institution or organ. Lastly, the Court is competent to arbitrate disputes submitted to it by a CEMAC member, institution or organ in virtue of an arbitration clause or an agreement. In that the role, the CEMAC Court of Justice does not examine the dispute itself but appoints arbitrators and monitors the arbitration. Noteworthy of mention is the fact that contrary to other Regional Economic Courts such as the ECOWAS Court of Justice or the SADC tribunal, the CEMAC Court of Justice does not have a mandate in human rights matters.

The CEMAC Court of Justice is composed of six members, one member per state among whom, five serve as judges and one as the Attorney General. They are appointed by the CEMAC Conference of Head of States for a term of six years, renewable once. Once elected, the members of the CEMAC Court of Justice elect among themselves for a three years term renewable once, the President of the Court and for a one year term renewable once, the Attorney General. The positions of President and that of Attorney General rotate among the CEMAC member states. The official language of the Court is French. However, English, Arabic and Spanish are also allowed.