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THE STATE OF EAST AFRICA REPORT SERIES

East Africa Court of Justice

Introduction

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ), the Judicial arm of the East African Community (EAC) established under Article 9 of The Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community (hereinafter referred to as the Treaty) was inaugurated in November 2001with the swearing in of the first batch of Judges and of the Registrar.

The Court has been in existence for ten years now. From a Court of one Chamber, the Court was by amendment of the Treaty in 2006, transformed into a two Chamber Court namely: the First Instance Division and the Appellate Division.

Composition
At its inception, the EACJ was composed of six judges. This representation reflected equal representation of two Judges from each of the then three Partner States of the Community- namely Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In 2006 and 2007, the Treaty was amended and as a result of which the number of Judges was raised to a maximum of fifteen: and the Court was reconstituted into two Divisions: the First Instance Division, and the Appellate Division.

Article 24(2) OF THE Treaty provides that not more than ten judges shall be appointed to the First Instance Division and not more than five shall be appointed to the Appellate Division.

Currently, the Court is comprised of ten judges. Following the accession of Rwanda and Burundi in July 2007, the composition of the Court reflects equal representation of the current membership of the Community, namely two judges from each of the five Partner States- with each Division of the Court having one Judge from each Partner State.

The Summit designates two judges of the Appellate Division as President and Vice-President respectively as well as two Judges of the First Instance Division as Principal Judge and Deputy-Principal Judge. The President, Vice-President and the Principal Judge, Deputy Principal Judge cannot be nationals of the same Partner State.

The Office of the President of the Court is held in rotation.
The Treaty provides for a Registrar of the Court, appointed by the Council of Ministers from citizens of the Partner States qualified to hold high judicial office in their respective national jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction
The Court’s jurisdiction encompasses the interpretation and application of the Treaty. Additionally, the Court has jurisdiction to render Advisory opinions when requested to do so by the Summit, the Council of Ministers or a Partner State. Likewise, the Court has a mandate to conduct Arbitration proceedings, when specially called upon to do so by the relevant parties to a contract or by special agreement between the Partner States. Furthermore, the Court has jurisdiction to entertain employment disputes between the Community (including its Organs or Institutions) and its Employees. Moreover, under Article 27(2) of the Treaty, the Court has been granted “such other original, appellate, human rights and other jurisdiction as will be determined by the Council of Ministers at a suitable subsequent date”.

Appointment and Tenure of Judges
Judges are appointed by the Summit from among persons recommended by the partner States who are of proven integrity, impartiality and independence and who fulfill the conditions required in their own countries for the holding of high judicial office or who are jurists of recognized competence in their respective Countries. Judges of the Court are appointed for a maximum period of seven years.

However, to ensure continuity in the Court’s composition, the tenure of Judges is staggered: the first batch of Judges had a staggered tenure of five years, six years and seven years. The Treaty Amendments of 2006-2007 continued this principle of staggered terms. A judges tenure is, nonetheless, subject to resignation, death, removal from office in accordance with the Treaty, or upon attaining the age of seventy years.

  1. EACJ Launches Court User Guide

    Arusha, 03 October The Government of Kenya through the Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism pledges to support the EACJ through raising awareness of the public and relevant stakeholders on the EACJ.” says Principal Secretary, Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism of the Republic of Kenya, Ms. Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki…Read on

  2. EACJ First Instance Division concludes 3rd quarter session

    Arusha, 13 September East African Court of Justice First Instance Division, today concluded its 3rd quarter session for a month with another hearing of a case challenging the legality of the election of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members from the Republic of Uganda, which was filed by Ms. Among A. Anita from opposition Party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in Uganda against the Government of Uganda and the Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC)…Read on

  3. EAC Secretary General not proper party in EALA election dispute in Uganda

    Arusha, 12 September The East African Court of Justice First Instance Division, today heard a case concerning the election of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members from Uganda filed by Hon. Abdu Katuntu shadow Attorney General for the opposition in the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda against the government of Uganda and the Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC)…Read on

  4. EAC Secretary General sued over delay in extending EACJ Jurisdiction

    Arusha, 23 August TThe First Instance Division today heard a matter filed in June 2012 by Hon. Sitenda Sebalu, a Member of Parliament in the Republic of Uganda, against the Secretary General (SG) of the East African Community for alleged failure of the Council of Ministers/ Sectoral Council of Legal and Judicial Affairs to implement the judgment delivered by EACJ in a previous case involving the same Parties… Read on

  5. SG, Four Partner States taken to Court for Delay to Deposit the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights Declarations

    Arusha, 22 August The First Instance Division heard a case against the Secretary General of the East African Community and four Partner States, the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda; filed by the Democratic Party (DP) of the Republic of Uganda for alleged failure or refusal and delay to make respective declarations to accept the competence of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). The DP argued that the inaction of the named Partner States was an Infringement of the Treaty for Establishment of the EAC particularly Articles 6(d) and 7(2) among others…Read on

  6. EACJ 3rd quarter sessions resume with evidence witnesses on Serengeti Highway case

    Arusha, 20 August 2013: The First Instance Division today heard the evidence witnesses in a Reference (case) by the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) contesting United Republic of Tanzania’s intention to build a “super highway” crossing the Serengeti National Park, with the Kenyan organization arguing, it would be hazardous to animals…Read on

  7. EACJ Gets New Principal Judge

    Arusha, 27 June 2013: The East African Court of Justice’s newly appointed Principal Judge Hon. Mr. Justice Jean Bosco Butasi officially took office today, replacing Hon. Mr. Justice Johnston Busingye who was recently appointed Rwanda’s Minister of Justice… Read on

  8. Secretary General, Kenya AG Oppose Appeal on Kenya Constitution Case

    Arusha, 21 June 2013: The Secretary General of the East African Community and the Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya have asked the East African Court of Justice’s Appellate Division to dismiss an Appeal by Okotch Mondoh seeking to overturn the decision of the First Instance Division in a case challenging the promulgation of the Kenyan Constitution in 2010… Read on

  9. EACJ Faults Amendment of Treaty but Upholds Dispute Settlement Mechanisms

    Arusha, 10 May 2013: The East African Court of Justice (First Instance Division) today delivered judgment in a reference where the East African Centre for Trade Policy and Law sought declarations against the Secretary General of the East African Community that… Read on

  10. Court Stays Proceedings in EAC-Employee Dispute

    Arusha, 2 May 2013: The First Instance Division of EACJ today dismissed an Application by the Secretary General to have the Claim filed by Angella Amudo declared as time barred for its being misguided and misconceived…Read on

  11. EAC Asks Regional Court to Dismiss Suit by Former Employee

    Arusha, 23 April 2013: The Secretary General of the East African Community has asked the First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice to dismiss a suit filed by a former employee of the intergovernmental organization as a result of a dispute over the duration of her contract…Read on

  12. EACJ Holds 1st Sitting in Dar es Salaam to Hear Case Challenging EAC Summit Directives

    Arusha, 18 April 2013: The East African Court of Justice First Instance Division yesterday held its hearing session in Dar es Salaam at the Commercial Court of Tanzania. The case pits Timothy Alvin Kahoho a Tanzanian citizen against the EAC Secretary General…Read on

  13. EACJ to hold a Two Day session in Dar es Salaam, 17- 18 April

    Arusha, 11 April 2013: The East African Court of Justice First Instance Division will on 17th to 18th April 2013, hold its first sitting out of Arusha. The Division will hear the first case of the 2nd Quarterly session in Dar es Salaam- Tanzania…Read on

  14. Chief Justice of Burundi officially opens EAC Bujumbura Sub-registry

    Arusha, 4 March 2013: The East African Court of Justice officially launched its last Sub-registry in Bujumbura, Burundi Friday 1 March 2013…Read on

  15. EACJ to Launch Sub-registry in Bujumbura 1 March

    Arusha, 26 February 2013: The East African Court of Justice will Friday 1 March 2013 launch its newest sub-registry in Bujumbura, Burundi…Read on

  16. EACJ Concludes Longest Ever Session Since Inception

    Arusha, 14 February 2013: The East African Court of Justice Thursday ended its longest sessions ever, which began on 14 January and wounded up 14 February 2013…Read on

  17. EALS Allowed to File Additional Evidence in “Walk to Work” Case

    Arusha, 13 February 2013: The First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice today granted leave to the East African Law Society (EALS) to file additional evidence in the “Walk to Work” case…Read on

  18. EALA Speaker, Members Join Court Contest over Election to Regional Assembly

    Arusha, 5 February 2013: The First Instance Division of the EACJ has granted leave to Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa, Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, and eight other EALA Members from Uganda to appear as interveners in a case…Read on

  19. Uganda Dragged to EACJ After Kenyan Citizen Claims Denied Entry into Country

    Arusha, 18 January 2013: The EACJ’s First Instance Division Friday began hearing a case in which a Kenyan citizen alleges the Ugandan Government denied him entry into the country in 2011…Read on

  20. EALS Asks to File Additional Evidence in ‘Walk to Work’ Case

    Arusha, 16 January 2013: The East African Court of Justice will 13 February 2013 deliver its ruling on an application by the East African Law Society (EALS) seeking the Court’s permission to allow it to file additional video recorded evidence on the ‘Walk to Work’ case…Read on

  21. EACJ Entertains Kenya’s Alcon Pay Dispute Case Witnesses

    Arusha, 15 January 2013: The First Instance Division today entertained evidence/ witnesses in Court for the first time on the matter between Alcon International against Standard Chartered Bank Uganda Limited for not paying them for the construction of a building known as Workers House in Kampala, Uganda…Read on

  22. Kenya AG Opposes IMLU Application for Review of Judgment

    Arusha, 8 January 2013: The East African Court of Justice will Friday 7 September 2012 launch a sub-registry in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania…Read on

  23. Kenya AG Opposes IMLU Application for Review of Judgment

    Arusha, 8 January 2013: The East African Court of Justice will Friday 7 September 2012 launch a sub-registry in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania…Read on