Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 71

Entering thefourth year of its existence, the CIS Economic Court has "absurdlynarrow" powers, the court’s secretary general Viktor Gonchartold the August 9 Kommersant Daily. Created in July 1992,the court did not begin meeting until two years later. Only eightmember countries of the CIS recognize it, and these have appointeda total of 11 judges to the court instead of the statutory 16.Moreover, of the eight countries, only two–Russia and Belarus–contributetheir share of the court’s funding, it being "virtually impossibleto obtain money from the others." The court is only empoweredto consider disputes arising from interstate or intergovernmentalagreements, and only a narrow range of legal entities are eligiblefor petitioning or litigation before the court. Finally, the court’sverdicts are nonbinding. Promoters of CIS integration plan topropose elevating the court to the role of judicial organ of theCIS Economic Union and endow it with at least some supranationalpowers. But that would have to await the acquisition of such powers,including that of binding decision making, by the Interstate EconomicCommittee (IEC), the Economic Union’s would-be executive organ.The issue regarding the IEC may be raised at the fall summit ofthe CIS, but it is bound to run into resistance. The court looksset to continue vegetating.

Lithuanian-Norwegian Military Agreement.