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The Treaty establishes the East African Court of Justice to resolve disputes, deliver advisory opinions or give a determination or a reference. A partner state, the secretary general or an individual can refer the legality of an Act, directive, decision or action by an institution of the Community or partner state to the Court for determination. The Court has the power to interpret the Treaty establishing the EAC.

The Court has original, appellate and human rights jurisdiction. Thus, an applicant need not exhaust local remedies before approaching the Court.

A domestic court has the power to make a ruling over a dispute arising out of the interpretation of the Community’s Treaty. This decision can be taken on appeal before the Court.

The Summit elects the members, which serve a seven-year term, of the Court. The six founding judges took oath on 30 November 2001.

The Court does not have set periods when it holds sessions in a year. The case register and the budget will determine when and for how long it meets. The Court will normally meet to discuss cases on the register and how to proceed. In 2007, the Court met throughout the year for periods of two to three days to consider cases and administrative matters.

EACJ Seat: Arusha, Tanzania

States subject to EACJ jurisdiction: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

 

PostHeaderIcon EACJ dismisses Rt. Hon Zziwa's application barring legislators from debating her removal

East African Court of Justice, Arusha, 16th November 2014:

The East African Court of Justice First Instance Division today delivered a ruling in an Ex-parte Application (in the absence of the other party) arising from a matter between EALA Speaker, Rt. Hon. Margaret Zziwa - Applicant and Secretary General of the East African Community - Respondent.

The subject matter of the Application was to seek among other things an order prohibiting and restraining EALA from convening on the 17th December 2014 for purposes of considering a Report of the EALA Committee of Legal, Rules and Privileges intended to move a motion for resolution to remove the Applicant from office. Further, the said Committee is restrained from conducting any further investigations in this matter or tabling any report in the Assembly pending the hearing and determination of the main case filed in the Court.

The Court in its Ruling deemed it appropriate that the Application be heard ex- parte at the first instance due to the urgency of the matter considering the Report of the aforementioned Committee is scheduled for tabling and discussion on 17th December 2014, and the Applicants fate as Speaker may well depend on the outcome of this particular sitting of the Assembly.

However, the Court found that the Applicant failed to prove the irreparable injustice that the process of the removal may cause to her, as had been claimed in the application. It was also the Court’s view that since the Applicant made representations to the Committee, to pre-judge the decision of this Committee and that of the Assembly would be unjust.

The Court further noted that Article 53(3) of the Treaty provides for the removal of the Speaker of the Assembly and so any holder of the office ought to know that possibility is always alive and pursuing that course of action will not amount to irreparable injustice to the Applicant.

The Court declared it was unable to accept the Applicant’s case that she is entitled to any ex-parte orders. The Court thus ordered the Application be fixed for hearing inter parte on 3rd February 2015. The Application was dismissed with no order as to cost.

Ruling was delivered by a full bench of Judges of the First Instance Division.

Press Release: East African Court of Justice

 

PostHeaderIcon EACJ to handle international criminal cases

The East Africa Legislative assembly during its 4th Meeting of the 5th Session held in Nairobi, Kenya on the 26th April 2012 resolved that the East African Community Council of Ministers immediately embarks on the process of requesting the transfer of proceedings for the accused four suspects in the respect to the 2007 Kenyan post election violence from the International Criminal Court and instituting them in the East African Court of Justice on the basis that the acts complained of are contraventions of the East African Community Treaty.

The East Africa Law Society calls on the East African Legislative Assembly, The East African Community Heads of States Summit, and the East African Community Council of Ministers not to pursue the transfer of these cases from the International Criminal Court, unless and until the East African Court of Justice is fully seized of the envisaged jurisdiction, capacity and competence to adjudicate international criminal cases as shall be certified by the International Criminal Court.

 

 
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