China Supreme People’s Court Appoints 4 African to Handle Belt and Road Disputes

The appointed specialists are from Uganda, Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt among 24 members of expert committee of China international commercial court.

One of the persons appointed on the 24 members committee is the former Chief Justice of Uganda Bart Katureebe who says he is profoundly excited to have been selected.

China’s supreme people’s court-appointed the four Africans to a panel of International Law experts to help deal with legal issues related to Beijing’s global infrastructure development program known as the Belt and Road initiative.

The former Chief Justice of Uganda Bart Katureebe, the former Attorney General and Justice Minister of Nigeria Christopher Adebayo Ojo, Algerian Judge and Former President of United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi Fatsah Ouguergouz and the director of Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration in Egypt Ismail Selim completes the 24 members of experts in China and foreign law appointed to the expert committee of China International Commercial Court (CICC) on the adjudication of International Commercial Disputes.

The committee also includes 11 people from China, one each from Macao and Hong Kong, and seven other foreigners will serve for the next four years on the committee.

The main purpose of the committee is to mediate International Commercial Disputes and provide expert opinion and advice, primarily in relation to the implementation of China’s Belt and Road initiative and settlement of any associated disputes.

The Belt and Road initiative as proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pet trade and infrastructure development plan has funded the construction of expressways, hydropower plants, and railways across the African continent.

The appointment of African experts comes as China is facing increasing calls to restructure loans for several countries on the continent including Angola, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

China Supreme People'S Court Appoints 4 African to Team for Handling Belt and Road Disputes
Photo Credit: Getty Image

The appointment of four Africans to the committee sends a strong message that China’s new outward looking Court is inclusive and this gives China alternative area where it will also be known apart from investment, labour, technology that the world is used to seeing but rarely – do they think about law.

This appointment of foreigners to the committee will give China a local face to the dispute resolution formal process mostly in Africa where a lot of noise is being heard about Chinese activities.

The appointment will also help China draw expertise on various issues from persons with specialized competence in various issues in various parts of the world.

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