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Polytol Paints v Mauritius: Evidence of the existence and direct effect of community law in COMESA?

Trade Briefs

Polytol Paints v Mauritius: Evidence of the existence and direct effect of community law in COMESA?

Polytol Paints v Mauritius: Evidence of the existence and direct effect of community law in COMESA?

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In a landmark case involving Polytol Paints and Mauritius, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Court of Justice First Instance Division made a ruling that suggests that regional integration within COMESA is pursued within a framework of community law, and that this system is fairly effective. It is understood that a notice of appeal has since been filed by the Mauritius Government. As consideration of this case continues, the current ruling of the COMESA Court brings to the fore a number of issues that are worth discussing.

This paper reviews the concept of community law and the extent to which COMESA is indeed a form of it, based on the aforementioned case. The origins of the concept of community law are first explored, followed by the background of the Polytol Paints v Mauritius case and the ruling of the COMESA Court. The existence of community law and its legal effect in COMESA are also explored.


Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

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