Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, the Minister for East African Affairs has revealed that the East African Court of Justice will this year seat in Uganda this to handle disputes arising from the violation of fundamental and operational principles that govern the achievements of the community.
“This Court session will take place at the premises of the Commercial division of the Court of Uganda and it will run from November 1 to 30,” Kadaga highlighted.
The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) is one of the organs of the East African Community (EAC) established under article 9 of the Community treaty in November 2001, with a major responsibility of ensuring adherence to the interpretation and application of the EAC treaty laws and also settling of disputes around borders and non-tariff barriers.
Kadaga revealed this in a press conference held at the Ministry of East African Affairs in Kampala on Friday.
While here, the Minister also told Journalists that before the Court sessions begin in November, there will first be a Judicial Officers Conference which will be held at Mestil Hotel in Kampala from October 24th to 28th.
The overall objective of this conference is to stimulate high-level conversations and discussions on emerging legal and judicial issues including emerging jurisprudence, and issues affecting Courts and to also provide a platform for information sharing among Judges, Judicial officers, and legal practitioners in the region.
According to Kadaga, there will be two sets of courts and the Court of the first instance will have 5 cases for delivering judgments, 11 for hearings, and another five cases will be for scheduling further hearings.
“In the Court of Appeal similarly, they have a number of cases for delivery of judgments, Appeals, several others they will schedule hearings for the future and both Court proceedings will all be open to the population to go and listen” she added.
The Court mainly handles disputes arising from the violation of fundamental and operational principles that govern the achievement of the objectives of the EAC, and some of the cases that will be handled in the Court of the first instance include REF; 2 of 2020 of Elias Magoti Vs Tanzania Attorney General, REF 4and 5 of 2020 of Male Mabirizi Vs Uganda Attorney General and REF; 23 of 2019 of Nsabimana Vs Burundi Attorney General which will all be heard by Justice Muhumuza and others.
To mark the 20th Anniversary of the EACJ, the Court 2021 launched the rotation of its November Court sessions with the objective of bringing its services closer to the people and enhancing the visibility of the Court as it undertakes its mandate of promoting access to justice.
In 2021, the first rotated session was held in Bujumbura the capital of Burundi.
Currently, Arusha is the temporary seat of this Court until when the summit will determine its permanent seat.
The Court however has sub-registries that are located in the respective National Courts in all the partner states.