Frequently Asked Questions
Q1.What is a Commercial Court?
A1. A Commercial court is a court that hears business disputes under simplified procedures designed to expedite trials.
Q2.What types of cases can be filed with the Commercial Court?
A2. The Commercial Court is specialized with jurisdiction to deal with civil cases of commercial significance.
A civil case is considered to be of commercial significance if it involves any of the following matters .
The formation of a business or commercial organization;
The governance of a business or commercial organization;
The contractual relationship of a business or commercial organization with other bodies or persons outside it;
The liability of a commercial or business organization or its officials arising out of its commercial or business activities;
The liabilities of a commercial or business person arising out of that personâ€™s commercial or business activities;
The restructuring or payment of commercial debts by or to business or commercial organization or person;
The winding-up or bankruptcy of a commercial or business organization or person;
The enforcement of commercial arbitration award;
The enforcement of awards of a regional court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction in accordance with a treaty of Mutual Assistance arrangement which the United Republic is a signatory and which forms part of the law of the united Republic;
Admiralty proceedings; and
The above list is not exhaustive the court may consider upon application, any matter and determine if that matter has any commercial significance.
However it should be borne in mind that not all cases of commercial significance can be filed with the Commercial Court, only those cases whose value in case of an immovable property exceeds Tshs. 100 Million and in case of movable property exceeds Tshs. 70 Million. There is no maximum limit of the value of claims that may be filed with the Court.
A person having a commercial dispute is at liberty to file a case with any other court, as the court has no exclusive jurisdiction in deciding commercial disputes .
Q3.Can an appeal from a lower court (subordinate court) be filed to the commercial court?
A3. The Court has powered to hear and determine Appeals and Revisions arising out of Commercial cases in the subordinate Courts.
This means instead of appealing from a District Court or from Resident Magistrateâ€™s Court to the High Court within the Zone of that Court, one may appeal to the Commercial Court. The procedure of lodging an appeal in the commercial court is the same as in the normal High Court.
Q4.How does a case or an appeal at the Commercial Court begin?
A4. A case or an appeal begins at the Court by the person who wishes to start a suit/an action /a dispute or an appeal (called a plaintiff or appellant respectively) or his/her advocate bringing a document to the court setting out his/her case or grounds of his/her appeal
The document is called a plaint in case of a suit and a memorandum of appeal in case of an appeal. It should be known that the documents referred to above are legal documents so care has to be exercised in preparing them, in case of doubt as to their contents consult your advocate.
Presentation of any of the above documents to the court for filing is accompanied by payment of fees called filing fees. The plaint or memorandum of appeal cannot be accepted as properly filed in the court unless filing fees have been paid.
Q5.How can a party to a case know when the case is scheduled for next step?
A5. The person who brings a case to the Court has a duty to inform the other person whom he/she has sued or he has lodged an appeal against him.
The person suing can do so himself or through his/her agent or vide the services of the court process servers, who are appointed by court. The process servers are court brokers.
After a case is opened dates set for hearing or mention can be found from the Courtâ€™s Website.
The courtâ€™s website provides not only the dates of hearing or mention, name of a trial judge, but also the status and trend of a case.
One can tell how many times a given case has been adjourned from the information obtained in the website. The Courts Website is www.comcourt.go.tz.
Q6.Where is the Commercial Court Located?
A6. The Commercial Court began its operation in 1999 with only one registry in Dar-es salaam. It is the Courtâ€™s objective and in indeed Judiciary objective to enhance access to commercial justice by opening a sub registry at every High Court zone.
At the moment two sub registries have already been opened in Arusha and Mwanza. The Arusha registry was opened in 2004 through DANIDA support, the Mwanza Sub registry was opened in July 2008 through the financial support of BEST programme.
The Commercial Court has started a process of establishing of a sub-registry at Mbeya under the BEST programme support.
The under the Government support Commercial Court intends to commence the process of establishing of another sub-registry in Dodoma in the year 2009/2010.
The Courtâ€™s operating offices are located at Dar es Salaam Kivukoni Front P.o .Box 12533 Dar es Salaam., Arusha office is found at High Court of Tanzania Arusha District Registry premises and Mwanza at the first floor of the former TRA building.
Q7.What future plans does the Court have?
A7. The Courtâ€™s mission is to deploy Modern Information Communication Technology to determine commercial disputes effectively, efficiently and speedily. Supported by the BEST Programme the Court is geared to undertake the following activities;
A conduct a feasibility study for establishing a sub-registry at Mbeya.
Upgrading of the Courtâ€™s website Registrar,
High Court of Tanzania,
P.O. Box 12533,
DAR ES SALAAM