GOVERNMENT has set in motion the setting up of a Commercial Court which will handle all commercial disputes.
By Melody Chikono
The establishment of the court is in line with efforts to improve the ease of doing business and assist in reducing the backlog at the general courts.
“Notice is hereby given that in terms of Section 46A of the High Court Act Chapter 7:06 that after consultation with the president and in the interest of expediting justice delivery and promoting the ease of access to justice, a specialised division of the High Court to be known as the commercial division of the High Court is hereby created …,” read a notice in the Government Gazette.
Local courts have been flooded with commercial disputes, particularly defaults on loans and credit arrangements due to the tightening liquidity situation and, increasingly, a number of banks have been filing lawsuits against clients to recover unpaid loans.
This has resulted in the attachment of assets such as computers, machinery and motor vehicles.
According to the notice the court will adjudicate commercial law disputes and hear all appeals .
“… have been created to adjudicate commercial law disputes and hear all appeals, reviews, applications and petitions … relating to commercial disputes.
Analysts contend that the establishment of the Commercial Court would not only help reduce the current backlog at the general courts, but would also help deliver justice to the general public that usually loses out when a financial institution goes bankrupt.
A number of bankers have abused depositors’ funds in the past, but have neither been charged nor prosecuted
Besides improving ease of doing business, the court is believed to mark the beginning of specialisation in the High Court as a means of improving overall efficiency.
Commercial Courts are a must-have for emerging markets vying for foreign direct investment as it facilitates faster resolution of commercial disputes.