oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The legal structure of trade liberalisation under the Treaty establishing the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa: yesterday's vision and today's reality

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The PTA legal structure of trade liberalisation and collective reliance has been largely ineffective. This failure could be attributed to the top down strategy of the regime that was initiated at Heads of State level and directed to lower levels of society and economy. It has been dependent upon the political goodwill of the member countries as opposed to strong international monitoring and enforcement machinery. It is a passive legal structure that depends on the voluntary cooperation of Member States, individuals and business enterprises. It sets rules regarding such matters as duties and restrictive practices but has lacked the capability to guarantee compliance. The fact that the legal structure is multilateral and unwieldy in scope has only compounded its weaknesses by overstretching available governance capacities.

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