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. THE EACJ GRANTS REGIONAL ASSEMBLY RESTRAINING ORDER FROM ADMINISTERING THE OATH OF OFFICE

    THE EACJ GRANTS REGIONAL ASSEMBLY RESTRAINING ORDER FROM ADMINISTERING THE OATH OF OFFICE East African Court of Justice Arusha, June 6, 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 […]

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  2. COURT DISMISSED A CASE CHALLENGING A TREATY PROVISION ON TIME LIMIT OF 60 DAYS FOR FILING A DISPUTE IN EACJ, AS IT CONCLUDED ITS SESSION

    East African Court of Justice Arusha, 31 March 2017: The First Instance Division today as it concluded its sessions, it dismissed a case that was filed by Mr. Steven Deniss from The United Republic of Tanzania against the Attorneys General of the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and the Secretary […]

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  3. Court hears an Application seeking Court’s order for stay of signing the EPA by the Partner States

    East African Court of Justice Arusha, 14th March 2017: The First Instance Division heard an Application filed by Castro Pius Shirima a Tanzanian resident against the EAC Partner States and the Secretary General. The Applicant is seeking the Court’s order for stay of signing the European Partnership Agreement (EPA). According to the status of the […]

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  4. Court hears oral evidence for a Ugandan citizen over his alleged arrest & detention as terrorist suspect

    East African Court of Justice Arusha, 6th March 2017: The First Instance Division heard oral evidence by Malcolm Lukwiya in his case he sued the Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda and the Attorney General Republic of Kenya alleging that on 1st July 2015, he was arrested and detained by the Agents of the […]

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  5. Registrar of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals pays courtesy to EACJ

    East African Court of Justice Arusha 17th February 2017: The Registrar of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), His Worship Olufemi Elias, accompanied by Mr. Samuel Akorimo, Head of Office MICT Registry Arusha Branch and Mr. Ousman Njikam, External Relations Officer, Arusha Branch paid courtesy call on the Judge President of the EACJ. His […]

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  6. Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya benchmarks EACJ Case Management system

    Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya benchmarks EACJ Case Management system East African Court of Justice Arusha 7th February 20176: The Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya visited the Court to study the operation of the case management system (CMRS). His Lordship, Justice David Maraga appreciated the […]

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  7. COURT DECIDES ON HON. ZZIWA’S CASE OVER HER IMPEACHMENT FROM EALA SPEAKERSHIP

    East African Court of Justice Arusha, 6th February 2017: The First Instance Division on Friday last week delivered a judgment in the case filed by Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa versus the Secretary General of the East African Community. The Court in its judgment declined to grant the orders to reinstate Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa to […]

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  8. Live stream of the judgment delivery for Hon. Zziwa Case

    East African Court of Justice, Arusha, 2nd February 2017: The First Instance Division on Friday 3rd February 2017, will deliver a judgement in the case filed by Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa versus the Secretary General of the East African Community. Hon. Zziwa’s case alleges that the process of her removal from the Office of EALA […]

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  9. COURT TO RESUME SESSIONS WITH THE DELIVERY OF A JUDGEMENT FOR HON. ZZIWA’S CASE

    East African Court of Justice, Arusha, 31st January 2017: The First Instance Division on Friday 3rd February 2017, will deliver a judgement in the case filed by Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa versus the Secretary General of the East African Community. Hon. Zziwa’s case alleges that the process of her removal from the Office of EALA […]

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  10. EACJ congratulates the Deputy Principal Judge Justice Isaac Lenaola upon his new appointment as judge of the Supreme Court Kenya

    East African Court of Justice Arusha 31 October 2016: The East African Court of Justice warmly congratulates Hon. Justice Isaac Lenaola upon his new appointment as a judge to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya. Justice Lenaola who has been Judge at the High Court of Kenya has been promoted to the Supreme […]

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