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Legal & Judicial Affairs

Attorney General and Speaker of the Transitional Assembly of South Sudan revoke the nomination of nine Members to EALA

East African Court of Justice; Arusha, Tanzania; 16 June 2017:

The First Instance Division heard an inter parties Application file by Wani Santido from the Republic of South Sudan against the Attorney General of the Republic of South Sudan, the Speaker of the Parliament of South Sudan and the Secretary General of the East African Community on 15th June 2017.

He was seeking court order to restrain the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) from administering the oath of office, or otherwise recognizing nominees from the Republic of South Sudan.


The Applicant represented by Donald Deya withdrew the Application after the consent by the Representatives of the Attorney General of South Sudan (1st Respondent) and the Speaker of the Transitional Legislative Assembly of the same (2nd Respondent). The two Respondents revoked the nomination of the nine (9) members to East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) as indicated in Resolution No. 04/2017, dated 13th June 2017 and adopted by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly of the government of South Sudan.

The 1st and 2nd Respondent also committed that they will hold fresh election which will meet the requirements of Article 50 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community. The Secretary General of EAC 3rd Respondent aslo committed to provide a concise legal opinion and otherwise assist the 1st & 2nd Respondents to the best of his ability to abide by the requirements of the Treaty.


On 5th June 2017, the Court granted an interim Ex- parte order pending hearing of the Inter parties’ application. committed that they will hold fresh election that will meet the requirements of Article 50 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community. The Secretary General of EAC will provide a concise legal opinion and otherwise assist the 1st & 2nd Respondents to the best of his ability to abide by the requirements of the Treaty. After they reached this consent the Applicant withdrew the Application which had been eariler filed to Court seeking the Court's order restraining the East African Legislative Assembly from administering the oath of office, or otherwise recognising nominees from the Republic of South Sudan. On 5th June 2017, the Court granted an interim Ex- parte order pending hearing of the Inter partes application today. The Applicant is called Wani Santido Jada . committed that they will hold fresh election that will meet the requirements of Article 50 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community. The Secretary General of EAC will provide a concise legal opinion and otherwise assist the 1st & 2nd Respondents to the best of his ability to abide by the requirements of the Treaty. After they reached this consent the Applicant withdrew the Application which had been eariler filed to Court seeking the Court's order restraining the East African Legislative Assembly from administering the oath of office, or otherwise recognising nominees from the Republic of South Sudan. On 5th June 2017, the Court granted an interim Ex- parte order pending hearing of the Inter partes application today. The Applicant is called Wani Santido Jada .Mr. Wani Santino Jada who represented himself in Court at the ex parte hearing said that on or about the 11th March 2017, His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, appointed nine (9) persons to represent the said Partner State in EALA which was in violation of Article 50 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. The swearing-in of EALA MPs that was due to take place on 5th June 2017 was postponed by the Assembly until further notice.


Both the Applicants and the Respondents have jointly applied for adjournment of the hearing of the main Reference which was scheduled for next week Wednesday 21st June 2017, until the elections have been held. The Applicant went ahead and submitted that, they got assurance from the 1st and 2nd Respondents that they will hold elections possibly next week.

The Court accepted the consent by the Respondents and allowed to be filed in the Registry. 


The Representatives for the Respondents were Mr. James Mayen Oka for the Attorney General, under the Secretary of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mr. Alalla Younis Said Loro, Clerk of Assembly Transitional National Legislative Assembly South Sudan, Ms. Florence Ochago Principal Legal Officer and Brenda Ntihinyurwa Legal expert for the Secretary General EAC. The Applicant was also present in Court.

The matter was before a bench of the First Instance Division of the Court comprised of Justices Monica Mugenyi, (Principal Judge); Isaac Lenaola, (Deputy Principal Judge); Faustin Ntezilyayo, Judge; Fakihi Jundu, Judge and Audace Ngiye, Judge


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Notes to Editor: 

Article 50 (Election of Members of the Assembly)

The National Assembly of each Partner States shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly, who shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the National Assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that Partner State, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each Partner State may determine.

For more information, please contact:

Yufnalis Okubo, Registrar,
East African Court of Justice.
Tel: 255-27-2162149
Email Okubo [at] eachq.org
East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania
http://www.eacj.org

About the East African Court of Justice:

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.

Court President pays courtesy to the Chief Justice & Minister of Industry, Trade and EAC Affairs in Rwanda

East African Court of Justice; Arusha, Tanzania; 12 June 2017:

The President of the East African Court of Justice Hon. Justice Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja paid courtesy call to the Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Sam Rugege and Minister of Industry, Trade and East African Community Affairs, Hon. François Kanimba of the Republic of Rwanda on Tuesday and Wenesday last week.

The purpose of the courtesy call was to establish the collaboration with the Judiciary of Rwanda through preliminary rulings of National Courts, whenever they have any matter to refer to the EACJ for Treaty interpretation and application under Article 34 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.

His Lordship the President told the Chief Justice that there is need to strengthen this relationship by educating the Rwandan Judicial Officers (Judges, Registrars and other officers) on this provision to enable them understand and utilize it whenever a question on interpretation of the Treaty raises before any Court or tribunal in Rwanda or any other Partner State.

In addition, Justice Ugirashebuja explained the impact on the jurisprudence of the EACJ in the regional integration process.

He emphasized that, the decisions of this Court (EACJ) on the interpretation and application of the Treaty, have precedence over decisions of national Courts on similar matter as it is stipulated under Article 33 (2) of the Treaty.

Justice Ugirashebuja also informed the Chief Justice on the EACJ strategy, to hold court sessions in the Partner States as a way of bringing Justice closer to the East Africans which will at the same time enhance the visibility of the Court. He added that the Court has so far conducted its sessions in two Partner States, the Republic of Kenya and United Republic of Tanzania and therefore it should be rotational to all other Partner States as well.

The President further expressed the need of support from the Judiciary of Rwanda in providing court rooms and offices whenever there is sitting of EACJ in Rwanda. Further he thanked the Chief Justice for hosting the EACJ Sub-registry in Kigali that, it a sign of existing relationship that needs continued collaboration.

On his part the Chief Justice of Rwanda, thanked the President for having thought about collaboration with the Judiciary and finally pledged his support to East African Court of Justice in its collaboration with the national courts in particular.

His Lordship the President of the Court, while meeting the Minister of Industry and Trade, Hon. Kanimba, explained the jurisdiction of the Court which was extended to handle matters on trade and investment, pending ratification by the Partner States.

He further appealed to the Minister to follow up on the Government of Rwanda through His Excellence the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame to speed up the ratification process and deposit the instruments for ratification to the Secretary General.

Justice Ugirashebuja also requested the Minister to champion and advocate for the Court to the Council of Ministers to end the ad-hoc nature of the services of the Judges. He further said that, because some Judges serve as judges in their national courts and therefore it might cause delays in disposing off some cases in the EACJ due to their busy schedules in their Partner States judiciaries.

In addition, the President of the Court asked the Minister, the Council of Ministers to request the Summit to determine the permanent seat of the Court as the Treaty provides under Article 47 of the Treaty.

Justice Ugirashebuja, finally called upon the Minister to table the EACJ Administration Act, to the Council of Ministers and be submitted to the President to assent to it. His Lordship further requested the Minister to facilitate the process and to ensure the Act is expeditiously assented to, so that the Court can be granted its fully Financial Autonomy.

The Minister commended the President for the initiative to visit the Ministry, to explain the role and jurisdiction of the Court in the furtherance of the EAC Integration agenda. The Minister assured him his fully support to ensure the EACJ smooth operations in delivering quality and quick justice to the East Africans, especially on the utilization of the trade and investment jurisdiction as the Partner States continue the implementation of the Customs Union and Common Market Protocols, where a number of disputes may a raise.

The President further proceeded to Nyanza, at the Institute of Legal practice to deliver a lecture on the contribution, role and jurisdiction of the Court.

The president said that the courtesy calls started in the Republics of Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, now Rwanda and the will still continue to other Partner States. The President was accompanied by the Registrar of the Court, His Worship Yufnalis Okubo and other support staff.


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For more information, please contact:

For more information please contact:
Yufnalis Okubo, Registrar,
East African Court of Justice.
Tel: 255-27-2162149
Email Okubo [at] eachq.org
East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania
http://www.eacj.org

About the East African Court of Justice:

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.

The EACJ grants regional Assembly restraining order from administering the Oath of Office

East African Court of Justice; Arusha, Tanzania; 06 June 2017:

The First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice has granted an interim ex parte order restraining the East African Legislative Assembly from administering the oath of office, or otherwise recognising nominees from the Republic of South Sudan pending the hearing inter partes on Thursday 15th June 2017.

An Application was filed by Mr. Wani Santino Jada, a citizen of the Republic of South Sudan against the Attorney General of the Republic of South Sudan, the Speaker of the Parliament of South Sudan and the Secretary General of the East African Community who are to be served with the ex parte order issued by the Court.

Mr. Wani Santino Jada who represented himself at the ex parte hearing said that on or about the 11th March 2017, His Exellency the President of the Republic of South Sudan appointed nine (9) persons to represent the said Partner State in EALA was in violation of Article 50 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.

He argued that, whereas the swearing-in of EALA MPs that was due to take place on 5th June 2017 at 2.30pm had since been deferred incidentally, it could nonetheless transpire before the hearing of the interim orders inter parties thus rendering the said Application nugatory.

The ex parte hearing was before a bench of the First Instance Division of the Court comprised of Justices Monica Mugenyi, Principal Judge; Isaac Lenaola, Deputy Principal Judge; Faustin Ntezilyayo, Judge; Fakihi Jundu, Judge and Audace Ngiye, Judge.


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Notes to Editor: 

Article 50 (Election of Members of the Assembly)

The National Assembly of each Partner States shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly, who shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the National Assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that Partner State, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each Partner State may determine.

For more information, please contact:

For more information please contact:
Yufnalis Okubo, Registrar,
East African Court of Justice.
Tel: 255-27-2162149
Email Okubo [at] eachq.org
East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania
http://www.eacj.org

About the East African Court of Justice:

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.

Cheif Justice of the Republic of Uganda officiates EACJ Plenary and Strategic Plan meeting in Entebbe

East African Court of Justice; Entebbe, Uganda; 30 May 2017:

The Chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda, Justice Bart Katureebe officially opened the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) mid-year plenary and strategic plan meeting which set off in Entebbe, Uganda. His Lordship represented by the Honourable Justice Eldad D. Mwangusya, judge of the Supreme Court Uganda, said that decentralization of the operations in the East African Court of Justice to each Member State is a noble idea and a grand milestone in terms of enhancing access to justice to the citizens of the region. “I therefore congratulate the Court on realizing the objective of bringing regional justice closer to the East Africans, Uganda in particular”

His Lordship further said that, he is reliably informed that towards the end of the negotiations of the Common Market Protocol, the EACJ was already in the Process of preparing its 5-year Strategic Plan 2011/15, among the main strategic issues identified was the need to improve the Court’s visibility in the Partner States. He added that the establishment of the sub-registries was identified as one of the ways the existence and presence of the EACJ would be better felt at Partner States level and “I believe this will remain a focal point in the Court’s future strategic planning and management and that the same will be fully utilized.” The Chief Justice stated.

Justice Mwangusya, also added that, as a regional court, the EACJ is expected to offer leadership, not only in terms of jurisprudence but also in innovative practices. I am therefore glad to learn of the technological achievements that have been realized by the Court, I am aware the Court introduced a case management and recording system which is already operational.” He noted. In the Chief Justice’s speech further said that, the Court sub-registries located in the Member States can now file and upload cases online where the Registrar and other staff in Arusha can have access and take them through the process from initiation to disposal electronically.

In addition, His Lordship, the Chief Justice went ahead and acknowledged the signing of the Protocol on extension of the jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice to matters of trade and investment. That this development came at a time when EAC Member States were in process of implementing the Customs Union and the Common Market Protocols. That the implementation will definitely give rise to disputes among traders and investors in the region. He also added that once the Protocol is ratified by the Partner States, the citizens will be able to file cases concerning trade and investment disputes across the region and this will make the Court not only busier but also more relevant to the entire citizenry in the region.

The Chief Justice Hon. Bert Katurebe, emphasized on the good co-operation between the EACJ and the Judiciary of Uganda. “We have been sharing some of our Judges with the Court, at the moment, we have 2 of our Judges, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire of the Appellte Division and Justice Monica Mugenyi Principal Judge of the First Instance Division, I wish to appreciate the two Judges for carrying our flag high” His Lordship stated. He also went further and pointed out the other areas for further co-operation of the Court, which they might exploit, training, judicial exchange and benchmarking are areas for greater co-operation. He also emphasized that, they hope to deepen the co-operation with the Court in technical and legal aspects such as the use of information technology in Court processes and administration, prompt sharing of court decisions and jurisprudence, research, among others.

His Lordship, strongly pointed out that, the participation by the Ugandan judiciary in the EACJ’s programs will significantly add to ideas that contribute to the harmonization of their laws and procedures towards the uniform dispensation of justice in the region and greater integration. That this is in line with the requirement in Article 126 of the Treaty which states that; “In order to promote the achievement of the objective of the Community set out in Article 5, the Partner States shall encourage the standardization of the judgements of Courts within the Community.

Finally, the Chief Justice’ s representative, concluded by re-affirming their commitment to offering further support to the activities of the EACJ as may be required and in line with the integration agenda.

The President of the Court, Justice Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja also in his opening remarks, pointed out that, the Judicial branch is an essential element of the infrastructure of the East African Society.  Like most infrastructure projects, any judiciary requires continual maintenance, upkeep and renovation. He also added that, the Judicial branch, just like any other branch, is in a constant evolutionary mode, it develops over time influenced by events by social and political change and in turn its development yield further transformation.  Rules and practices change, and in changing, they change themselves and us. That It is for this reason that we deemed it necessary to organize this second retreat with a view of taking stock of what has happened and charting the way forward in the coming years.

His Lordship further said that, the Judiciary of Uganda has over years undergone a tremendous transformation.  “We are grateful that we will share the experiences of Uganda.  I am also very sure that we will draw a lot of lessons and inspirations in the experiences” the Court’s President expressed. He again added that the Interdependence of our respective judiciaries require our greater consciousness to collaborate because as he recently pointed out in a colloquium organized by the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunal, more is demanded of them Judges in their societies and in the East African Community of which are part.  “We have common vested interests in each other’s success”. That initiatives such as this retreat and insights from national judiciaries in all partner states of East African Community help us all contributed to that success.

Justice Ugirashebuja again said that, it is important to note that even though the Court may draw certain lessons from national jurisdictions such as Uganda, the East African Court of Justice can only draw those lessons which can be applicable to the circumstances the Court finds itself in. That the East African Court of Justice is a treaty-based court established by the EAC partner states and thus does not enjoy the strong protections enjoyed by National Judiciaries entrenched in constitutions.  Needless, to recount the well-known scenario of how the Court underwent significant changes by a stroke of a pen after the ruling in the landmark case of Anyang Nyong.

He finally said that the developments have occurred which justify the need for this meeting.  First, the East African Legislative Assembly passed the EACJ Administration of Justice Bill. That It is yet to be assented to by the Partner States of the EAC; the Council of Ministers granted financial and administrative autonomy of the Court, details of which the Court Judges will discuss in this Plenary.  Second, the Court has an elaborate case management system which has not been utilized to its full capacity.  He emphasized that, It is generally recognized that maintaining court files on paper is outmoded.  That IT could be used more extensively and effectively to improve process in this era of communication is indisputable.  Third, that the first Strategic Plan of the Court came to an end and they are in the process of developing a second Strategic Plan.  He therefore added that all these changes as well as best practices found in other international jurisdictions as well as national jurisdiction will enrich their discussions in this meeting.

The President concluded by saying that Justice is central to the ongoing prosperity and fairness of our democratic society.  That for this reason, it is important that the Judiciary is actively involved in leading and shaping the Justice system, in concert with other stakeholders.

In attendance were all the Judges of the EACJ, the Registrar, Deputy and other support Staff of the Court.


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For more information, please contact:

Yufnalis Okubo
Registrar
East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 27 2162149
mail: Okubo [at] eachq.org
www.eacj.org

About the East African Court of Justice:

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.

 

EACJ Plenary and Strategic Plan Meeting set for 29th May in Entebbe

East African Court of Justice; Tanzania; 26 May 2017:

The East African Court of Justice mid-year plenary and strategic plan meeting is set for 29th May 2017, in Entebbe, Uganda, and will be officiated by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda, His Lordship, Bert Katurebe,. The Plenary for the Judges of the Court is a forum that brings together all the Judges, to carry out the planning as well as review the implementation of the previous activities, achievements and challenges of the Court on an annual basis. The Plenary also reviews the Rules of Procedure for the Court and makes amendments where necessary to suit all the operations of the Court and to include new developments.

On the plenary agenda, the Court will deliberate on various items that will include; reports from the Judge President, Principal Judge, and the Registrar; progress reports on EACJ 2016/2020; EACJ Administration of Justice Act, 2017; EACJ Administration and Financial Autonomy; proposed draft Terms of Reference for various Committees of the Court; report from the Rules Committee; (draft Code of Conduct); and proposed amendments to EACJ Rules of Procedure.

The Court also will embark on the development of the 2nd EACJ 5-year Strategic Plan 2016-2020, as well as review the achievements of the previous one (2010- 2015), to enable the Court achieve its goals and objectives.

The strategic plan will help identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Court, thereby providing an insight to the future. It is hoped that the strategy will build upon strengths and take advantage of the opportunities while overcoming and minimizing the effects of weaknesses and threats.

The meeting will also bring in the participation of a consultant and staff of the Court who will work towards the transformation of EACJ through implementation of the strategy. The strategic analysis plan is part of the efforts the court is making to define its own specific integral role in EAC integration process.


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For more information, please contact:

Yufnalis Okubo
Registrar
East African Court of Justice
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 27 2162149
mail: Okubo [at] eachq.org
www.eacj.org

About the East African Court of Justice:

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ or ‘the Court’), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Established in November 2001, the Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

Arusha is the temporary seat of the Court until the Summit determines its permanent seat. The Court’s sub-registries are located in the respective National Courts in the Partner States.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org