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.
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.
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.
Court strikes out an Application seeking court to hear a case challenging the Union of Tanzania, in Zanzibar
East African Court of Justice Arusha, 8th March 2018: The First Instance Division struck out an Application filed by one Rashid Salum Adiy and 39,999 others Zanzibar Citizens versus the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Chief Secretary of Revolutionary Council of Zanzibar and United Republic of Tanzania others. The Application was seeking Court to […] Read Full Article
Court will live stream an Application No. 7 of 2017 (Arising from Reference No. 9 of 2016) Rashid Salum Adiy and 39,999 others Vs The Attorney General of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and others, challenging the Union of the United Republic of Tanzania. The session will be held tomorrow, 8th March 2018 at 09:30 […] Read Full Article
East African Court of Justice Arusha, 6th March 2018: The First Instance Division resumed its March sessions and struck out the Application filed by the Republic of Burundi, seeking Court’s order to stay recognition of the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). The Court in its Ruling said that the Application has […] Read Full Article
East African Court of Justice Arusha 3nd March 2018: The Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice (ECOWAS-Court) led by the President Hon. Justice Traore Jerome, on 28th February, paid a visit to His counterpart His Lordship, Justice Emmanuel Ugirashebuja President EACJ. The ECOWAS Court President accompanied by other Justices came to have […] Read Full Article
East African Court of Justice Arusha 16th February 2018: The New Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Dr. Adelardus Kilangi paid courtesy to the President of the Court Hon. Justice Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja with other Justices of the Appellate Division. His Lordship welcomed the Attorney General (AG) to the East African Court […] Read Full Article
East African Court of Justice Arusha, 15th February 2018: The Appellate Division today dismissed an Appeal filed by one Castro Pius from the United Republic of Tanzania, whose Application seeking for an injunction to stop the Partner States which had not signed the European Partnership Agreement (EPA) not to sign the same and those who […] Read Full Article
East African Court of Justice Arusha, 15 February 2018: The Appellate Division on 13th February, heard an Appeal by Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa Vs the Secretary General over the decision of the First Instance Division (Lower Court), which declined to grant the orders to reinstate her as the Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). […] Read Full Article
APPELLATE DIVISION HEARS AN APPEAL CHALLENGING A DECISION OF THE FIRST INSTANCE DIVISION ON BURUNDI PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2015
APPELLATE DIVISION HEARS AN APPEAL CHALLENGING A DECISION OF THE FIRST INSTANCE DIVISION ON BURUNDI PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2015 East African Court of Justice Arusha, 6th February, 2018: The EACJ Appellate Division heard an appeal filed by the East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum against the Attorney General of Burundi and the Secretary General of […] Read Full Article
Court grants an interim injunction restraining the Government of Uganda from collect excise duty from British American Tobacco (U) LTD.
East African Court of Justice Arusha, 25th January 2018: The First Instance Division granted an interim injunction to the British American Tobacco (BAT) (U) LTD, restraining and prohibiting the Government of Uganda and the Uganda Revenue Authority from collect excise duty due to discriminatory rates, pending hearing and determination of the Reference. The Court […] Read Full Article
COURT DISMISSES AN APPLICATION FOR INTERIM ORDERS AGAINST BURUNDI & THE EAC SECRETARY GENERAL OVER THE BAN OF THE NGO’S & CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS & FREEZING THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS
COURT DISMISSES AN APPLICATION FOR INTERIM ORDERS AGAINST BURUNDI & THE EAC SECRETARY GENERAL OVER THE BAN OF THE NGO’S & CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS & FREEZING THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS East African Court of Justice Arusha, 24thJanuary 2018: As the First Instance Division extra ordinary sessions set off, it dismissed the Application filed by the […] Read Full Article